Amendment to the rules relating to bus lanes
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments
STATEMENT OF BASIS AND PURPOSE
The Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation is authorized to promulgate rules regarding streets and highways in New York City pursuant to Section 2903 of the New York City Charter.
Although New York City has the highest bus ridership in the United States, it also has the slowest bus speeds in the country. To improve bus speeds, the City has installed a series of restricted “bus lanes”, intended for the exclusive use of buses. As the bus lane network has grown, and new bus lane designs have been installed, the Department has found that existing bus lane rules do not provide sufficiently clear instructions as to what other vehicles can legally do within or approaching and exiting a bus lane. Additionally, the existing rule does not clearly prohibit non-motorized vehicles, including horse-drawn carriages, from using bus lanes.
By expanding and updating the bus lane rules, which establish the prohibitions associated with bus lanes, the proposed rule will:
• Improve bus speeds by helping keep bus lanes clear
• Reduce confusion by other street users about what activities can legally take place in a bus lane
• Clarify the rules regarding “offset” bus lanes, which allow parking or other curb access between the bus lane and the curbside.
• Increase the Department rules’ specificity about where the bus lane may be legally used by non-bus vehicles to access right turns or gain curb access.