To Fight Congestion, Bus Lanes
Introduced on Fordham
The DOT is confident that the lanes will help buses move quicker along the congested area. "Instead of going only 4 to 5 miles per hour, the bus lane should allow our buses to travel close to 10 miles per hour," said MTA President Lawrence Reuter, standing alongside DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall and Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión at an Aug. 30 event announcing the lanes.
John Kaehny, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, a pedestrian and cyclist advocacy group, estimates that the lanes can knock 15 to 20 percent off a passenger's travel time - roughly five minutes off a 20-minute bus trip.
With roughly 70 percent of people using buses to traverse Fordham Road, in Kaehny's estimates, the lanes make sense. "If your goal is to move people and goods ... quicker buses are an effective way," he said.
But the changes will invariably pose challenges. The introduction of the large fines have caused frustration among some drivers. A few were seen shouting and writing down police badge numbers during the first week of tickets being issued.
The lanes also tend to force businesses to reorganize their delivery schedules to avoid ticketing during morning drop-offs. A Fordham Road merchant frustrated by this already registered a complaint, according to DOT spokesman Tom Cocola.
Cocola acknowledged that there has been confusion about the changes, but overall the new lanes were running smoothly. "It seems to be going well," he said, adding that he has already received calls complimenting the lanes.
"It's going to impact on people dramatically," said Laiosa about the changes. He is encouraging business owners and residents to contact Bronx Borough DOT Commissioner Connie Moran with their concerns, while he and other Community Board 7 members will play an active role in monitoring the lanes.
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