Tickets given out for parking in Manhattan bus lanes

November 19, 2010 2:28:04 PM PST
Don't plan on avoiding the gridlock by speeding down bus lanes in Manhattan.

Cameras have been installed along the bus lanes on first and Second Avenue from lower Manhattan all the way up to 125th street.

Beginning next week, drivers caught using the lanes will be fined.

Eyewitness News witnessed a utility van getting a ticket on 2nd Avenue near East 9th for parking in the bus lane. Just 10 minutes later, the driver went around the block and parked in the same spot, receiving another ticket.

"That is why they are called bus lanes. They're not called bus and car lanes, not bus lanes and truck lanes. Bus lanes," said Michael Allen.

Officers will have reinforcements starting Monday, when bus lane laws along 1st and 2nd Avenues from Houston to 125th will be enforced by surveillance cameras.

The tickets are $115 a pop.

"Our bus drivers tend not even to use the bus lanes because they know there are so many cars parked there that they have to keep going in and coming back," said the MTA Public Information Director.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly believes in the new system. "I think they will be a deterrent for drivers, sure. it's a pretty hefty summons, and I believe the system is going to work."

There will be five cameras posted on light posts, but exactly where, the MTA and DOT aren't saying, so potential offenders won't have a heads up.

"I think it's good they've been doing public service announcements. So people can't say, gee no one told me," said Michael Allen.

The MTA plans to roll out more bus lane cameras next year on 34th Street and on Fordham Road in the Bronx

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