Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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Drivers on Bronx Road Say Bus Lane Isn't Labeled Well Enough

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Imagine the shock of getting a ticket for driving in a bus lane when you don't even know it's there. As NY1's Erin Clarke reports, that's what's happening to folks driving down a portion of Fordham Road in the Bronx.

Last year, Alexandria Chyrack got a $115 ticket for driving in the bus lane on Fordham Road at Sedgwick Avenue. She figured she made a mistake and paid the fine.

However, when she got another ticket at the same location, she said, "I knew something wasn't right, because I've been very cautious not to drive in the bus lane, and I've told other people, 'Don't drive in the bus lane. You'll get a ticket.' And then I got one."

Chyrack is fighting this ticket, and she's put up flyers in her neighborhood, urging others who've gotten tickets to call 311 and local legislators.

Fernando Cabrera, the area's councilman, said that Chyrack's complaint isn't the first he's received, and he's reached out to the city Department of Transportation.

"I have the emails, and they keep coming back to me and saying that there is no problem," Cabrera said.

A DOT spokesman said that the location was inspected and appropriate bus lane signage in both directions is in place, although we didn't see anything heading west.

As for the bus lane markings on the ground, the spokesman said that the rough winter has caused them to fade, and that will be addressed.

However, the problem continues, and Cabrera said it's not the only one.

The lack of any signs or street markings at the busy intersection is a concern. I even wondered whether I should make the left turn onto Sedgwick Avenue because there isn't a defined turning lane.

"It's very dangerous, especially for pedestrians and also for drivers, because the hesitation causes procrastination, and that's what causes accidents," Cabrera said.

Cabrera said that turning lanes at all corners of the intersection are an issue.

"You have just one sign that says you must make a left," he said. "We have cars in two lanes trying to all meet up in one lane, and it's creating confusion, and it's potentially dangerous."

The DOT is assessing the potentially dangerous and confusing intersection, but for now, drivers beware, and stay as far from the right lane as possible. It seems that that's the only sure way to avoid a ticket.

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