One need only take a short drive around the neighborhood to notice the recent additions of pavement markings along our street. Each one is meant to restrict or prohibit specific movements or limit access to certain types only. While one may disagree with the placement and effectiveness of these (I do), nonetheless, disregarding them can result in being ticketed.
One of Mayor Bill De Blasio's pet projects was the addition of 75 miles of bike path yearly. The city's bike network is currently about 1700 miles. A motorist is not allowed to stop, stand or park in a bike lane. Crossing a bike lane is prohibited except when turning, leaving a parking space or driveway, or avoiding an obstacle. A motorist must yield to bicyclists and pedestrians as well as watch for tem when turning or opening vhicle doors. It should also be noted that bicyclists also have regulations. One must ride in a bike lane whenever provided and follow all traffic signals and markings. One should ride in the direction of traffic and yield to
pedestrians. Cyclists age 14 and over must ride in the street.
New York City Traffic Regulation section 412(m) generally restricts
motorists from driving in a bus lane. A violation of this offense (as well as bike lane) involves a $138 fine and carries 2 points on your license (as of 2/25/2010).
Section 412(m) states that when signage is displayed designating a lane to be a bus lane, on one is to drive their vehicle in that lane during the marked hours of operation except under the following fine exceptional circumstances:
1. To make a right-hand turn onto a street or private drive;
2. To approach or leave a curbside;
3. To expeditiously discharge passengers;
4. To avoid an obstacle; and
5. To comply with direction of a law enforcement officer.
You can only enter the bus lane when you are within a block of your right-hand turn and if you are not interfering with a bus.
Some NYC buses are equipped with cameras. Bus drivers have the ability to snap photo a motorists illegally using the bus lane. Such a ticket does not carry points or appear on a driver's abstract.
SOLID WHITE LINE
Today, while driving on Main Street approaching 73rd Avenue, I noticed the city has painted a solid white line separating the right and left lanes when travelling towards 73rd Avenue from 75th Avenue. This means that if you intend to turn right onto 73rd Avenue, you must be in the right lane from at least 1/3 block away. It is likely that there were collisions there of people turning from the wrong lane or switching at the last second into the right lane.
I also noticed that they painted the word “SCHOOL” along Main Street when it is in such a vicinity. There are special rules that aply in a school zone. This involves the ability of the city to install speed cameras in a school zone. Most school zones operate from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. If issued a ticket by a police officer, speeding in a school zone can result in double points. As this will likely be my last article for the season, I wish you all a happy and safe summer season.