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Public Safety & Quality of Life

Department of Transportation Proposal for Fifth and Madison Avenue Bus Priority Changes

WHEREAS, The New York City Department of Transportation has proposed expanding existing bus priority lanes on Fifth and Madison Avenue; and

WHEREAS, Fifth Avenue presently has a single bus lane from 59th to 23rd Street and DOT is proposing to add an additional lane of the same length; and

WHEREAS, Madison Avenue presently has two bus lanes from 42nd to 59th Streets and DOT is proposing to extend the two lanes from 23rd Street to 42nd street; and

WHEREAS, The six local bus routes affected by these changes serve 100,000 riders each day and many tens of thousands more commuters using express buses; and

WHEREAS, DOT estimates that the new or expanded bus lanes will improve travel times by up to 20% in the corridor as limited and express buses will be able to pass stopped local buses without entering general traffic; and

WHEREAS, These changes will greatly increase the reliability of on-time buses; and

WHEREAS, DOT has proposed significant overhead signage to facilitate these changes and enforce the new rules; and

WHEREAS, The Board opposes large new signs on Fifth Avenue and the Department has agreed to revisit the signage issues; and

WHEREAS, There remain significant unresolved issues with respect to permitted turns by private vehicles from these bus lanes and the impact of limiting or prohibiting permitted turns on traffic congestion in the area; and

WHEREAS. DOT has agreed to continue to consult with the Board on new issues as they arise during the implementation of the new plan and on proposals for other changes in traffic patterns that may need adjustments as this plan is implemented; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the Board approves DOT's proposal for additional and expanded bus lanes on Madison and Fifth Avenues between 23rd Street and 59th street and the Board requests that DOT consults with the Board six months after the initial lane changes are made in order to evaluate the impact of these changes to determine if additional actions are necessary on these important thoroughfares.

The above resolution passed with a vote of 34 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstaining.

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