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Countdown to city’s issuing violations on Jay Street Busway has begun

December 30, 2020 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) has now begun a 60-day warning period prior to issuing bus lane violations on the busy Jay Street Busway in Downtown Brooklyn. 

The 0.8-mile Busway allows for bus and truck priority on Jay Street from Tillary to Livingston Streets weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. as well as local-access-only car traffic and bicycles.

This stretch of Jay Street is only five or six blocks long, but it’s one of the most important streets in Downtown Brooklyn, with the state courthouse building, the District Attorney’s Office, MetroTech Center, NYU Tandon engineering school, the New York City retirement office, one of the entrances to the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge and more.

The Jay Street Busway was launched in August 2020 and was the first busway of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Better Buses Restart plan to be implemented. At the time, the DOT promised that the project would increase bus speeds and reliability, help improve travel times for commuters, improve bicycle and pedestrian safety, ease congestion and reduce the impact of illegal parking.

Since its implementation, the Busway has brought improvements to travel time and overall traffic on the corridor, the DOT says. Weekday bus speeds increased from 27 percent to 79 percent southbound and from 45 percent to 81 percent northbound when compared to 2019. 

The corridor also saw up to a 45 percent reduction of all traffic during a.m. and p.m. peak hours. DOT will continue to monitor the progress of the busway pilot, ending August 2021, as it remains committed to increasing bus speeds and automated camera enforcement of bus lanes across the city, two critical ways to keep New Yorkers moving. 

The corridor now has signs indicating the hours of the busway, and the bus lanes are camera enforced. By state law, DOT issues warnings to motorists for at least 60 days when the cameras are first operated to ensure that drivers are informed about the program.  

Since violations are issued against the vehicle, not the driver, points are not deducted from motorists’ licenses.  A single violation will cost $50, but increased fines will be added for repeated offenders.  

Camera enforcement is already in effect for several select bus services (SBS) routes in Brooklyn, including the B44 along Nostrand Avenue and Rogers Avenue; the B46 along Utica Avenue, Broadway and Malcolm X Boulevard; the B25 along Fulton Street; the B82 along Kings Highway, the B35 along Church Avenue and the B17 along Rockaway Parkway.

It is also in effect on SBS routes in other boroughs, such as the 23rd Street, 34th Street and 125th Street corridors in Manhattan; the Webster Avenue corridor and 161st Street in The Bronx; Jamaica Avenue in Queens and Hylan Boulevard in Staten Island. 

 Due to new state legislation passed in 2019, the city is now allowed to expand the bus lane camera program as needed. The program was previously limited to only 16 routes. Additional camera-enforced routes will be added over time. DOT also works with the NYPD to enforce bus lanes citywide.

The waiting period for Jay Street began on Tuesday.

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