NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s confusion all along 34th Street as drivers looking to speed up their ride are left to navigate conflicting signs when it comes to using bus lanes.
Drive along the busy roadway and you’ll first see signs that say “BUSES ONLY.” Then a short ways later you’ll see signs with times you’re allowed to use them, then once more signs that read “BUSES ONLY.”
So what gives?
Each block along 34th has its own sign of when cars are allowed to drive in the bus lane. Some, like one between Lexington and Park Avenues, says “BUS LANE – BUSES ONLY AND RIGHT TURNS.”
Others, like one between Third and Lexington Avenues, specify the bus lane is only active from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. It’s enough to lead some car drivers to avoid using the lanes altogether.
“I just don’t,” one person siad. “I know you’re not allowed, it’s common sense.”
The Department of Transportation says generally, bus lanes in the middle of the street are off limits to cars around the clock. When the bus lane is right next to a curb, though, specific bus lane hours are posted to open up the curb to car parking and loading.
Some are left to wonder why the city can’t open up more bus lanes in off-peak hours to help ease congestion.
“If it’s after rush hour I think they should open them for other traffic,” one driver said.
“As a cab driver I prefer to use the bus lanes,” said another.
For now it doesn’t appear to be changing so for now, officials say to make sure you read the signs before attempting to take a shortcut.
CBS2 asked the DOT why some bus lanes aren’t open to other traffic during off-peak hours. A spokesperson said 24-hour bus lanes are installed as a means to enhance MTA bus speeds.