NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A long stretch of 11th Avenue on Manhattan’s West Side is now one-way only.
As CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reports, the change was made with no warning to drivers, leaving many confused and facing possible tickets.
In the coming weeks, 11th Avenue will be one-way heading southbound from 57th Street to the Lincoln Tunnel. The new traffic pattern still hasn’t been updated on most GPS maps.
“Oh my god, now what? We didn’t know. There’s no signs, there’s no nothing,” said Tony Diaz, who works in the area.
“There’s horses and bikes always coming up and down here. It doesn’t look like they need to change anything to make that more efficient,” New Jersey commuter Darius Mayfield said. “Maybe in New York they just want to spend money like they always do, just spend money, money, money, money.”
Early Tuesday, police issued summonses to drivers who made what is now an illegal left turn onto 11th Avenue from 56th Street. Later, officers pulled over drivers and gave them flyers informing them about the changes.
“We will have a five-day grace period before they will issue summonses, so we’ll look into that particular matter,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan.
But there has been no word on what happens to drivers who already received a ticket.
While the changes are new to drivers, officials with the Department of Transportation say they have been discussed for years.
“To improve traffic flow, to improve bus speeds and reliability,” DOT Manhattan Commissioner Ed Pincar said.
Still, it’s going to take time – and extra patience – for drivers to get used to.
Eventually, the changes will also include new bike and bus lanes, along with islands for boarding. City leaders say it’s all part of the mayor’s Vision Zero initiative.