The following is a press release from the offices of City Councilman David Greenfield:
In response to rumors circulating the community, Councilman David G. Greenfield has confirmed with the MTA that buses serving the area have not been equipped with cameras to photograph vehicles illegally parked in bus stops and in bus lanes. Councilman Greenfield was prompted to look into the matter by an e-mail being forwarded around Midwood and Boro Park claiming that a motorist received such a ticket while parked in the B6 and B11 bus stop at Coney Island Avenue and Avenue K on Wednesday morning. In response, MTA officials have confirmed that this technology is in use in Manhattan, but has yet to be implemented in Brooklyn.
“This rumor really took on a life of its own, so I wanted to clear up any misunderstandings after hearing about it yesterday. This technology is not being used in Brooklyn. What’s more, drivers may not park in a bus stop but can legally pick up and drop off passengers even when there is a dedicated bus lane,” explained Councilman Greenfield.
Governor David Paterson signed legislation into law in 2010 allowing for camera use to issue tickets to drivers along Select Bus Service lanes in some areas of New York City. The cameras are mounted on the front of buses or on utility poles, and are currently only authorized along Select Bus Service routes. The technology is being used on 1st and 2nd Avenues and 34th Street in Manhattan, and is planned for future use in Brooklyn only at Nostrand Avenue and Rodgers Avenue. Construction on a dedicated bus lane in that area will not begin for at least 18 months, according to the MTA.
However, Greenfield is taking this opportunity to remind drivers that tickets can be issued anytime by traffic enforcement agents and police officers under Code 14 of the city’s parking rules and regulations, which prohibits standing or parking in some areas including bus stops and lanes. Drivers can stop their vehicle temporarily to pick up or drop off a passenger in “no standing” zones, but are not allowed to idle or park there.
Tickets for offenses detected by bus lane cameras can only be issued from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, with fines ranging from $115 to $150. The cameras allow the city to differentiate between cars parked or stopped illegally in a bus stop and those who are making a turn or dropping off a passenger, which is permitted.
“As always, I urge all drivers to follow the rules of the road. As the city rolls out new methods for catching drivers who block bus lanes, I will work with the DOT to make sure they are implemented fairly and actually improve safety and performance, and are not just another way for the city to make money,” concluded Greenfield.
Residents can contact Councilman Greenfield’s district office at (718) 853-2704 for help with any parking-related matters.