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Manhattan Community Board Five

Proposed Bus Lane Expansion and Curbside Regulations Changes along Madison Avenue from East 42nd Street to East 60th Street

At the monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, September 13, 2012, the Board passed the following resolution with a vote of 37 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, Madison Avenue today is one-way northbound street with five lanes of traffic; and

WHEREAS, From East 42nd Street to East 59th Street the current regulations include bus only restrictions from the hours of 1PM to 7PM on Monday to Friday on the two lanes located on the east side of the street in order to accommodate the 32 different bus routes that run along Madison Avenue in particular the M4, M3, M1, M2, and Q32 (in descending order of numbers of riders);

WHEREAS, The east curb lane is used primarily for bus stops and the second lane is used for through bus traffic; and 

WHEREAS, The west curb lane is used for commercial loading from 7AM – 1PM and from 1PM – 7PM has no standing provisions with the intention that it be used as a through lane during the afternoon; and

WHEREAS, The no-standing regulations are frequently violated and as a result the lane doesn't function as a through lane; and 

WHEREAS, During the morning rush hour (9-10AM) 64% of the passengers in vehicles are carried by buses in comparison to 36% of the passengers carried by private vehicle; and

WHEREAS, Given the number of passengers carried on NYCT and MTA buses there is a need to move bus traffic more quickly and smoothly up Madison Avenue; and

WHEREAS, DOT is proposing to extend bus lane hours on the two eastern lanes to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and extend the bus lane one block north to 60th Street; and

WHEREAS, DOT is proposing to create left turn bays on the western side of the street where left turns are possible (see attached figures); and

WHEREAS, DOT is proposing to allow afternoon loading where no left turn bays exist; and

WHEREAS, DOT is also proposing to simplify the parking signage; and 

WHEREAS, DOT and NYCT have agreed to return to the CB5 no later than 6 months after installation to report back on the project's progress and in particular to describe whether the project has achieved the goals laid out in the presentation (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/2012-09-05-madison-bus-lanes-cb5.pdf) and to review what adjustments, if any, need to be made to the project design; and 

WHEREAS, DOT and NYCT have agreed to investigate how the bus stops might be improved to more efficiently get passengers on and off buses and how the signage might be clarified to more clearly reflect the distinction between express and local buses; and 

WHEREAS, Community Board Five looks forward to further dialogue with the DOT about ways to further ensure safe and efficient travel across our streets and proper enforcement of existing rules and to engaging with DOT as they study 5th Avenue; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends conditional approval of the expanded hours for the bus lane and change in curbside loading regulations subject to the following condition: 

DOT & NYCT will return to CB5 no later than six months after project implementation to provide a status report.

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