You are reading

Council Member Ung Calls for Better Signage Along Main Street Busway in Flushing

Council Member Sandra Ung is calling on the DOT to improve signage along the Flushing Main Street Busway (DOT via Twitter)

March 15, 2022 By Allie Griffin

Council Member Sandra Ung is calling on the Department of Transportation to improve signage along a busway in Flushing where she says motorists are unknowingly driving in the bus-only lanes and getting smacked with fines.

Ung sent a letter to DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez last week urging the department to install larger, more visible signs to alert drivers that they will be fined if the travel along the Main Street Busway.

The busway, which was designed to speed up bus service, was established at the beginning of 2021 and covers a 0.6 mile stretch of Main Street – from Northern Boulevard to Sanford Avenue.

“While the drivers were violating traffic laws, many are doing so unintentionally because they are unaware of the busway’s existence,” Ung wrote in the March 9 letter. “I feel more can be done by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to ensure that drivers are aware of the changes, and that summonses are never issued in the first place.”

Only buses, trucks and emergency vehicles are permitted on the busway as through-traffic. The DOT prohibits all other motorists from using it, unless it is for local street access, pick-up and drop-offs, or garage access—and the operator of the vehicle makes the next available right turn off it.

The DOT began fining busway violators in early April after a 60-day grace period when the new busway first opened. A single-vehicle violation costs $50 — with fines increasing to as much as $250 for a fifth offense. Violators are caught by a camera and mailed the summons.

Ung said despite the grace period, many drivers are still unaware they’re breaking the law by driving along the busway.

She said that several residents have reached out to her office to report that they have received summonses for failing to turn off Main Street at 37th Avenue, specifically.

Ung said the signage ahead of the intersection is easy to miss and unclear. The two signs alerting drivers that they must turn off the street are “simple white signs and do not stand out in the streetscape” and are “relatively small,” she said.

“Given the congested nature of Downtown Flushing, it is easy to see how a distracted driver could overlook the signs,” Ung wrote in the letter. “Outside of those two signs, there are no other markings delineating the Busway is about to begin.”

Some drivers received multiple fines in the mail before they realized they were committing an infraction because it can often take two to three weeks for the summons to arrive by mail, Ung added.

The council member suggested the DOT install larger and more conspicuous signage or paint the busway road red to alert motorists that through traffic isn’t allowed.

The roadbeds of other busways in the city, like Jamaica Avenue & Archer Avenue Busway shown above, have been painted red. (DOT via Twitter)

“I believe the DOT can take some fair and simple steps to alert motorists to these changes without resorting to costly fines,” Ung wrote.

The busway has stirred controversy among residents since its inception. A group of local business owners mounted an unsuccessful legal challenge to stop it from being installed, arguing that it would deter customers from coming to the busy shopping zone. Former Flushing Council Member Peter Koo also opposed its installation.

 

email the author: ne[email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Popular places where you can watch the Big Game in Queens

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Check out these popular Queens places, where you and your friends can grab some good eats and cold brews and take in all the action on the big screen. Spots are filling up quickly.

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Porn actor Ron Jeremy, who grew up in Bayside, found unable to stand trial for rape

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles judge on Tuesday, Jan. 17, declared that porn performer Ron Jeremy is mentally incompetent to stand trial on dozens of rape and sexual assault counts.

Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Harris said in a hearing that after reviewing reports from both prosecutors and Jeremy’s defense that he is in “incurable neurocognitive decline” from which he is unlikely to recover.