A few months back, our board member Ashley organized an all out effort to rid 44th Street of buses that used this residential street as a detour to the Port Authority Bus terminal. The Community Board supported the Block Association complaints .
In a follow-up meeting with Port Authority , the Community board learned that stern warnings had been delivered to the bus companies, but it is difficult for anyone to control what the drivers do on the road. The Academy Bus company, the main offender due to their sheer size, has also changed their operation manual for their drivers. Their director of operations wrote back:
“Academy has stepped up its monitoring of the issues that were discussed at the TPC meeting. Additionally, I have attached a copy of one of Academy’s driver envelopes, all of our stock as it is replaced with the new stock has the reminder notice ( of bus routes) to all drivers. Also attached is a notice to drivers regarding idling buses in a school zone. Since Academy is a major provider of student transportation for outside activities, school trips etc. we are have addressed this with our drivers.
Along with the suggestions in your letter and from comments at the meeting notices have been placed on driver bulletin boards, and these issues are addressed at out monthly safety meetings.
Academy starting this month is addressing bicycles, and pedestrian safety at is monthly meetings, as a good neighbor we hope to raise our drivers level of awareness while operating equipment…”
In September, noticing an uptick in bus traffic, Ashley attended the Precinct Community Council to raise the enforcement issue: after many follow-up phone calls, she obtained a meeting with the traffic Sergeant who observed the situation. The Sergeant was going to speak with the officers about ticketing these buses, especially the newer officers that might not know about different streets for different types of traffic. She’s going to speak to their law department to better define the law about bus lay overs, which is vague, and get enforcement out.
That is a model of action: Local documentation, Community Board support, Precinct action.. which indeed requires persistence but pays off in the end. Bravo Ashley and the whole team. This is reclaiming our streets!