Staten Island’s “Bus Only” lanes have made driving on our major roads both dangerous and confusing. Since the beginning of their installation, both drivers and police officers do not fully understand what those lanes and their signage meant. At the beginning, drivers were ticketed because they entered the bus lanes too early before making their turn. And it seemed that police officers were not fully briefed on the new lanes either.
The signs over the bus lanes basically say, with effective times depending on the direction, “Buses Only” and in much smaller print, “Right Turns.” These bus lanes are known as “curbside bus lanes.” The hours the bus lanes are “bus only” depend on the direction of rush hour traffic. At all other times, the lanes return to parking or stopping, as normal traffic regulations allow.
During the restricted hours, you may enter the bus lane to make the next available right turn. Look, signal, then enter the bus lane toward the end of the block you’re turning from. If you have noticed, the bus lanes near the corner change from solid white line into a broken white line. It is at this point that the City of New York wants you to fully enter the right-most lane and then make the turn.
I have seen too many drivers just make the turn from the middle lane, turning across the right lane. The danger is that if a driver is obeying the bus lane rules and enters the bus lane when permitted, a serious car accident occurs. So please, stop turning from the middle lane!!