Newly installed Bronx bus lane criticized for eliminating nearly 300 residential parking spaces
A newly installed bus lane in the Bronx is being criticized for eliminating nearly 300 residential parking spots.
The bus lane expands from University Avenue to Kingsbridge Road. It is part of the Department of Transportation’s “Better Buses Action Plan” – an initiative that aims to improve bus speeds in high-ridership areas.
However, some residents along University Avenue say the lane is eliminating close to 300 parking spaces on their street. They say it is already a difficult neighborhood to find parking and it takes around 45 minutes to two hours on average to find a spot for their cars.
"If they're taking it away, give us something else to use -- give us a parking lot or something like that. They're not even doing that, they're not even considering that," said resident Glen Bracey.
Residents also told News 12 they were never notified that the bus lane was being painted on Thursday and their cars were towed without notice.
“They moved my car without my consent. They didn't put posters up saying they were going to be painting the streets. The guy came with a tow truck, they opened up my car and they damaged my door," said Joey Cruz.
"It's a very huge problem. People have to park two, three, four, five blocks away. Their cars are getting broken into and all kinds of things are happening. This is a very, very big problem,” said Elrenia Bailey.
According to the MTA, the plan was introduced at a community board meeting back in 2019. Residents say, however, that they were never notified about the timeline.
"No one told us, no signs were put up -- we didn't know anything," said resident Tamika Bracey.
Residents say they are now concerned for the safety of their vehicles.
"If we can't see our vehicles, we are always then worried about safety, whether it's still intact, or whether we are OK to park, what are we going to find when we go back, and that hinders us ultimately," Bailey said.
The DOT told News 12 in a statement, "Bronx residents deserve faster bus service and safer bike facilities. That's why we're implementing new bus lanes and protected bike lanes along University Avenue. The bus lanes will improve commutes for 55,000 weekday riders on this popular bus priority corridor."
"I feel like they're torturing us right now," Tamika Bracey said.
"It's abuse. I feel like this is a little bit abusive," Cruz said.
The DOT also plans to install a bike lane on the opposite side of the road.
A News 12 crew on the scene on Saturday did not observe any temporary or permanent signage about the bus lane.