This summer some changes have been made, mainly through the month of august, to effect the streets and the way we're allowed to drive on them permanently.
The most important changes are the new no left turn signs. Traffic adjustments are sort of a sign of the times, they follow trends, and the current trend seems to be 24 hour regulations. If a new no turning sign is added to an intersection, there is a good chance the rule is in effect at all times, on all days. This is also true with what I'm guessing is an experiment on the new first avenue bus lane as well, nobody is legally allowed to drive in that bus lane ever. There are dotted lines at the intersections to make it clear when traffic is allowed to occupy the bus lane as a turning lane.
No left turns:
- First a new no left turn sign has been placed at 96th Street and Second Avenue. So you can no longer come off the FDR Drive to go back downtown at Second Avenue. You can still make the left at Lexington Avenue. Or jump back to 91st Street via the York Avenue road.
- More recently no left turning signs have been placed at 34th street at first avenue, and at 23rd street and first avenue. Tis' a sad, sad situation. I got caught with a customer who hailed me at 34th between 3rd and 2nd ave wanting to go to 1st ave and 44th. I told him of the sign in advance, and we both figured it'd be fastest to take the FDR north to 42nd, OOPS! can't do that, as the FDR enters below the 42nd street entrance ramp, so I turned of the meter at about 5.30 and exited at 61st street and came back down 2nd avenue. The only way around this situation is to make the left at the FDR service entrance exit, only to make the next left at 35th street, and then the right at first ave. don't take the FDR.
- With the 23rd street restriction it is best to take 22nd street to first Avenue.
- Park Avenue has also added heavier restrictions. At 23rd Street I am not sure weather it is only on the north bound side, or on both, but there is a new no left and no u-turns sign in effect at all times, replacing the old sign that was only in effect mon-fri 8am to 8pm. Likewise both 18th street and 19th street have no left turn signs now, in effect always. I don't think 20th street has a restriction.
Traffic pattern adjustment:
- The Park Avenue signs also may be a byproduct of an anticipation of heavier traffic, as they have turned 17th street at Union Square into a west bound only street. Thus, you must make the left turn at 18th street from Broadway and then the right at Park Avenue South in order to continue in the direction of Broadway south of 14th. this actually is a better light sequence. They've added small trivial turning lanes for both lefts and rights at 18th and park, again in anticipation. I hope they subtracted some parking spaces. Broadway is also still undergoing some lane repainting and thick turning lanes and bicycle lanes from 23rd down to the park. Broadway is only one lane. The message is clear, they don't want traffic using Broadway as a through street.
- Then There is Whitehall Street. Whitehall street was a street I always enjoyed taking customers down at the bottom of broadway veering left at the Meryl Lynch bull and driving down to Water Street to drop them at that corner where they could cross the street to get to the Staten Island ferry. Now though between Water Street and Pearl Street, Whitehall Street only goes west. Now there is no longer a direct route to take people to the ferry. I am still eagerly anticipating what new changes will come with the new work they are doing to the ferry terminal. I would love to see them add in a taxi stand somewhere convenient for taxi commuters. I'm not gonna hold my breath. A quick way to get a fare down to the F.D.R. drive when you have already picked up on Broadway is to still go down Whitehall Street, making the left on Bridge, and the right on Broad. If it is that super quiet time of day and you are right on the button of every changing light, you could catch all greens to the F.D.R. this is for north bound only of course. if you'r grabbing West Street, you of course know to take Broadway to its terminus and make the right on Battery Place. But if again, the time of day has no traffic at all and they aren't going past even 70th street, and have an address between 6th ave and madison, going up Greenwich, to Trinity, to Church, the 6th Ave really is quite an amazing journey of green lights. But i digress, what's next on the list of new changes?
The M15: 1st Avenue, 2nd Avenue
- You already know about Allen Street, a two way street with a traffic lane subtracted, it's light patterns cut short, and potentially hazardous pots of plants blocking your view of buzzed kids shouting and ready for fisticuffs. First Avenue has added a hardcore bus lane on the right side. As I mentioned at the top, this is in effect at all times. You are only allowed to occupy this lane for turns, although I'd use it to pull over for drop offs, so long as there isn't a bus right behind me. A lot of cabs are using this as a bus lane in the early dawn hours, and deep in the night, trying to get customers. it is infuriating, I guess the best way to be safe is to be next to the lane and ride the line with your wheel so other cars can't get past you, but still the cops might be on your ass.
- Second Avenue has a bus lane too, but it's rules are much more forgiving, it is only in effect during the day, and sadly, there are parking spaces available on the lane at night.
- Bicycle lanes in the style of ninth and eighth Avenues have been added to both 1st and 2nd avenue, so it'll be a bit harder to pull over on the left for fares.
Busses: budget cuts:
- I've been meaning to do this: check the yellow advisory sign and copy the entire list of budget cut bus lines on the bus stop signs on all cross town bus lines. I know that the M8 bus that runs across town on 9th street, and 8th street, in the East Village, and 10th street, and Christopher Street in the West village, is no longer running on weekends. there are other bus lines also that have cut service on weekends. so far, this has had very little effect on my income.