Driving and Parking on First and Second Avenues

First and Second Avenues in Manhattan got a make-over this summer for the launch of Select Bus Service (SBS) for the M15 bus line, adding bus-only lanes from Houston to 125th Street on both avenues. DOT also added 6 miles of new or upgraded bike lanes to these avenues, including floating parking-protected bike lanes with pedestrian crossing islands.

Bus Lanes: Rules and Enforcement

Drivers must stay out of an active bus lane except to:

  • Turn right at the next corner or
  • quickly drop off or pick up passengers

On First and Second Avenues, offset bus lanes are active 24/7, and curbside bus lanes are active from 7 am to 10 am and 2 pm to 7 pm on weekdays.

If you drive, park, or stand in a bus lane during hours of operation you face fines ranging from $50 to $250. The City enforces bus lanes with video cameras and increased police enforcement. Learn more about bus lane rules and enforcement.

New Parking and Commercial Loading Regulations

To ensure that the new bus lanes for SBS on First and Second Avenues do not interfere with deliveries, DOT created loading windows during weekdays to provide large amounts of curb space for loading and deliveries.

Curbside Bus Lanes

  • no loading or deliveries 7 to 10 am and 2 to 7 pm on weekdays. Loading and deliveries can be made around the corner or across the street.
  • loading window: commercial vehicle loading allowed 10 am to 2 pm on weekdays unless otherwise posted
  • parking allowed weeknights 7 pm to 7 am and all weekend

Offset bus lanes

  • in effect at all times
  • located next to the curb lane, allowing for parking and deliveries at the curb.

Download a map of the curbside and offset bus lanes on First and Second Avenues (pdf)

Left Turn Bans on 14th, 23rd, and 34th Streets

In order to improve the flow of traffic and safety on First and Second Avenues, DOT eliminated the dedicated left turn phase at four critical intersections. As a result, left turns have been banned at the following intersections:

from Westbound 34th Street to Southbound Second Avenue

from Eastbound 34th Street to Northbound First Avenue

from Eastbound 23rd Street to Northbound First Avenue

from Westbound 14th Street to Southbound Second Avenue

This ban comes with improved safety benefits: In DOT's recent Pedestrian Safety Study we found that three times as many pedestrians were killed or seriously injured in left turn crashes than right turn crashes.

DOT is the process of adding informational signs to warn drivers of the new turn restrictions, so they can make better informed decisions. As with all changes that DOT makes to New York's streets, we will continue to monitor these turn restrictions and make modifications where necessary.

Floating Parking and Protected Bike Lane Safety

As part of the street design on First and Second Avenues for SBS, DOT added six miles of new or upgraded bike lanes, including parking protected bike lanes with pedestrian crossing islands. Throughout New York City, floating parking lanes have improved safety for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as reduced reckless driving and illegal speeding.

When driving near a protected bike lane

  1. Yield to cyclists when turning. Some intersections are designed with "mixing-zones," where turning cars must yield to cyclists.
  2. Park in the floating parking lane. Use spaces in this lane just as you would any other parking space. Cars may not park or drive in the bike path.
  3. Look for cyclists when you cross the bike path.

The Benefits of Bus Lanes

DOT and MTA New York City Transit are working together to bring SBS to First and Second Avenues, one of the slowest bus corridors in the city. The new SBS will benefit 54,000 daily riders of the M15 bus line, which currently takes 90 minutes to travel 8.5 miles between 125th Street and South Ferry - longer than a train ride from New York to Philadelphia. The new SBS on the M15 will bring faster and more reliable service by adding bus-only lanes, off-board fare payment and low floor buses with three doors. The new service is expected to improve overall travel time by 20 percent. Learn more about SBS on First and Second Avenues