As cities add bus and bike lanes, traffic enforcement keeps them clear

Major U.S. cities including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and those in the greater Boston area have announced plans recently to increase more street space to priority lanes for transit buses and bicycles.

A March 2023 study from the Urban Institute found that priority bus lanes could increase access to jobs and reduce costs for the transit agency by enabling buses to move faster. But that’s only if the lanes are kept clear of passenger vehicles, delivery trucks and other lane violators. To do so, cities including LA, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., have turned to automated camera enforcement.

Similar problems can plague dedicated bike lanes, where vehicles may park or illegally drive in lanes set aside for the safety of bicyclists and other micromobility users. Chicago and New York City plan to begin bus and bike lane enforcement this year using bus-mounted and fixed-location cameras.

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