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New Yorkers Want Cameras in Bus Lanes

An overwhelming majority of city residents say surveillance cameras should be used to crack down on drivers invading bus-only lanes, an exclusive Daily News-Marist poll reveals.

Experts say identifying and ticketing drivers who park or drive in bus lanes would be a powerful deterrent, and would enable the MTA to provide speedier trips for millions of riders.

The surveillance strategy, which wouls require approval by the state Legislature, was favored 65% to 35%.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Jay Walder and city Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said bus camera legislation will be their top goal when the Legislature goes back into session.

"We're going to make a push," Walder said.

Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign said The News-Marist poll puts lawmakers on notice where the public stands on the issue.

"Anyone who rides a bus knows how tremendously frustrating it is when some jerk parks their car in the bus lane to pick up their dry cleaning," Russianoff said. "It's one of those experiences very common for New Yorkers, as common for bus riders as it is for subway riders to get on a crowded subway car. It's an everyday occurrence. People are delayed and ticked off."

The telephone survey of 885 city residents was conducted this month by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

The Legislature has approved cameras for red-light enforcement, but has balked at approval for bus lanes.

Upstate Democratic Assemblyman David Gantt, head of the transportation committee, has blocked most camera enforcement bills.

Gantt, who also opposed a ban on texting while driving, has described the proliferation of cameras as an invasion of privacy. He didn't return a call for comment.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2009/10/25/2009-10-25_poll_use_cameras_to_free_up_bus_lane.html#ixzz0V3NAfXW1

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