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Get Out The Way

By Joanna Miller in News on Mar 13, 2006 7:01PM

brownlinebus.jpgThe CTA is planning to renew its efforts to crack down on drivers who block bus-only lanes and bus stops. Pedestrians, CTA riders and drivers alike know too well the havoc one lonely car can cause when it is parked at a bus stop. Example: A cab stops to pick up a fare who can’t move his/her lazy ass down the block away from the bus stop. The bus can’t move into the stop and is forced to block an intersection behind it, snarling traffic and making crossing the street an even-more difficult and dangerous task for those of us on foot. If you’re sitting on the bus or waiting to get on it, this equally frustrating.

Last year, the CTA introduced the program, which uses on-bus cameras and CTA managers to issue tickets to offending drivers. The program came to a halt thanks to broken cameras and a lack of trained employees, issuing only 647 tickets. Police and traffic aides, on the other hand, issued 87,877 tickets for the same offense last year. The CTA says it is “reconfiguring” the program and expects to have it up and running again this summer.

As a pedestrian and CTA rider who also drives sometimes, Chicagoist wonders how much reconfiguring it will take to make this program efficient and effective. How about this: Instead of fines, any driver caught blocking a bus lane must spend every Saturday for a month riding buses up and down Michigan Ave. and giving directions to tourists? That’ll teach ‘em.

Brown line bus via Zesmerelda