NYC Increases Don't Block the Box Enforcement

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City will step up enforcement of an effort to prevent drivers from blocking the box.

By targeting 50 key intersections around the city, the mayor believes it will reduce congestion in busy neighborhoods.

“Blocking the box is one area where focused NYPD enforcement can and will make a big difference to keep traffic moving around hotspots in every borough” Mayor de Blasio said.

Since 2010, vehicle travel times have fallen by 23 percent in Manhattan.  Part of the reason is because of drivers who block the box, or get stuck in intersections and cause a cascading effect on traffic.  It also creates dangerous conditions for pedestrians trying to cross the street.

“We know traffic can be frustrating, but blocking the box just causes gridlock for everybody — bus riders, pedestrians, cyclists and your fellow motorists," Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said.

To better enforce the restrictions, the NYPD is hiring an additional 50 uniformed officers.  The DOT has also installed special markings and signs at intersections where the enforcement is being increased.

“Traffic congestion is exceedingly frustrating, and we each have a role to play. Adhering to the new traffic signage and markers at key intersections will help address these concerns and help keep our city moving and pedestrians safe," Congressman Adriano Espaillat said.

Twenty seven of the intersections that will see stepped up enforcement are in Manhattan, 12 are in Queens and five are in Brooklyn.  An additional five are on Staten Island and there's one intersection in the Bronx that will see increased enforcement.  Many of the intersections are on major routes that lead to crossings, highway on-ramps and commercial centers.

Drivers who block the box are subject to fines of $115 and points on their license, which could lead to the license being suspended.

Photo Credit:  Alice Stockton-Rossini

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