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City Blunder Leaves Drivers Confused by Lexington Ave. Road Markings

By Shaye Weaver | August 28, 2015 7:32am
 The DOT admitted it made a mistake placing straight arrows where they didn't belong on Lexington Avenue this month.
New Lexington Ave Arrows
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UPPER EAST SIDE — The Department of Transportation mistakenly painted straight arrows in all three traffic lanes along a strip of Lexington Avenue — a blunder that's caused confusion among drivers trying to make legal turns on the street.

DOT spokeswoman Bonny Tsang said the new arrows that appeared recently in the middle of each lane on Lexington Avenue at East 81st Street and between East 83rd and East 91st streets were a mistake made while the agency was working on refurbishing markings on the street.

Tsang would not say exactly when the new arrows were put there.

Roughly two weeks ago, Upper East Side resident Jordan Wouk noticed the road markings where there hadn't been any signage before, he said.

"If anybody had observed the arrows, gosh knows where they’d end up going," Wouk said. "When the DOT puts the markings in and they don’t make sense ... people will then take them less seriously in general."

The arrows typically direct drivers to keep driving straight, which contradicts the ability to make a legal right or left turn at some intersections.

But despite the new signage, most drivers continued to make their turns on Thursday.

"It's confusing because sometimes you have to make the turn and you're scared to get that ticket," said Inder Asingh, who was parked in his black town car just north of 81st Street.

Taxi driver Carols Bernan said he saw out-of-state drivers, including cars with New Jersey and Connecticut plates, edging slowly at some intersections seemingly unsure about turning.

Tsang said the arrows would be removed shortly, but did not provide a timeline or information about how much it cost to install the arrows and how much it would be to remove them.

Whatever the cost, Wouk called the slip-up a waste of money.

"I don’t know how much it costs, but it had to be fairly expensive because the material is made to last. Then there's labor," he noted.

"It appears to be a waste of taxpayer money, whether it's a lot or a little."