CHELSEA — A new “no left turn” sign at a busy intersection has forced double-decker sightseeing buses onto narrower residential streets nearby, local officials said.
Since the city’s Department of Transportation installed a sign prohibiting left turns onto Eighth Avenue from West 23rd Street, sightseeing buses have been using blocks like West 24th, 26th and 28th streets to travel from 10th Avenue to Eighth Avenue, Community Board 4 Transportation Committee member Walter Mankoff said last week.
The change happened as part of the rollout of M23 Select Bus Service along West 23rd Street, which launched on Nov. 6, he and the Department of Transportation said.
“They’re going through residential streets with these double-decker buses, and it’s not just one an hour — they’re like bumper-to-bumper going through the neighborhood,” Mankoff said at a Wednesday meeting. “I consider that a very improper, dangerous approach.”
The onslaught of buses on those streets is an “unintended consequence” of the traffic change, committee co-chair Christine Berthet added.
The DOT confirmed the sign was put in place "to enhance safety and traffic flow" following the launch of Select Bus Service, but the agency did not respond to a request to address the board's issues.
Mankoff said after the meeting that the most commonly spotted buses were from Big Bus Tours, which didn't immediately return a request for comment Monday.
The committee plans to write a letter to the department raising their concerns about the buses.