When the CDTA Runs a Red Light


Given his background as a police officer, one who had been called on many a time to rescue bus drivers from difficult situations (fights, disputes, traffic infractions, etc.) my husband Andy knows and notices things that someone largely unconcerned with the laws (me) would ignore. Such as the way in which the CDTA buses in downtown Albany routinely refuse to pull into their bus stops, even if they are free and clear of cars. (The ‘No Parking’ signs and the tickets instantly issued to those cars that are in the way usually ensure that there is no one there.) Yet that doesn’t prevent the buses from stopping in the middle of the street instead of pulling over.

This creates a back-up of traffic, particularly at rush hour times, that goes against the very purpose of having a bus-stop. I don’t know whether it’s the hurry to meet schedule demands (as Andy believes), or laziness in not wanting to have to re-enter traffic, but they repeatedly stop in the middle of the street instead of pulling over to let their passengers on and off. That’s not the point of this rant, however. Something much more illegal went down on this morning of March 31, 2016 at about 7:30 AM.

We were pulling up to the intersection of Broadway and Orange, about to take a left onto Orange, and we had a Green light and a green arrow. Andy was in the middle of making the turn when a CDTA Supervisor’s car, License plate AJ9129, sped through a red light, and almost ran right into my passenger side. Andy came to an abrupt stop so as to avoid the collision, and at the last minute the driver stopped so he wouldn’t hit us. Now, I realize you can turn right on red, however you have to stop first, and you do not have the right of way when the oncoming traffic is turning in front of you because they have a green arrow to go. The driver then gave us a dirty look as if we were to blame for his speeding through a red light and almost hitting us. That’s the part that bothered me most.

Luckily, I got dropped off for work a few feet later and watched as the CDTA Supervisor coasted into the bus lot, after which I wrote down the license plate number in the event that CDTA tried to snow us with not being able to identify which vehicle had almost caused an accident. Seeing as how they’ve never responded to any of my Tweets about such antics, or any of Andy’s videos documenting the bus-stop issue, I’m not holding my breath for a response. I just want to start my own record of what they do, as it will no doubt happen again.

While I’m obviously disgruntled with the dangerous actions of the CDTA supervisor that blew through a red light and almost hit us (hey, I was the passenger who would have gotten the brunt of the smash) I’m more dismayed by the operation of the CDTA. Having lived in Albany for the past sixteen years, and having worked downtown for the last ten, I’ve had the privilege of seeing our city grow and evolve, including the infrastructure and public transport that form the heart of any city. When things like this happen, and more importantly when they go unaddressed, it’s a detriment to everyone.

(PS – This is nothing compared to what I hear from people who actually ride the buses.)

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