Work on two downtown bus lanes is scheduled to begin Sunday evening, according to transportation officials.
As part of the $135 million BaltimoreLink transit improvement program, the $900,000 project will paint a section of already dedicated bus lanes along portions of Lombard and Pratt Streets a bright red, said Kathy Dominick, a transportation department spokeswoman.
The bus lanes were originally installed in December 2009, but often used as travel lanes by drivers due to the lack of obvious markings, Dominick said. The color should deter motorists from using the lane for travel, which has been effective in other cities, Dominick said.
The work will include cleaning several years of built up dirt off the lane and painting the lane from Market Place to Howard Street along Lombard and from Howard Street to Constellation Way along Pratt.
After the work is complete, drivers will be required to not use the bus lane except when making right turns. Failure to obey could result in fines and citations, Dominick said.
The new "red lanes" will still be able to be used by bicyclists, Dominick said.
To minimize traffic disruption, work will be done from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, she said. With fair weather, officials hope to have the work completed by the end of October.
Certain bus stops will be temporarily shut down where work is taking place. Commuters should look out for signage and check online to plan accordingly for potential changes.