What to Know
- NBC New York has learned that NYC has started to look at busways to take over 34th Street and 42nd Street in midtown
- A community board is also set to present a plan that will get cars off West 49th and 50th Streets between Fifth and Sixth Avenues all year
- The proposals come after commuters have expressed delight at how well the busway on 14th Street has been operating
Now that the first example of bus-exclusive streets has been getting rave reviews from those who use it, there’s a chance the program may be expanding to other main Manhattan thoroughfares.
NBC New York has learned that the city has started to look at a similar busway to take over 34th Street and 42nd Street in midtown. A community board is also set to present a plan that will get cars off West 49th and 50th Streets between Fifth and Sixth Avenues for the whole year.
Currently, those stretches of road around Rockefeller Center are closed to cars during the holiday season to accommodate the throngs of crowds that gather for the Rockefeller tree and ice rink. The proposed plan would keep those changes in effect year-round.
The busway on 14th Street, which has been in effect since the beginning of the month, has been getting very positive reviews from riders who use it to commute. Some have taken to social media to express their happiness with the project, and the MTA is on board to extend the idea.
“Just took the M14 instead of the L Amazing. Must do this for 42nd street!” one user wrote on Twitter, to which the transit agency responded: “We agree…”
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who voiced his support for the busway on 14th Street but has yet to actually ride it himself, said he’s aware that the idea is becoming more popular but wants people to pump the brakes just a bit.
“[The busway] went from most horrible thing to ‘let’s do it everywhere’ and I’m like whoa, whoa, whoa,” said de Blasio. “But we are encouraged.”
While those who use public transit seem to be in support of the idea, certainly drivers are less than enthused.
“It makes it very hard for Uber and taxis to go around,” said Sayid Khan, a driver. “You make another street another headache, you know?”