What to Know
- A pilot program that will limit cars on 14th Street was announced Wednesday
- The pilot is expected to last 18 months and will coincide with the launch of the M14 SBS service in June
- The pilot's goal is to ease congestion while getting bus riders moving along one of the city’s busiest streets, according to the city
A pilot program that will limit cars on 14th Street was announced Wednesday, all with the goal of easing congestion while getting bus riders moving along one of the city’s busiest streets.
The city will pilot Transit/Truck Priority (TTP) lanes, banning through traffic from Third Avenue to Ninth Avenue. This pilot, which is expected to last 18 months, will coincide with the launch of the M14 SBS service in June.
“We have an opportunity to try something new and really get bus riders moving on one of our busiest streets,” de Blasio said in a statement. “As we continue to address congestion across New York City, this is an experiment that, if successful, could provide us another tool to move buses faster and save people valuable time for the things that matter.”
The MTA and DOT announced earlier this year that M14 SBS would be coming to 14th Street in 2019. According to the city, one of the most used bus routes in the city utilizes that street: the M14A/D carries 27,000 daily riders from the Lower East Side to Union Square and the Meatpacking District.
In an effort to make these buses travel quickly, DOT studied best practice for busy transit corridors across the world, including along King Street in downtown Toronto.
“The Toronto changes, popular with transit riders, dramatically reduced travel times and increased safety along the corridor – and have been since made permanent,” according to the city.
Working with MTA, DOT decided to pilot a similar arrangement on 14th Street.
Starting later this spring, the new TTP changes will include:
- Only buses, trucks and emergency vehicles will be able to use 14th Street between 3rd and 9th Avenues as a through route;
- Local traffic will still be permitted to make pickups and drop-offs along the corridor and access garages, but cars will always need to turn right at the next possible location since left turns will be prohibited;
- New curbside regulations will prioritize short-term loading and passenger pickup activity;
- Intersections along 14th Street will be designed with new turn lanes to ensure that bus lanes will remain clear. Intersections will also receive Vision Zero pedestrian safety treatments, including painted curb extensions
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Construction will begin this spring for completion in time for the launch of the M14 SBS in June.
The MTA has announced that in the period this spring prior to the implementation of Select Bus Service, L riders will benefit from increased M14 service on nights and weekends.
“When the partial Canarsie Tunnel closures begin this weekend, New Yorkers can rest easier knowing that the City is rising to the challenge by bringing an ambitious new design to 14th Street aimed at zipping bus riders along without having to contend with space-hogging cars," Transportation Alternatives Senior Director of Advocacy Thomas DeVito said in a statement.
The pilot builds on proposals made during the original L train planning process, while incorporating feedback from local residents to ensure that curb access remained available, and that through truck traffic not be diverted to local streets.
Additionally, aside from the 14th Street pilot program, the city will make permanent the bike lane improvements made on Grand Street in Brooklyn and 12th /13th Streets in Manhattan.