L train photo via Wiki Commons
6sqft previously reported on the city’s plans to provide alternatives to the L train during the 2019 shutdown for repairs in the Canarsie Tunnel under the East River and the reaction of community groups affected by the planned changes. A coalition of West Side neighborhood groups fearing disruptions from buses, bike lanes and other changes sued the agencies tasked with implementing the L train alternatives. Now the New York Daily News reports that according to court documents, 14th street will become a “busway” for 17 hours each day–among other strategies–to limit car traffic during the shutdown.
Car traffic on 14th Street from Ninth to Third Avenues eastbound and Third to Eighth Avenues westbound will be limited to pick-ups and drop-offs seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. according to details provided by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. In addition, the Department of Transportation and the MTA will be implementing two one-way bike paths on 12th and 13th Streets instead of the previously-planned single two-way path on 13th Street. According to the DOT, the newer design would be better able to handle a higher volume of cyclists and make pick ups and drop-offs on the street’s south curbs easier.
The decision on the 14th Street busway and bike lanes addresses the needs of Manhattan drivers hoping for vehicle access on 14th Street as well as Brooklyn commuters who have been asking to have the street limited to buses 24-7. Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said, “We’re solving, hopefully, the local mobility and access challenge while discouraging through traffic on 14th Street.”
The new details have been approved by transit advocacy group Riders Alliance; spokesman Danny Pearlstein said, “With shuttle buses prioritized on 14th Street and the Williamsburg Bridge between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m., the MTA can provide a robust replacement for the crowded L train morning, noon, and night alike. L riders will have transit they can rely on. And residents along the L can count on riders to use transit rather than cause congestion and pollution by taking cars, taxis and for-hire vehicles.”
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