DOT plans to roll out 14th Street ‘busway’ this week after judges give the stalled project a green light

Posted On Mon, September 30, 2019 By

Posted On Mon, September 30, 2019 By In Policy, Transportation

Image via Oran ViriyincyFlickr

It looks like the 14th Street busway will finally roll out this week following a court ruling on Friday. As Streetsblog reported, a panel of judges from New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division voted 3-2 to overturn an August 9th ruling that blocked the city from starting the pilot program. Not long after Friday’s order was handed down, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Transportation confirmed plans to begin implementing the busway on Thursday, October 3.

“New Yorkers who ride the M14 are about to see their bus line transformed from one of the city’s slowest, into one of the fastest, practically overnight,” Transportation Alternatives’ Director of Advocacy Tom DeVito said in a statement. “This should bring an end to the legal shenanigans that have been holding up these improvements for months on end.”

The long-stalled busway was originally pitched as a way of supplementing the L train during its planned shutdown. After the shutdown was called off, the city went forward with its plans for the busway, but a lawsuit from area residents who claimed the city had failed to conduct an environmental review for the work immediately challenged the project. In August, 6sqft reported that the pilot program had been given a green light, but just a few days after a new lawsuit was filed, arguing that eliminating bus stops along the M14 route created unfair burdens for disabled individuals. On August 9, a judge granted a last-minute appeal and blocked the project again.

During the 18-month pilot program set to begin this week, 14th Street will have four lanes—two in each direction—with the center lanes dedicated to bus and truck traffic and curbside lanes reserved for loading and local pick-ups and drop-offs. Private through-traffic will be banned on the block between Third and Ninth Avenues between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. every day.

“With over 27,000 trips taken on the M14 Select Bus Service each day, the new busway will help create more reliable commutes with shorter travel times,” DOT commissioner Polly Trottenberg said in a statement. “DOT and New York City Transit will continue to work with the NYPD, elected officials, local merchants, neighborhood residents, drivers and bus riders along 14th Street to monitor and evaluate the new service and make adjustments as needed.”

[Via Streetsblog]

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