Council Speaker Corey Johnson said in Oct. that NYC should consider banning cars on major thoroughfares like 34th and 42nd Streets, due to the success of the 14th Street busway. Johnson admitted he was wrong to be skeptical about the program, thinking it would create “parking lots” on nearby blocks.
Average bus speeds on 14th St. are up about 30% since officials banned cars from most of the busy crosstown Manhattan corridor. The new restrictions that began Oct. 3 cut the time of a bus ride along 14th St. between Third and Eighth Aves. to 10.6 minutes, down from 15.1 minutes for a similar trip in September 2018, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
Ridership also increased along the M14A and M14D select bus routes – which were among the city’s slowest – serving 31,031 riders a day from Oct. 2 through Oct. 11, up from a daily average of around 30,195 in September, MTA data shows.
Johnson hopes the busway will “be a model for other places in New York City because… we need to move people around quickly and give people options so they don’t have to use their private automobiles.”
Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg agreed the traffic impact from the 14th Street car ban has been better than predicted, opening the door for similar bans elsewhere in the city. Mayor de Blasio said he wants to see the results of the pilot program before he considers similar restrictions on other cross streets.