The de Blasio administration has said it will ban private through-traffic on 14th Street between Third and Ninth avenues as part of a new pilot street design to help speed up buses during the L train’s Canarsie tunnel reconstruction, according to amNewYork. The changes, which were reported in April, won’t be put in place until June, more than a month after the project began.
The new stretch of 14th Street is expected to consist of four lanes, two in each direction. The center lanes will be dedicated to buses and trucks; the outer curbside lanes will be for truck loading and local traffic looking to make pickups, drop-offs or to access garages along the block.
NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) commissioner Polly Trottenberg said the restrictions will likely be in place only part of the day. An original proposal mentioned 5:00am to 10:00pm, Trottenberg said, adding that it’s “something we can very much adjust.”
Private vehicles in these lanes will be required to turn right, off the street, at the next possible opportunity and left turns will be barred. New M14 Select Bus Service will roll out with the street changes in June, along with additional painted pedestrian space at intersections.
The city plans to use automated cameras to enforce the rules of the road. There doesn’t appear to be any space dedicated for parking in the plan.
In the original plan, the city pitched a bus-only corridor along 14th Street for 17 hours a day, but from the outset, the DOT had assured that local pickups and drop-offs would be accommodated.
Advocates have long called for a dedicated busway on 14th Street to help alleviate potentially dangerous overcrowding at stations during the work, which will take place nights and weekends for approximately 15 to 18 months. During the night-and-weekend work, the MTA will run three trains per hour, at 20-minute intervals, between the Bedford Avenue station and through Manhattan. That service schedule translates to an 80% reduction in trains at certain hours.