New York City’s 14th Street is being turned into a pedestrian and mass-transit thoroughfare as part of an 18-month experiment to improve cross-town traffic at the northern edge of Lower Manhattan. The ban, which went into effect in early October, prohibits through traffic on 14th Street between 6:00am and 10:00pm – although residents and business owners still have access to the street, and pick-ups and drop-offs are permitted.
The only other vehicles with access will be emergency services and the crosstown M14 bus line, which advocates hope will see dramatic service improvements. It’s currently one of the city’s slowest routes.
Locals worry the ban will simply divert traffic to neighboring roads, resulting in no net gain. The plan was initially held up by a temporary restraining order brought by neighboring residents. A state appellate court panel ruled 3-2 to end that order, paving the way for implementation, even as legal action against it continues.