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Car Ban Seeks to Recast 14th Street as Pedestrian Haven

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State senator pushes for a permanent Union Square private vehicle ban

When State Senator Brad Hoylman proposed the idea of making 14th Street permanently car-free at a recent public meeting, he was met with a rally of support. The crowd applauded at the idea of 14th Street being exclusive to bikes, buses, and pedestrian traffic. DNAinfo previously reported a think tank request to block private vehicle traffic while L train service is shut down, however, Hoylman thinks that the Square should remain that way for good. Apparently, people are sharing his sentiments.

If implemented, trucks would only be able to make deliveries overnight or via other avenues nearby. All other traffic would flow east of Irving Place and west of Sixth Avenue, each being only one-way.

Repairs to the tunnel that connects Brooklyn and Manhattan are much needed to correct damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The repair work is non-negotiable and MTA says that delaying it beyond 2019 would compromise the safety of the tunnel.

The 14th Street car ban is one of two proposed workarounds for the L train reconstruction project. The first plan would cut service completely between Eighth Avenue and Bedford Avenue for 18 months. The alternative would be to close one tube of the Canarsie Tunnel at a time but this method would span the project over the course of three years. Initial suggestions of nights and weekends work and building a second tunnel were ruled out for safety and cost-related reasons, respectively.

Work along the L line is expected to begin early 2019.