Cars will mostly be banned from 14th Street starting July 1 as the city launches a busway to help speed up traffic on the busy Manhattan thoroughfare, DOT announced Monday.
Private through traffic will be banned between Third and Ninth avenues from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily to accommodate the pilot busway during reconstruction work on the L train’s Canarsie tunnel. Cars will still be able to make pick-ups, drop-offs, and access area garages on the street during the pilot, according to DOT.
In April, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that buses, trucks, and emergency vehicles would be given priority on the stretch of road—the same span that had been pitched for a busway under the original L train shutdown mitigation plan but was thrown up in the air after Gov. Andrew Cuomo suddenly swapped plans to repair the Hurricane Sandy-damaged tunnel. But the city had yet to unveil a launch date or hours of operation for the pilot busway until now.
Transportation advocates lauded the city’s new bus-focused street design as a boon to New Yorkers.
“The 14th Street busway is great news for transit riders and neighborhood residents,” said Danny Pearlstein, the Riders Alliance policy and communications director. “By ensuring fast, reliable transit starting July 1, the busway will provide an excellent alternative to jam-packed L trains and expensive, inefficient car trips.”
To enforce the busway, new cameras on the buses will issue tickets to those violating the street’s new restrictions. But drivers will be given warnings and tickets will not be issued until at least September, according to the DOT.
The busway’s July 1 launch will also be accompanied by the MTA’s new M14 select bus service that will replace the current M14A and M14D routes and nix 16 existing stops—that’s down from 22 after public outcry over the slashed stops. Riders will have to swipe their MetroCards at machines lining the curb before boarding the new select bus service.