Wednesday, April 24, 2019


DOT will pilot a new Transit/Truck Priority treatment along 14th Street and also retain upgrades already made to bike-lane network in Brooklyn and Manhattan

  Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city will try an experimental new transit improvement on 14th Street, and also make permanent the bike lane improvements made on Grand Street in Brooklyn and 12th /13th Streets in Manhattan. On 14th Street, the City will pilot Transit/Truck Priority lanes, disallowing through traffic from 3rd Avenue to 9th Avenue, to coincide with the launch of the M14 SBS service in June. This pilot is expected to last 18 months.

“We have an opportunity to try something new and really get bus riders moving on one of our busiest streets,” said Mayor de Blasio. “As we continue to address congestion across New York City, this is an experiment that, if successful, could provide us another tool to move buses faster and save people valuable time for the things that matter.”

The changes announced today are:

14th Street Transit/Truck Priority (TTP) – The MTA and DOT announced earlier this year that M14 SBS would be coming to the 14th Street corridor in 2019; the corridor carries one of the most intensely used bus routes in the city, with the M14A/D carrying 27,000 daily riders and providing a critical connection from the Lower East Side to Union Square and the Meatpacking District. 

To make sure these buses move quickly and reliably, DOT studied international best practice for busy transit corridors, including along King Street in downtown Toronto, where in 2017, new regulations that prioritized transit and pedestrian uses were piloted along a major streetcar route.  The Toronto changes, popular with transit riders, dramatically reduced travel times and increased safety along the corridor – and have been since made permanent.

Working with MTA, DOT will pilot a similar arrangement on 14th Street.  Starting later this spring, the new TTP changes will include:
·         Only buses, trucks and emergency vehicles will be able to use 14th Street between 3rd and 9th Avenues as a through route.
·         Local traffic will still be permitted to make pickups and drop-offs along the corridor and access garages, but cars will always need to turn right at the next possible location. Left turns will not be allowed.
·         New curbside regulations will prioritize short-term loading and passenger pickup activity.
·         Intersections along 14th Street will be designed with new turn lanes where appropriate to ensure that bus lanes will remain clear. Intersections will also receive Vision Zero treatments, including painted curb extensions that enhance pedestrian safety.

The new design builds on proposals made during the original L train planning process, but also incorporates key feedback from local residents to ensure that curb access remained available, and that through truck traffic not be diverted to local streets.

Construction will begin this spring for completion in time for the launch of the M14 SBS in June. During that time, DOT will conduct significant outreach to stakeholders, including the five different community boards served by 14th Street. This will be accompanied by educational campaigns for the people who use 14th Street.

The MTA has announced that in the period this spring prior to the implementation of Select Bus Service, L riders will benefit from increased M14 service on nights and weekends.

DOT expects to enforce the new TTP lanes through automated cameras along 14th Street.  The agency will publicly announce the commencement of camera enforcement, which will not begin until at least 60 days after the new SBS route is established.

Grand Street Protected Bike Lane – The City will pursue making the bike lanes along the Grand Street corridor in Brooklyn permanent. Between Waterbury Street and Vandervoort Avenue, DOT will modify the protected bike lanes to help accommodate the needs of industrial businesses along this section of the corridor. 

The project will also include other adjustments made in response to community and business feedback -- including additional metered parking and new loading zones around the corners from Grand Street.

12th Street/13th Street Protected Bike Lanes – DOT will also pursue permanently retaining bike lanes it had installed in 2018 along 12th and 13th Streets in the Village.  Since being painted last fall, cyclist usage of the nearly three miles of new protected lanes over the winter has outpaced bike counts from last summer.  The new lanes have become a part of the agency’s crosstown protected bicycle lane strategy -- along with recently installed lanes on 26th and 29th and a planned pair along 52nd and 55th Streets in Midtown.  In response to community concerns, more delineators and loading zones will be added.

Changes to University Place and Union Square West -- DOT will also pursue the retention of pedestrian-friendly changes it has made to roadway spaces along both University Place (between West 13th and 14th Streets) and Union Square West (between West 14th and 15th Streets and between West 16th and 17th Streets).  On University Place, a “shared-street” arrangement will be fully implemented, allowing eastbound vehicles on 14th Street to turn right and proceed slowly through that block.  The blocks of Union Square West would remain closed to general traffic.  Since their installation began in 2018, these spaces have been heavily used by pedestrians and cyclists.

“DOT is excited to implement the new Transit and Truck Priority pilot on 14th Street to provide bus riders on the future M14 SBS with faster, more reliable service,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.  “We thank the Mayor for his leadership and commitment to improving bus service throughout the City.  Combined with DOT’s plans to make the L Train-related cycling and pedestrian infrastructure improvements in Manhattan and Brooklyn permanent, the City is proud to offer New Yorkers safer and greener transportation options.”

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