There's a movement afoot to restrict 14th Street between Irving Place and Sixth Avenue in both directions to buses, bikes and pedestrians during the upcoming L train service shutdown... and perhaps permanently.
Meanwhile, Transportation Alternatives has launched an initiative called "14th Street Peopleway: A New Way to Get Across Manhattan." There's a launch rally for this tomorrow evening at 6:30 in Union Square South. (Find more details here.)
Here's more from TA:
The upcoming shutdown of the L train will remove a vital link from the city’s transportation network. This will make it much more difficult for people who rely on transit to get across town in Manhattan as well as getting to and from Brooklyn. The hundreds of thousands of people that count on the L train will be forced to find other options.
While the repairs are unavoidable, there is much we can do to minimize the inconvenience for everyone. By dedicating 14th St to public transit, walking, and biking, we can maximize the usefulness of our limited street space and increase safety along this very busy corridor.
Here's a link to a petition to make 14th Street vehicle free.
Thanks to car-free dreamer Chris Castiglione for the info!