Tuesday, August 6, 2019

14th Street busway free to roll on, judge says

The city may now turn parts of 14th Street into a busway with vehicle restrictions after a judge today lifted a restraining order on the redesign, according to published reports.

In late June, a coalition of Manhattan landowners used state environmental law tried to permanently stop the busway plans with a lawsuit.

West Village resident Arthur Schwartz, arguing on behalf of several block associations, claimed that the Department of Transportation’s proposed busway violated state environmental law because the agency didn’t conduct a serious assessment of the impact that banning cars from 14th Street would have on neighboring residential streets. The suit also demanded the removal of the bike lanes on 12th Street and 13th Street.

As Gothamist reported today, New York State Supreme Court Judge Eileen Rakower gave the city the OK to move forward. (And the bike lanes are staying put.)

According to Rakower, the Department of Transportation "went to great lengths to describe the consideration that went into the analysis, considering pedestrian deaths, dangerous intersections and not just the speed of the bus that is going to traverse 14th Street."

Reaction via Streetsblog:

“Today’s court decision is a huge victory for New York’s two million daily bus riders,” said Danny Pearlstein, policy and communications director for the Riders Alliance. “The 14th Street busway will provide faster and more reliable bus trips, saving precious time for tens of thousands of people who badly need it. The judge’s ruling also sets the stage for future victories and better bus service citywide.”

Analysis from Transportation Alternatives and Riders Alliance had found that rush-hour M14 bus riders spent a combined 8,654 additional hours commuting over the last month than would have been the case under the city’s plan to transform 14th Street into a busway, as amNY reported.

The busway aims to help move people during the L-train slowdown. Private through-traffic will be banned between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. on 14th Street between Third Avenue and Ninth Avenue. Buses, trucks and emergency vehicles will be given priority in the center lanes between Third Avenue and Ninth Avenue. Cars will be allowed to make pickups and drop-offs as well as access local garages.

No word yet when the DOT will launch the busway.


Anonymous said...

But still the sidewalk in front of the old PC Richards is closed, despite the promise to keep it open during construction, makes no sense.

noble neolani said...

Regardless of the L train partial shutdown there are many people due to age or physical ability limitations who just can't get to where they need to go without buses. Nobody take a MTA bus for sight seeing and the buses on 14th Street were (are) simply the slowest in town.

Anonymous said...

How do they intend to enforce "no though traffic" for private vehicles, given that it says cars will be allowed to make pickups and dropoffs and access garages? Are they going to have a "hallway monitor" at every corner of 14th St. to make sure nobody drives more than one block?

This whole thing reveals the insanity of so-called "planning" in NYC.

There is no real planning; there's just the "claim" that someone planned something.

And the city can move the 12th & 13th St. bike lanes where they belong, which is on 14th St.

Jill W. said...

I don't get the logic of this not going further east past 3rd Ave. This is where the construction causes 14th to be so narrow, and this is the area that is actually under-served by trains.

hywel dda said...

Anonymous at 5:24:
This was her office's reply when asked directly about the sidewalk (and roadway) blockage at PC Richards:
"Our understanding is that the construction staging was being handled last year based on the L Train plans at the time based on specs that MTA and DOT requested (with expectations of a very different motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic flow). DOT, MTA and DOB have since accommodated this current staging as the pedestrian traffic is no longer the L-Train Shutdown emergency scenario. Additionally, no traffic lane is being blocked as DOT is retaining the adjoining street lane as non-vehicular. The project managers have set up a hotline for area residents to call with concerns: (810) 279-0213 or info@14thatirving.com and can explain the modifications to staging directly."

In easier language - the deal was made under the original L-Train plan. New plan = deal is dead. And obviously no NEW deal was even attempted.

Anonymous said...

It is a lie about the L train they had plans to keep sidewalk open. Shame, elderly, people in wheel chairs, the blind, all have to navigate a crowded maze, in the street, while thousands of passersby every day are inconvenienced so the construction company saves money and has an easier time.
When the bus stops there all east bound traffic is stopped and sometimes overflows into the north side of 14th.

Anonymous said...

Vehicles will be instructed through signage to make the first available right turn off of the corridor during the restriction hours. If they don't they'll be pulled over and ticketed.

Anonymous said...

@1:34pm: Oh yeah, b/c that'll work...