Showing posts with label M14D. Show all posts
Showing posts with label M14D. Show all posts

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Prepping Avenue A for a new dedicated bus lane

Photos by Stacie Joy 

The DOT has started putting down the markings for the new dedicated southbound bus lane for the M14A on Avenue A below Fifth Street... 
As previously noted, parking is no longer allowed between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. seven days a week in select corridors on Avenue A and Avenue D. (The bus lanes have already been marked on D.) 
This is one of the transit improvements the city announced as part of the "Better Buses Restart" campaign in May 2021. Per then-Mayor de Blasio's announcement during "Streets Week!" at the time:
Both new and improved bus lanes will serve bus riders citywide, with changes including new red paint and markings, signals improvements, pedestrian safety and clearer signage. 
The city identified the M14A and M14D as a "bus priority" in 2019... when the 14th Street Busway went into effect between Third Avenue and Ninth Avenue. (According to the city, the Busway improved bus travel times by 36%, among other improvements.)

Still, according to the city, speeds on the 14A and 14D are consistently slow throughout the day and early evening. (DOT presentation from June 2021 here.)

There's also a budding sinkhole on Avenue A at Second Street that could swallow a bus that Keanu and Sandra couldn't even save...

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Parking removed on sections of Avenues A and D; curbside bus lanes set for M14 service

Earlier this month, the city removed the parking signs and Muni Meters from along the west side of Avenue A (between Sixth Street to Houston) and sections of Avenue D.

In their place: No Standing signs. Parking is no longer allowed between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. seven days a week in these select corridors ... 
This is one of the transit improvements the city announced as part of the "Better Buses Restart" campaign in May 2021. Per then-Mayor de Blasio's announcement during "Streets Week!" at the time:
Both new and improved bus lanes will serve bus riders citywide, with changes including new red paint and markings, signals improvements, pedestrian safety and clearer signage. 
The city identified the M14A and M14D as a "bus priority" in 2019... when the 14th Street Busway went into effect between Third Avenue and Ninth Avenue. (According to the city, the Busway improved bus travel times by 36%, among other improvements.)

Still, according to the city, speeds on the 14A and 14D are consistently slow throughout the day and early evening. (DOT presentation from June 2021 here.)

Moving forward, the southbound side of Avenue A (from Fifth to Houston) will receive a curbside bus lane; ditto for Avenue D between Second and Seventh going south... and from Houston to Ninth on the north. 

There will also be enhancements for the bus lines below Houston, including new left-turn bays.

No word on when the DOT will mark these bus lanes. (They were originally slated for last summer/fall.)

The "Better Buses Restart" campaign drew praise from transit advocates last year.

"Prioritizing bus riders on the street is a must for New York City's recovery," Ben Fried, comms director for the TransitCenter, said in a statement. "DOT's slate of bus projects will be especially helpful to essential workers and Black and brown New Yorkers, who make most of the bus trips in the city. As traffic returns to city streets, it's extremely important to complete these projects, carve out space for transit to bypass congestion, and ensure millions of New Yorkers can rely on the bus."

Fox 5 last week found an annoyed LES resident who received a $115 ticket on his vehicle after the parking change went into effect along Avenue D. The resident disputed the claim that the DOT left flyers about the changes for residents. 

Thanks to Steven for the photos.

Monday, July 1, 2019

M14 SBS routes debut today; 14th Street busway now on hold



Starting today, the MTA is instituting Select Bus Service along the notoriously sluggish M14A and M14D lines, as we've been reporting.

So moving forward, passengers can enjoy all-door boarding and off-board fare payments. You've likely seen the new self-serve ticket kiosks along the route. The kiosks also provide handy beverage holders...



To also help speed up travel times, the MTA eliminated 16 stops (down from a proposed 22) along the M14A and M14D routes. You can visit this MTA site for the new route map and info on how to pay the fare on SBS routes.

Several stops along the route were also moved as a result of the cuts. For instance, the southbound M14A stop on the lower part of Avenue A is now directly in front of Boulton & Watt (the taxi relief stand relocated around the corner)...



And we've already heard from a few readers who pointed out that this stop might be a tight fit for passengers entering and exiting buses, having to navigate space with pedestrians as well Boulton & Watt sidewalk cafe patrons...



A little further north on Avenue A, the stop on the west side between Fifth Street and Sixth Street...



... is now between Fifth Street and Fourth Street...


[Photo from Saturday]

There wasn't any mention of this posted, and the city promptly ticketed all the vehicles parked here...



Meanwhile, the car-free busway set to debut today on 14th Street between Third Avenue and Ninth Avenue is now on hold.

Per Gothamist:

In a temporary restraining order issued on Friday, New York Supreme Court Justice Eileen Rakower ruled that the Department of Transportation had failed to provide sufficient evidence that the new street design did not warrant an environmental review.

The 18-month pilot program, which had broad support from transit advocates, would have restricted private through traffic in both directions between 3rd and 9th Avenues, with the goal of speeding up the notoriously slow 14th Street buses. Paired with the long-awaited arrival of Select Bus Service in the area, the city estimated that bus speeds would improve by as much as 30 percent for 27,000 daily riders.

Last week, the West Village and Chelsea block associations filed a lawsuit claiming that the vehicle restrictions would cause a nightmare of spillover traffic on side streets.

Arthur Schwartz, a frequent opponent of bus and bike lanes who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the community groups, told Gothamist on Friday that he was "feeling happy for my kids who aren't going to have traffic jams outside their windows every day, and for me. I guess my lungs matter too."

As the Post noted, transit advocates ridiculed Schwartz as an out-of-touch "wealthy property owner" who doesn't "understand the needs of the 27,000-plus people who take 14th Street buses each day."

“This sort of small-minded and self-interested behavior has degraded the public transit system to the sorry state it is in today,” said Transportation Alternatives Advocacy Director Tom Devito.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

[Updated] M14 mystery abounds as SBS ticket vending machines arrive



Perhaps we'll have a little more clarity later today — two days before the L-train slowdown starts — on the status moving forward of a) the dedicated busway originally slated for 14th Street and b) the SBS stops for the M14A and M14D.

Transit watchers expect Mayor de Blasio and the city to disclose its plans for 14th Street today.

===

UPDATED 6 a.m.

Vin Barone at amNewYork has this scoop:

The de Blasio administration will ban private through-traffic on 14th Street between Third and Ninth avenues as part of a new pilot street design to help speed up buses during the L train’s Canarsie tunnel reconstruction, according to a draft release of the plans obtained by amNewYork.

But the changes won’t come until June...

UPDATED noon: Read the city's press release here.

===

City agencies had already taken the first steps to make 14th Street a car-free busway for most of the day. However, with the full L-train shutdown called off by Gov. Cuomo in early January, those plans were put on hold.

In a series of tweets yesterday, one local transit authority made the case for how important buses will be to help people get around in the next 15-18 months...



And seizing on this moment...


Meanwhile, it's still a big mystery what the MTA intends to do with the M14A/D. As previously reported, proposals to eliminate a handful of stops on Avenue A and Avenue D to accommodate express service have been met with opposition from residents and local elected officials.

In a Daily News article published yesterday, CB3 District Manager Susan Stetzger "accused the DOT and MTA of a lack of transparency." As of the paper's deadline, neither agency had informed her of a final plan.

Local City Councilmember Carlina Rivera has suggested an M14 SBS with supplemental local service similar to the M15.

As several EVG readers have noted, the MTA has already been installing SBS ticketing machines along the M14A/D routes with a goal of beginning service by June.


[Photo from April 11 on Avenue C by Shawn Chittle]


[14th Street at 1st Avenue]


[14th Street at Avenue B]

We spoke with several residents who expressed their annoyance that the SBS machines started arriving just two days after the MTA and DOT held a meeting at the 14th Street Y to gather community feedback on the proposed changes to the M14A and M14D bus routes. "I guess they had their minds made up already," said one reader in an email.

For their part, the MTA has this to say about the route:

If you ride an M14 bus, you’ve likely experienced a longer than expected wait at your stop, a longer than expected trip once you’re on your bus, buses that arrive in bunches and off-schedule, or some combination of the three. During the busiest travel times, M14 A/D buses spend about 60% of their trips stopped at bus stops or stopped in traffic. We’ve got a plan to fix this and keep buses moving — we’re partnering with the New York City Department of Transportation to launch Select Bus Service on the M14 A/D.

Select Bus Service (SBS) is a package of improvements designed to target and correct the situations that slow buses down and make service unreliable. Citywide, customers tell us they are more satisfied with their SBS bus than their local or LTD (limited) bus. We’re committed to bringing these improvements to the M14 A/D and the 27,000 customers who use these buses by June 2019.

For further reading:

M14 Select Bus Service, Busway Needed at Start of L Train Reconstruction, Manhattan BP Says (amNY)

• City Drags Feet on Plan to Move Riders on 14th St. During L Train Slowdown (Daily News)

• MTA Says Buses Are The Best Bet on 14th St. During the L Slowdown — But Busway Remains In Flux (Streetsblog)

• Never Stop Stopping: Removing Bus Stops Isn’t Easy — In New York City or Anywhere Else (Streetsblog)

• As L Hell Begins, Some Aren’t On Board With the MTA’s Plan For Buses (Bedford + Bowery)