By Sabina Mollot
In response to community concerns about the planned “busway” to be in effect on 14th Street for the duration of the L train shutdown, the Department of Transportation has committed to making the road off limits to private vehicles for 17 hours a day, not full time. The busway will be bus-only from 5 a.m.-10 p.m., seven days a week, the DOT has proposed.
In addition, a spokesperson for the agency said the modified busway plan will “allow for pick-ups and drop-offs of local residents and visitors on 14th Street while discouraging through traffic.”
The hours proposed for the busway were based on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s service targets and estimated traffic volumes. Proposed HOV hours on the Williamsburg Bridge will also be 5 a.m.-10 p.m.
The Daily News reported on the plan first on Monday, as well as the fact that the agency has scrapped a plan for a two-way bike on 13th Street, which neighbors were staunchly opposed to.
The matter was even part of a lawsuit brought by neighborhood groups in opposition to the L train shutdown. Instead, the DOT is saying it will create two bike paths, one westbound on 13th and an eastbound one on 12th Street, although a spokesperson told Town & Village, this was already being considered as an alternative to the two-way bike path.
Among those calling for the changes now being made was Council Member Carlina Rivera, who, as T&V previously reported, had sent a letter to NYC Transit President Andy Byford earlier this month to request them. (She had hoped to make the busway in operation two fewer hours each day, though; from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. only.)
Rivera said at the time she agreed with transit advocates who said that rush-hour only hours wouldn’t be enough, but that a car-ban was unnecessary overnight when there is significantly lower traffic on weeknights.