According to the MTA, the transit agency will run frequent buses on 14th Street to help offset reduced L Train service during nights and weekends while repairs are made in the Canarsie Tunnels below the East River. But sources say that 14th Street will not be reserved exclusively for bus traffic, as was originally planned for the full 15-month L Train shutdown.
Statement of Transportation Alternatives Senior Director of Advocacy Tom DeVito:
“Mayor de Blasio’s new plan on 14th Street could be summarized in one sentence: “City to bus riders: drop dead.”
New York City is in the middle of a multi-faceted transportation crisis, and rolling back bold, innovative street plans like the 14th Street busway -- which would dramatically improve reliability and speed for tens of thousands of daily riders -- is abhorrent.
By changing course now, the mayor is making his priorities clear: he cares about maintaining a status quo bent on preserving convenient access for cars, even at the expense of everyday New Yorkers who could suffer for years from the effects of the newly announced L Train “slowdown.”
The MTA is right to run buses as frequently as every three minutes along 14th Street when L Train service is severely reduced. But these buses will plod along at walking speed if they’re forced to share 14th Street with space-hogging cars. Currently the M14 bus, which runs along 14th Street in mixed traffic, is among the slowest in the whole city, traveling at an average speed of 4 mph.
The MTA is doing its part to keep transit riders moving, but how street space is allocated is up to the City. Mayor de Blasio needs to follow through with the original plan for 14th Street. To do otherwise is a direct attack on bus riders."