New York City officials plan to launch an 18-month experiment to limit car and truck traffic from a six-block stretch of Manhattan's 14th Street, according to Bloomberg.
The traffic reduction will establish a corridor featuring express buses, wide bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly walkways, and will begin in June according to the report.
The extensive modifications were first contemplated ahead of a planned shutdown of an East River subway tunnel linking Brooklyn and Manhattan, which would have affected a train line running along 14th Street. Governor Andrew Cuomo scrapped that repair plan earlier this year when engineers from Columbia and Cornell Universities suggested a cheaper, easier fix, though it will also entail occasional service disruptions. -Bloomberg
Manhattan has been struggling to find ways to ease its notoriously bad congestion. More recently, the state approved a plan to charge drivers a fee for entering the busiest areas of the city.
Drivers will have to pay to enter the heart of Manhattan beginning in 2021.
But other than that, crucial details have yet to be worked out.
The Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, which is part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, will decide how to enforce congestion pricing after hearing from a yet-to-be-formed panel that will consider public comments and the results of a traffic study. -NYT
"We have an opportunity to try something new and really get bus riders moving on one of our busiest streets," said Mayor Bill de Blasio of the traffic reduction corridor. "This is an experiment that, if successful, could provide us another tool to move buses faster and save people valuable time."
Three miles of temporary bike lanes installed last year on 12th and 13th Streets in Greenwich Village will also be made permanent, becoming part of crosstown bicycle thruway parallel with others installed on 26th and 29th Streets and a planned pair along 52nd and 55th Streets in Midtown. Starting later this spring, aside from local businesses and residents, only buses, trucks and emergency vehicles will be able to use 14th Street between 3rd and 9th Avenues as a through route. -Bloomberg
During the 18-month experiment, local cars will still be allowed limited pickups and drop-offs, as well as access to garages. They will be required to turn off the street as soon as possible.