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14th Street busway launches: Major traffic changes to stretch of Manhattan street

Posted at 5:29 AM, Oct 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-03 11:49:35-04

MANHATTAN — Starting Thursday morning, an extended stretch of 14th Street in Manhattan will become a "busway," meaning some major traffic changes for anyone who's not driving an MTA bus.

The new pilot program, which has been fought in court for months, means most of 14th Street will be closed to traffic.

No passenger cars will be allowed on 14th Street, between Third Avenue and Ninth Avenue, seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day.

The stretch will only be open to MTA buses, city garbage trucks and emergency vehicles. Only personal vehicles and cabs making drop-offs and pick-ups will be allowed, and then they must immediately turn off 14th Street.

Thursday's plan implementation will come after months of protests, as well as a temporary restraining order against the change, which was supposed to start last summer.

Last Friday, however, a majority of judges on an appeals panel ruled that the plan could go ahead while it's being fought in court.

Transportation Alternatives has long lobbied for the 14th Street vehicle restriction in order to create a busway, as the organization calls it, which, it argues, would move people faster across town, on the M14 select bus, than they do currently.

The M14 has regularly clocked in as the slowest bus in the city, according to the advocacy group, and the Dept. of Transportation.