14th Street busway rolls into its next pedestrian-friendly phase

The
14th Street busway. | New York City Department of Transportation

Workers will install seven new platforms to improve bus
boarding

A month in to the city’s 14th Street busway, and the doomsday
predictions of clogged side streets have yet to materialize.
Preliminary
data shows
that car speeds on neighboring streets are
essentially unchanged while buses are whizzing along the
thoroughfare with travel times
down by some 30 percent
.

Now, transportation officials are moving the pilot program into
its next phase, intended to make the thoroughfare even more
pedestrian-friendly, with the installation of new bus boarding
platforms at seven M14 Select Bus Service stops.

As the MTA puts it, “don’t
be misled by their understated gray-plastic-y vibes
”; these
platforms give riders a dedicated space to board buses, making
access from the sidewalk easier and safer. The quick-build
platforms are often made with recycled plastic panels that snap
together like puzzle pieces and bolt into the ground. Cities like
Los Angeles and Pittsburgh are also experimenting with the low-tech
improvement.

Some appear in the form of islands, which can leave room for
cyclists to bike around, while others jut out from sidewalks and
allow buses to stop without departing their lanes. The latter may
not sound like a big deal, but the city’s Department of
Transportation (DOT) says buses can on average take 20 seconds to
more than one minute during peak travel hours to re-enter a lane,
and that time can add up to substantial delays for riders.

On Brooklyn’s Utica Avenue, after temporary bus boarding
platforms successfully weathered the winter, the city decided to
keep them in place beyond the trial period. The platforms were
removed in early 2018 to be replaced with a permanent concrete bus
stop.

Back on 14th Street, each of the seven new bus boarding
platforms will take six days to install. Crews will work on two
platforms at a time from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Buses will bypass those
stops, but work will not be conducted on two consecutive stops so
rider can use the next closet one while work is underway. The
MTA’s NYC Transit will install the bus boarding platforms, and
DOT will inspect and maintain them.

Construction will begin at the westbound M14 SBS bus stop at
Seventh Avenue in the next week, with the westbound stop at Fifth
Avenue planned next. Other platforms will be installed along the
route over the coming months, says DOT.

Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
14th Street busway rolls into its next pedestrian-friendly phase