Judge hits brakes on 14th Street busway—again

A pair of blue and white M14 buses on 14th Street.The
14th Street busway has been delayed yet again | Shutterstock

The last-minute appeal blocks the busway from launching on
Monday

In a last-minute appeal, a judge on Friday hit the breaks on the
city’s plan to ban private car traffic from a stretch of 14th
Street,
NY1 reports
.

A judge granted the appeal, which was filed in the state
appellate court division, and slammed the the breaks on the pilot
program. The decision forces the city’s Department of
Transportation (DOT) to suspend its plans and likely move to appeal
the sudden about face.

The ruling comes just three days after
a judge lifted a temporary restraining order
on the program and
as DOT crews prepared to launch the 18-month pilot program between
Third and Ninth avenues on Monday. The stalled pilot aims to block
private car through traffic from the busy road to speed up bus
commutes during work on the L train’s Canarsie Tunnel. Pick-ups,
drop-offs, and garage access would still be permitted under the
plan.

The busway was set to launch Monday at 6 a.m. It was
originally planned for July 1.

A coalition of Manhattan block associations represented by
lawyer and 12th Street resident Arthur Schwartz have led the legal
charge against’s the city’s pilot program,
arguing in a New York State Supreme Court lawsuit
that the
busway violates state environmental law because of a lack of
analysis on how blocking cars from 14th Street will impact traffic
on nearby residential side streets. New York State Supreme Court
Justice Eileen Rakoff green-lit the pilot after finding that the
city did in fact study the potential impacts of limiting car
traffic on 14th Street.

Thomas DeVito, Transportation Alternative’s senior director of
advocacy, slammed the continued push to block the busway as “a
bad-faith effort to preserve a cars-first status quo, and frankly,
a waste of time.”

“This tiresome, tedious effort to circumvent the democratic
process delays tangible improvements to the commutes of tens of
thousands of working New Yorkers,” DeVito said in a statement.
“It’s despicable, and we’re not going to accept it.”

Another livid transportation advocate, Danny Pearlstein of the
Riders Alliance, said the lack of mass transit improvements on the
14th Street corridor continues to do “ irreparable harm to tens
of thousands of transit riders.”

“For every day that the 14th Street busway is on hold, M14
rush hour commuters lose two weeks worth of time that they will
never recover,” Pearlstein said in a statement. “Time wasted
stuck behind cars in stalled traffic is time away from family,
friends, work, and New York’s civic life.”

Source: FS – NYC Real Estate
Judge hits brakes on 14th Street busway—again