NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The city is embarking on a dramatic plan to redesign 14th Street, closing it to through-street traffic during the “L” train repairs, and possibly permanently.
But as CBS2’s Marcia Kramer discovered Wednesday, a lot of the details of the plan still need to be worked out.
It’s not going to be your mother’s 14th Street anymore. From Third to Ninth avenues it will morph into something city officials call a “TTP” — a transit/truck priority. It means private cars can pretty much fuggedaboutit. They’re banned. They can only venture into the area for a block or so to pick up, drop off or park in a garage. If you overstay your welcome, it’ll cost ya.
If there’s a ticket, how much will it cost?
“I think it will depend on what it is. I think violating the bus lane ticket is $115,” Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said.
“If the NYPD issues a moving violation in a bus lane it’s $150,” Deputy Commissioner Eric Beaten added.
Under the plan, which was originally developed to to deal with the L train shutdown, which was canceled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in favor of night and weekend work, the street redesign will consist of four lanes, two in each direction. The center lanes are for buses, trucks and emergency vehicles. The curbside lanes are for trucks loading and local traffic pick-ups, drop-offs and garage access.
Businesses along the corridor fear the loss of parking will kill their sales. Eddie Kent, who sells eyeglasses and hearing aids, fears it will mean the end of his 60-year-old business.
“We want to stay and we want to help New York, so we’re hoping that the city understands the small business concerns,” Kent said.
Elissa Stein of the 14th Street Coalition said side streets will become more congested. She lives on 12th Street, which is now down to one traffic lane because of a bike lane. And when an oil truck stopped to make a delivery on Wednesday cars had no choice but to use to the bike lane.
Stein said the city ignored community concerns.
“I am furious. We are furious. The people in the neighborhood know that the commuters have supplanted the community,” Stein said. “And that the city gave in to bullying.”
Alma Pereira-Singelterry, a retired Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus driver, drove the 14th Street route for years.
“I feel bad for the public, but they need the buses to get going and I think it’s a good thing to have the buses rolling without any traffic in here,” Pereira-Singelterry said.
Trottenberg admitted there is a lot still to be worked out, like what hours the car ban will be in effect. Right now, it’s 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., but that could change.
By the way, City Hall officials told Kramer that if the 14th Street plan is successful it could be coming to a neighborhood near you.