NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Cars were supposed to be banned along the majority of 14th Street in Manhattan starting Monday.
But after a judge put the brakes on the plan Friday, some are asking what’s next?
Some drivers and commuters were surprised to learn 14th Street was still open to cars to begin the work week, after a ban on personal vehicles was supposed to start but was halted once again.
“That’s really good because I live right there in that building right behind you, and for people who actually live on the street to say that you can’t drive a car seems particularly unfair,” Greenwich Village resident Chris Kohn told CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge.
“As a neighborhood resident who’s lived here for 25 years I’m ecstatic that a judge gave us some time to show the DOT and the mayor and the MTA the fact that this plan is causing dangerous situations,” added Elissa Stein of the 14th Street Coalition.
Late Friday afternoon, a judge blocked the city’s plan to prioritize buses, trucks and emergency vehicles along 14th Street between Third and Ninth avenues by restricting cars, taxis and ride shares.
It was a huge disappointment for transit advocates.
“This is a terrible decision. The M14 bus is the slowest bus routes in the city,” said Marco Conner of Transportation Alternatives.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Transportation said they will continue to fight for a bus-focused thoroughfare along 14th Street.
But City Council Speaker Corey Johnson wants them to drop it, saying a car ban would impact businesses and nearby residents.
“It’s not about car owners at all. It’s about the fact that I am concerned that some of the side streets are going to turn into parking lots,” Johnson said during an interview on WNYC Radio.
The car ban plan was originally conceived to address the “L” train shutdown, to make buses more reliable for displaced commuters.
“We didn’t actually believe it was necessary when the L train was going to be shut down, but it’s absolutely unnecessary now with the L train is not being shut down,” said attorney Arthur Schwartz, who represents local block associations.
Lawyers said it will likely be weeks or months until a final decision is made, so for now cars on 14th can keep on rolling as usual.
The city has one week to appeal the court’s decision to hold off on the street closure.