Private Traffic To Be Banned on 14th Street During L Train Slowdown

By WCBS Newsradio 880

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The L train slowdown is leading to some changes aboveground.

The slowdown starts this Friday underground but you won't see any changes up above until June, which is when the Department of Transportation will roll out a re-design of vehicle traffic lanes on 14th Street meant to speed up bus service during the Canarsie Tunnel repairs.

Regular car traffic will no longer be allowed on 14th Street between Third and Ninth Avenues.

"You're going to have red bus only lanes, we are also going to allow into those lanes thru-truck traffic and local pick-ups and drop-offs," DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said.

Trottenberg says if you are picking up or dropping off, you can be on the street for a half hour and when you leave, you have to take the first legal right turn. Those accessing parking garages will also be let through.

Nick Sifuentes of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign says if you build it, they will come. "It" in this case is the new M14 select bus service, which will get rid of 17 stops and is set to debut in June 

"If we say 'Hey, here's a great bus, it runs really quickly, it's gonna get you there just as fast as the L train would've and you're above ground the whole time,' I think a lot of people would go for that," Sifuentes said.

The new lanes will be in effect every day, possibly from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.