Home Asides MTA looking at 14th St. Peopleway, but NYC DOT holds the key

MTA looking at 14th St. Peopleway, but NYC DOT holds the key

by Benjamin Kabak

My apologies for the silence this week. It’s tough to get back in the swing of regular posting while combating jetlag. There’s certainly a lot to talk about — most notably the AECOM discussion piece regarding the 1 train for Red Hook. I saw Chris Ward’s presentation at NYU earlier this week, and we’ll get to that soon enough. It’s not quite a fully-baked or even half-baked proposal, but it’s certainly sent Red Hook into a tizzy (and likely rightly so).

Meanwhile, we have some slight movement on the plan to turn 14th Street into a car-free Peopleway for buses, bikes and pedestrians during the L train shutdown. As the Daily News reported earlier this week, MTA officials say they will study a car-free 14th Street as part of its overall effort to model the traffic and transit impact of the L train’s looming outage. Results of the study will be released in the spring, Dan Rivoli reported.

This is all well and good, and looking at ways to prioritize transit over private automobiles, especially during the L train shutdown, should be part of the MTA’s general planning approach. But there’s a rub: The ultimate decision to shut 14th St. to cars will rest with NYC DOT, and this agency has not been particularly forthcoming with its plans or aggressive in its actions of late. Of course, we still have 27 months before the L train shutdown begins, but DOT, and not the MTA, will hold the keys to the future of the 14th St. Peopleway. Whether the DOT head is Polly Trottenberg (also currently an MTA Board member) or someone else, that person will be integral in the MTA’s plans to alleviate the impact of the lack of L train.

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12 comments

22 September 15, 2016 - 1:26 pm

I am all for creating as much additional pedestrian/bike/transit space as possible in the city and the 14th street ‘peopleway’ seems like a great place to start. Realistically though, where do all those cars and trucks go? Of course some of the traffic is ‘induced demand’ that will diminish if travelling by car/truck is more difficult, but what about the rest?

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Roxie September 18, 2016 - 10:43 pm

They take side streets near 14th, or they go to another major crosstown road, or they choose not to drive at all. 14th is far enough north that the side streets nearby aren’t interrupted by Washington Square Park, so they should run the length of the island, or at least enough of it to cover most drivers’ needs.

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Andrew September 15, 2016 - 4:42 pm

I like the 14th street bus/people only idea, but what happens to cars trying to go north or south? Will there be streets to cross over 14th? This seems like it’ll mostly defeat the purpose…

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Alon Levy September 15, 2016 - 7:51 pm

I presume all north-south avenues will stay open to cars, just as when an avenue has a street fair, the east-west streets (or at least some of them?) stay open to cars.

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bodegavendetta September 15, 2016 - 7:21 pm

I hope they shut down the entire stretch of 14th street and not just a portion of it. Otherwise, why bother?

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Brooklynite September 15, 2016 - 11:39 pm

Well, to be fair, shutting down half of 14th St will also significantly reduce traffic on the other half, as crosstown traffic chooses other routes.

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Rick October 14, 2016 - 4:02 pm

Still plenty of time before the L train shutdown to turn the G train into Manhattan through the 60th St tunnel. This is one even NYC can do in less than 27 months.

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Cgq October 15, 2016 - 10:03 am

Good luck with building a tunnel for the great train to connect to 60 st tunnel, tunnel boring and interrupting N R and W service. By the way, time that tunnel is constructed with the L service will resume. People use your brain

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Cgq October 15, 2016 - 10:06 am

G train not great train

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Rick October 19, 2016 - 12:09 am

Absolutely no need to disrupt N R or W service. Make the Astoria trains the R and W, the Queens Blvd train the N. Send the N through the 63rd St tunnel to go express down the Bdwy line. Now the 11th St Connector is empty. Turn the G tracks train north of Court Square into the 11th St Connector and, voila, the G is going into Mahattan through the 60th St tunnel.

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Cgq October 15, 2016 - 10:04 am

G train

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Cgq October 15, 2016 - 10:05 am

G train not great train

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