For the next two years, New York will be preparing to shut down the L train, essentially breaking off mass transit between parts of Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Canarsie Brooklyn and Manhattan. In order to keep things moving as usual, and not force an entire population onto other lines, NYC's Metropolitcan Transit Authority is working hard to implement new solutions that will make the shutdown less painful.
In an article for Wired, Aarian Marshall looks at the different proposals on the table, including banning cars from Manhattan's 14th street for buses, cycles and pedestrians.
If Transportation Alternatives gets its way, the 14th Street PeopleWay will have dedicated bus lanes, two-way protected bike lanes, and wider sidewalks. The group’s rough calculations show the reconfigured street could move twice the amount of people it currently does (assuming cars carry 1.4 riders on average). It hasn’t yet drummed up a cost estimate, but White points to a quickly-deployed Michigan Bus Rapid Transit project that cost $40 million.
This tempting, positively European vision—promoting healthier, safer transportation methods while increasing overall efficiency—raises other concerns. Before approving the plan, the city’s DOT must figure out how 14th Street businesses (and there are a lot of them) will get their deliveries, and guarantee that detouring drivers won’t just jam other thoroughfares.