Controversial 14th Street Busway Goes Into Effect Tomorrow

M14 Bus
Photo credit Mark Dye/Getty Images

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The long-stalled 14th Street busway is set to begin on Thursday and last for 18-months, and the city is warning drivers to prepare now.

According to WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb, the NYPD will enforce the new rules between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., only allowing buses and trucks to travel along 14th Street, between Third and Ninth avenues.

Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg is warning drivers in lower Manhattan to prepare for the changes, but that limited car traffic will be permitted.

“Six a.m. onwards, motorists will only be able to drive on 14th Street for local access, for pick-up and drop-off,” she said.

Trottenberg adds that no left turns will be allowed at all and they'll carefully monitor the impact on local streets.

The goal of the experiment is to increase speeds on the M14 bus, which currently averages a speed of five miles per hour.  

The MTA's Craig Cipriano says cameras on the buses and in fixed positions will catch violators and after a two-month warning period, fines will range from $50 to $250.

"The message is loud and clear: Stay out of our bus lane and out of our busway," he said.

The controversial busway was previously slated to open Monday, Aug. 12, but was blocked when a group of residents living in the surrounding area sued the city, claiming no environmental review was done on how the neighborhood would be affected by banning most car traffic on 14th Street.