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The 14th Street busway

On October 3, New York City did something very similar to what Toronto did on King Street. It restricted through traffic on 14th Street to only trucks and buses, and turned the street into the city’s first “busway.”

Under the new rules, cars, vans, and taxis are restricted every day of the week from 6am to 10pm, unless they’re dropping off or picking someone up, or entering into a parking garage (i.e. local traffic only). But after this, they need to make the first available right and turn off the street. Again, it’s pretty similar to the way things work here on King.

On the first day of the 18-month pilot program, the buses actually had to slow down in order to keep to their schedule. They were moving too quickly. Previously one of the slowest routes in the city, the M14 bus is now expected to increase its average speed by about 25%.

Not surprisingly, a number of people were concerned that this new busway would hurt businesses along the route. This same concern has been an issue in Toronto. But this is New York. We’re talking about the US city with the highest percentage of households without a vehicle.

The reality is that we need to get better at moving people around our cities without a car. This is one way to do it and we know it works. My prediction is that the 14th Street pilot will prove to be a success. It will then get replicated in other parts of Manhattan. Probably on other crosstown streets.


  1. Have you walked along King Street West after 8 pm lately? It is well on its way to becoming as scuzzy a street as any streetcar-only street in Amsterdam, Calgary or any other place in the world. Streetcars only during rush hour makes a lot of sense, but blind ideology kills…

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  2. Pingback: Mapping auto emissions in America | BRANDON DONNELLY

  3. Throwaway

    This is what’s gonna happen. Because it always happens. We first saw it with bike lanes, and then with Citibike as well.

    The 14th Street busway will be a hit. People will want to go t stores there because it’s safer, easier to access, and WAY quieter. Businesses, residents, and visitors will all be better off since they don’t have to deal with the cars driven by out of tow needs trying to get across the city.

    It will be replicated in different parts of Manhattan.

    And then people will start complaining about how these obviously good moves, are only being imo,emended in the richest parts of the city, and that the poorer parts of the city, and basically everything outside Manhattan is being left out.

    The same people who are now complaining that this is a disaster caused by the bike and bus lobby will be complaining about how the distribution of this measure is a victory for the rich, who get to benefit from it, and another drawback for the poor who unlike the rich who have their broad clean pollution free roads, have to deal with noisy, polluting and dirty car filled roads.


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