A related story on transit in Lower Manhattan -- the plan for new BUS ONLY LANES on Broadway south of Houston has taken further steps towards inception. This will cut the auto lane on Broadway from Houston south to The Battery to ONE LANE. Of course the real challenge will be enforcement -- which, if effective, will greatly reduce the number of cars moving down Broadway into southern Manhattan (or create such gridlock that casr simply will not move -- given the current situation on crosstwon Tunnel / Bridge traffic at Broome Street then if such gridlock occurs on Broadway it should not surprise anyone).
In the past few months new "Bus Bulbs" have been constructed at Broadway / Spring, Broadway / Grand and other intersections on Broadway south of Canal Street. This weekend they painted new solid white lines on Broadway starting south of Houston to delineate the BUS ONLY LANE (on both sides of the western-most lane).
On Right Bus Path
Cheers for Busway Lane to get Riders Moving
New York Daily News
By Pete Donohue
Trying to ease worsening traffic jams downtown, the city will create a nearly 2-mile, bus-only lane on Broadway this summer, officials said.
The lane will run down Broadway from W. Houston St. to the southern tip of Manhattan.
Along the route, the Department of Transportation will build sidewalk extensions that will serve as passenger loading bays - and shorten the time it takes to pick up and discharge riders, officials said.
Paul Steely White, executive director of the nonprofit Transportation Alternatives, described the plan as momentous. Mayor Bloomberg and other officials have been warning that the city's population will soar in the coming decades and the city must find ways to transport more commuters.
"This is a decision to give priority to the movement of bus riders and pedestrians," White said. "This is exactly the kinds of solutions that need to be applied. The DOT has smartly figured out how to improve bus service that's quick and affordable. If this works, they can apply it to any bus route in the city."
Construction on the new subway hub at Fulton St. has already narrowed that section of Broadway to two lanes, creating a bottleneck. And that's before the Metropolitan Transportation Authority starts to demolish existing buildings for the project this summer.
The sidewalk extensions will jut about 9 feet into an existing parking lane, and will be between 80 and 120 feet long, according to the plan.
Called "bus bulbs," the extensions will allow bus drivers to quickly stop and open their doors for passengers, without having to fight their way back into the traffic stream.
They will be built on the most northern segment of the bus-only route, between W. Houston and Franklin Sts.
"We're taking proactive steps to make sure that ... the streets continue to move in an area that thousands of pedestrians and motorists travel through every day," DOT spokeswoman Kay Sarlin said.
The Broadway bus lane will give bus riders the first glimpse of some of the components of the DOT's larger, $21million project to create "Bus Rapid Transit" routes in the city. The first two of five planned Bus Rapid Transit routes are expected to be unveiled in the fall.
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