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As promised, the DOT is moving quickly on a plan to radically transform 34th Street to prioritize buses and pedestrians over passenger cars. The proposal [pdf], which was completed at the end of February, would essentially cut 34th Street in half, with the section west of Sixth Avenue running one way toward the Hudson River, and the section east of Fifth Avenue running one way toward the East River. Buses would travel in both directions in their own special lanes, and in the middle there will be another pedestrian plaza on the block between Fifth and Sixth, the part of town informally known as Clusterfuck City.

 

"It’s going to improve the mobility along the corridor," NYC DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan tells the Times. "We expect the bus travel times to improve by up to 35 percent, which is something that up to 33,000 passengers that currently travel crosstown will appreciate." Sadik-Khan points to a study showing that only 10 percent of people traveling along 34th Street use cars or taxis, while the rest walk or use public transportation. Thus, faster bus service will benefit "the majority of the people who are actually using the street."

 

As part of the "Transitway" plan, bus passengers would be able to buy tickets at sidewalk kiosks, and buses would be equipped with devices that signal traffic lights to remain green as the bus approaches an intersection. The DOT is meeting with the Community Board 6 transportation committee on May 3rd, and expects the project to be completed by the end of 2012, to the tune of $30 million.

 

Naturally, there are concerns. At a public hearing last night, one woman who resides on 34th Street descried the plan because it might block the loading zone for her building and make it less convenient for her to get deliveries. Local merchants are currently contemplating the proposal, and Dan Biederman, president of the 34th Street Partnership, supports it "for the most part." But he's warning fellow business owners to "please complain right now, or within the next few weeks. This is not your father’s D.O.T. This agency says they do something and they do it." Crazy, right?

 

(Courtesy of Gothamist)

 

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I know its New York, but its interesting to see the DOT wants to do something like this.

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Janette Sadik-Khan seems to have been inspired by her trip to Montreal last year. This is really interesting. Having previously lived on 34th street on the block between 8th and 9th avenues, I have a hard time imagining this. It is so very progressive and for a city with the traffic of New York, not sure how it's going to play out. 34th street is a MAJOR midtown cross street.

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Nous ça nous coûte 130 millions faire ça sur Pie-IX...

 

pour etre fair, je pense que la strech sur pie ix est pas mal plus longue que la 34e rue.

 

moi je trouve ca intriguant mais je pense qu'ils devraient faire attention et y aller par etape .. je n'ai pas de donnees solides, mais la derniere fois que j'ai ete, il y avait des bouchons assez intense juste au nord de times square, pour descendre vers le sud. de toute evidence, cause par la pietonisation du square, selon moi ...

 

je trouve ca un peu particulier aussi de voir des voies de bus reserves a manhattan, la ou le metro est roi ... j'aurais plus vu une shuttle, peut-etre auraient-t-il pu boucler la S 42e rue avec la 34e, ou qqchose du genre .. etendre la shuttle jusqu'a la 8th avenue line et connecter a cette voie (la ligne 7 est d'ailleurs prevue faire la meme chose - sur les memes tracks - alors ca ferait d'une pierre deux coups) ..

 

puis a 34, elle refait un trajet est-ouest sur de nouvelles tracks, et puis pourrait revenir vers le nord jusqua 42, en connectant avec la future 2nd avenue line ... etc ... me semble que ca serait plus new yorkais de faire ainsi ;)...

 

tout ca me donne le gout de faire du dessin ... :rolleyes:

Edited by pedepy
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Pedestrian malls with seats is so un-New York. Houston maybe. Denver maybe. San Francisco maybe. But New York is about congestion and mobility. Trying to tame that seems like a fool's errand.

 

i find manhattan is very seldom "congested" - the grid allows for a remarkably fluid flow of car circulation on the island.

 

the pedestrian times square is rather a failure in my opinion (even though there's talk to extend it). ... i'd have no problem with taking away car lanes to have some public animation (like times square needs more of that ..) - problem is it's just a bunch of cheap bistro tables & chairs used by tourists for a 60 second stop. i mean, nothing is happening - it's filled with an odd silence and quiteness that's very uncharacteristic for this space who's surrounded by heights, lights & movement.

 

seems like reserving lanes for buses on 34th street would only aggravate the traffic situation and provide little incentive for mass transit - which is really not needed in manhattan anyway, given that most people use it already anyway.

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i find manhattan is very seldom "congested" - the grid allows for a remarkably fluid flow of car circulation on the island.

 

the pedestrian times square is rather a failure in my opinion (even though there's talk to extend it). ... i'd have no problem with taking away car lanes to have some public animation (like times square needs more of that ..) - problem is it's just a bunch of cheap bistro tables & chairs used by tourists for a 60 second stop. i mean, nothing is happening - it's filled with an odd silence and quiteness that's very uncharacteristic for this space who's surrounded by heights, lights & movement.

 

seems like reserving lanes for buses on 34th street would only aggravate the traffic situation and provide little incentive for mass transit - which is really not needed in manhattan anyway, given that most people use it already anyway.

 

 

I agree. Giving that portion of Times Square over to pedestrians does little to improve the space and most New Yorkers still avoid the area like a proverbial plague. Turning portions of SoHo or the west Village into pedestrian only areas probably would have been a better idea, albeit not as media worthy.

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Thank you guys for confirming what I was saying last year when I visited times square.

 

No one replied to me when I was saying that, discarding it automaticay because of my clear stance toward reducing space to cars.

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