New York City targets bus speeds, business deliveries, pedestrian zones

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced new measures Thursday designed to increase mobility on the streets as part of the 2019 OneNYC strategic plan.

De Blasio hopes the measures will help New Yorkers get around and complement the implementation of congestion pricing in early 2021.

The announcement consists of three elements: The Better Buses Action Plan, increasing off-hour deliveries, and pursuing the creation of new pedestrian spaces in Lower Manhattan.

Increasing Off-Hour Deliveries

The de Blasio Administration will work with MTA and the Port Authority to encourage efficient deliveries and support continued growth in freight activity.

They are specifically encouraging more businesses to accept off-hour deliveries in the Central Business District.

New Pedestrian Spaces

The city is examining options for creating new pedestrian priority streets in Lower Manhattan, where streets are narrow and sidewalks often overcrowded.

The Department of Transportation will work with communities, including within the Financial District, to identify locations.

The DOT will look to install treatments this year following a community engagement process, including with Manhattan Community Board One and the Alliance for Downtown NY.

The formal study of the area will kick off this summer.

Better Buses Action Plan

The Better Buses Action Plan will improve bus speeds by 25% by 2020. The plan released Thursday identifies the specific routes and projects the city will undertake in 2019 to increase bus speeds in all five boroughs.

These projects include:

Manhattan: 42nd Street, 12th Avenue to FDR Drive

Potential Improvements:
--Upgrade curbside bus lane to offset lane in at least one direction
--Update curb management along the corridor to prioritize transit priority, pedestrian space, and loading needs
--Extend/install turn bays at select locations and install turn bans at select locations to benefit the flow of buses and other traffic
--Adjust signal timing to improve crosstown travel

Bronx: Webster Avenue, 176th Street to 174th Street

Potential Improvements:
--Add southbound offset bus lane between E 176th St and E 174th St
--Add physical barrier to separate bus and right turning movements
--Adjust signal timing to improve safety and vehicle flow

Queens: Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Beach 116th Street to Beach 73rd Street

Potential Improvements:
--Implement pedestrian safety improvements at intersections along the corridor
--Construct sidewalks to make bus stops at Beach 73rd St and Beach 67th St accessible
--Install offset and curbside bus lanes on portions of the corridor

Brooklyn: Livingston Street, Boerum Place to Flatbush Avenue

Potential Improvements:
--Add dedicated westbound right turn arrow and signal phase to help buses turning right from westbound Livingston St onto Boerum Pl
--Refresh existing bus lanes and extend bus lane hours
--Upgrade bus lanes to protected bus lanes with physical barriers to prevent illegal parking and standing

Staten Island: Narrows Road at Hylan Boulevard

Potential Improvements:
--Relocate the northbound S78 bus stop from the south side of Narrows Rd S to the north side to improve bus operations and safety
--Reverse direction of Hylan Blvd (east leg) from northbound to southbound, from Narrows Rd S to Olga Pl, to reduce congestion and make it easier for buses and other traffic on Narrows Rd S to merge onto the Staten Island Expressway on-ramp
--Investigate a leading pedestrian signal (LPI) for the east crosswalk to give pedestrians a head start on crossing the street to reach the S78 bus stop
--Coordinate with NYSDOT to move the existing bus stop on the south side of Narrows Rd S/Hylan Blvd one block to the west to improve safety, to better position buses to merge onto the Staten Island Expy and alleviate traffic congestion

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