14 ST.


Savvy New Yorkers avoid 14th Street. Even if the L train weren’t shutting down for 18 months,
the corridor is in desperate need of a redesign. Pedestrians are shunted out of big box stores
onto overcrowded sidewalks, cyclists dodge buses lurching along Manhattan’s second-busiest
route, while drivers — speeding, honking, desperate to get off this crosstown hellscape — turn
intersections into harrowing games of chicken.

Fourteenth Street Stops aims to give 14th Street back to the walkers, the runners, the strollers,
the bus riders, the bike riders, the commuters, and yes, the tourists.

We accomplish this by restricting access on 14th Street to buses, cyclists, and pedestrians,
utilizing two-way dedicated Select Bus Service (SBS) bus lanes and bike lanes. Brooklyn-based
L train commuters will be able to transfer at Union Square and two other Manhattan subway
stations (or jump on a Citi Bike) via the least painful route possible: a two-way SBS thoroughfare
on Lafayette Street and 4th Avenue.

This configuration allows pedestrians to reclaim tens of thousands of square feet of public space
— roughly an extra 20-foot wide sidewalk for each block — plus five new pedestrian-only malls,
each around the size of a New York City block.

These public spaces will adopt the personalities of the neighborhoods they inhabit and act as
SBS stops (14 ST.OPS) along a streamlined transit corridor — a 14th Street that all New
Yorkers will be eager to use.


By eliminating private vehicles and prioritizing cycling and rapid bus transit, 14 ST.OPS reclaims
road space for pedestrian use.

A 14th Street Shuttle will run on dedicated bus lanes in a continuous crosstown loop every four
minutes during rush hour, along with a revamped M14 SBS, allowing residents in Chelsea and
the Lower East Side to reach their destinations faster.

Buses will stop along the sidewalks or extended curbs, ensuring that our buses are accessible
for all without major capital investment. Emergency vehicles and Access-A-Ride vehicles will
also have access to bus lanes.

The bus stops also double as nighttime delivery zones, to ensure that local businesses aren’t
adversely affected by the new traffic design.

A 2013 DOT study [​PDF​] entitled “The Economic Benefits of Sustainable Streets” showed that
commercial sales along Brooklyn’s Vanderbilt Avenue, Manhattan’s Ninth Avenue, and
Fordham Road in the Bronx all increased steadily after measures like traffic calming, pedestrian
islands, and Select Bus Service were implemented.

In addition to the neighborhood-specific programming along each of the stops, the creation of
five new pedestrian malls would ease foot traffic congestion and host playgrounds, dumpster
gardens, outdoor gyms, and flea markets; most crucially in the areas along Union Square East,
and the Union Square Triangle, an embarrassingly underutilized plot of public land that is
currently marooned by a sea of private car traffic.

Three other malls are located on Broadway between 13th and 14th, and the two blocks on 9th
Avenue between 15th and 13th.


Our dedicated bike lanes down the center of 14th Street will feel like a balm to those riders now
accustomed to dodging car doors, buses, and delivery trucks. Flexible sticks and planters will
separate cyclists from bus lanes and pedestrians, and each intersection will have turning boxes
and timed stoplights, ensuring that novice cyclists will feel safe.

According to Citi Bike ​data from the fall 2015​, First and Second Avenues, and Eighth and Ninth
Avenues were the most popular roads used by Citi Bike riders.

In addition to existing stations, Citi Bike superstations will occupy the ground levels of the eight
privately-owned parking garages located directly on 14th Street, making it easier for commuters
to hop off a bus and onto a bike. (Those parking garages may also host NYPD vehicles,
distribution centers for online retailers like Amazon Prime or Peapod, or if recouping lost
revenue is the primary concern, slot machines, pending state approval.)


While the west side of the Union Square triangle will be converted into a pedestrian mall, the
east side will act as a vital stop for L train riders connecting to the subway station.

These riders will have traveled on our Brooklyn Shuttle via a dedicated bus lane over the
Williamsburg Bridge to Delancey Street. After a stop at the Delancey/Essex subway station, the
bus will continue west on Delancey to Lafayette Street, which will host two-way dedicated bus
lanes that extend up 4th Avenue to Union Square. Another stop at Houston Street for riders to
connect to the BDFM and 6 trains, and L train riders will arrive at Union Square, where they can
transfer to one of the seven subway lines, or our 14th Street Shuttle, or jump on a Citi Bike.

In 2016, the DOT and the MTA released a report on Brooklyn’s B44 service before and after
Select Bus Service with a dedicated bus lane had been implemented. They found that riding
times along the 3.4 mile, six-stop northbound portion of the route decreased by 37% during the
morning rush hour, from 32.3 minutes to 20.3 minutes.

Our Brooklyn Shuttle, traveling from Bedford Avenue to Union Square via Lafayette Street and
4th Avenue, would travel 3.8 miles with five total stops.

The routes aren’t symmetrical — the B44 has a straight shot, the Williamsburg Bridge is a virtual
highway with a 35 mph speed limit — but it’s not implausible, just ambitious, to imagine getting
riders from the Bedford stop to Union Square in 25 minutes.

Ambition is what the DOT, the MTA, NYC Parks Department and the Business Improvement
Districts along 14th Street must aspire to on 14th Street; 8.5 million people are counting on it.