L Train Apocalypse: Dedicated Bus & Bike Lanes Coming to Delancey Street

Delancey Street approach to the Williamsburg Bridge.

Delancey Street approach to the Williamsburg Bridge.

The other day we mentioned another town hall meeting happening May 9, a week from today, to discuss the looming L Train shutdown. The MTA and the city’s Department of Transportation will be receiving feedback about their plan to move 275,000 daily passengers to-and-from Brooklyn. One big concern on the Lower East Side is the impact on Delancey Street and surrounding streets.

The MTA intends to send 70 shuttle buses an hour over the bridge (yes, it’s hard to imagine that happening given the exiting gridlock). Once those buses exit the bridge, they will travel down Delancey Street. On DOT’s website, there’s some information about how all of that traffic will be handled.

The Williamsburg Bridge provides the most direct connection for many customers who rely on the L train. New temporary shuttle bus routes traveling across the bridge will need to move 30,000+ daily passengers. Fast, reliable bus service is not possible under current traffic conditions, so DOT has developed a plan to prioritize buses on the bridge (by only allowing buses, high occupancy vehicles and trucks during peak hours)…

DOT is planning bus priority on Delancey Street and Allen Street to accommodate the high number of L train shuttle buses. On Delancey Street from Williamsburg Bridge to Bowery westbound, NYC DOT will implement an offset bus lane to help the shuttle buses move freely throughout this area. From Essex Street to Williamsburg Bridge, curbside bus lanes will be added. On Allen Street from Delancey Street to Houston Street, offset bus lanes will be added in both directions. Buses currently running on these streets will benefit from these lanes.

 

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In addition to the new dedicated bus lanes, there will be also be a protected bike lane running on the south side of Delancey Street (adjacent to the center median). DOT presented its plans for the bike lanes at a Community Board 3 meeting last year at about this time. They will be installed in the next few months, after the heavy construction phase of Essex Crossing Site 2 is completed. Right now, a hoist is taking up one lane of Delancey. While it will soon be taken down, there’s some other exterior work that needs to be done on the building. It requires continued use of that traffic lane.

The L Train will be shut down for 15 months beginning in the spring of 2019 for Hurricane sandy-related repairs. LThe town hall meeting takes place Wednesday, May 9 at 6:30 p.m. at The Auditorium, 66 West 12th St.