NEW YORK - Diane Cohen admits she walks along 14th Street a lot less these days now that traffic is banned so buses can move quickly across the thoroughfare.
"I am looking less in the stores because I'm not walking in the street as much," Cohen said.
That reduction in foot traffic has some business owners along 14th Street in a panic.
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"Before it was like 20-30 customers at this time. Now there's only one," said Nishwan Alabel, owner of Big Famous Deli & Grocery.
The owner of the Big Famous Deli & Grocery near 9th Avenue says business plummeted following the creation of the Busway in October.
"It's really bad. They would stop outside and come in. Now, no more," Alabel said.
Workers at Hollywood Barber Shop say the Busway and a major change in parking regulations that went into effect several months prior to the Busway have made it extremely difficult for many of their customers to park in the area during business hours.
They say empty barber chairs are a common sight now that cars are banned along the street and from parking outside their shop.
"We losing a lot of customers cause of that. A lot of people calling. Two and a half hour. Two hours. One hour looking for parking to park the car. It's not convenient," said one employee.
Asked to comment, the city Transportation Department says it reached out to businesses along 14th Street to gauge their "loading needs" before the traffic ban was implemented. The agency adds that an engineering firm will survey the businesses over the next year to see how they are being affected.
But some businesses fear that by then it might be too late.