The plan to largely restrict 14th Street traffic to only buses is back on.
A New York Appellate Court on Friday lifted a temporary restraining order that stopped the city from implementing the ban on almost all cars on a portion of 14th Street in Manhattan.
The city announced that the ban is scheduled to go into effect next Thursday morning.
"This will make a huge difference for bus riders — their wait is over," Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Friday.
The plan was delayed in August after a last-minute appeal. The plan sparked considerable confusion and concern, especially among residential and community groups that feared a traffic spillover onto neighboring streets.
Arthur Schwartz, whom filed the lawsuit that led to the plan being blocked, says there is still a pending appeal that will be argued in court as early as December. But the attorney says today's ruling allows the city to move forward with its plan.
"I'm disappointed and I'm sure that people that live in the area will be overwhelmed with traffic in the coming months," Schwartz said.
The 18-month pilot project to allow only buses and trucks on 14th Street — between Third and Ninth Avenues in an effort to speed up bus commutes and ease congestion — was set to start in August, and came days after a judge lifted an injunction against the plan.
The plan would allow cars to make pick-ups and drop offs on 14th Street, but they would have to make a right at the next intersection and would not be allowed to make left turns. The restrictions were planned to be in place every day, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Exceptions will also be made for cars using a parking garage, but they must leave 14th Street at the next available right turn.
Police and traffic agents will watch for violators, but they will only issue warnings.
Enforcement will fall to the city's bus lane cameras and, starting in January, cameras mounted on MTA buses.
The fine will be $50 for a first offense and as much as $250 for repeat violations.
The plan has been in the works for two years, and was designed as a contingency plan for what was supposed to be a complete shutdown of L train service in Manhattan for repair work related to Hurricane Sandy damage.
However, the L train repair work plan was altered earlier this year to allow for limited service, rather than a complete shutdown. That led opponents to question whether the plan to restrict cars on 14th Street was still necessary.
A judge initially issued a temporary injunction to halt the plan on June 29, just two days before it was scheduled to go into effect. That injunction was the one lifted on August 6, when a judge ruled that the city's Department of Transportation does have the authority to make changes to 14th Street.
"For those who think that this is just selfish neighbors, we live here, we breathe the air, our buildings rattle and vibrate and we have to deal with horns and honking," said Schwartz, an attorney for the plaintiffs. "We deserve consideration as well."
FURTHER TRANSIT READING
Update, 5:41 p.m., September 27. 2019: The city announced Friday evening that the ban will go into effect the morning of October 3.