To speed up transportation in a post COVID-19 world, the city is adding new bus lanes to serve critical transit connections along 149th Street.
On Tuesday night, the Department of Transportation (DOT) gave Community Board 4 an update on East 149th Street Bus Priority Improvements.
“As New Yorkers head back to work, they’ll be relying on the bus more than ever – and I’m proud to offer them faster and more reliable options,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio when he introduced the plan on June 8. “By replicating the 14th Street success story in other congested corridors, we can reduce traffic, increase mass transit service and build a fairer and better New York.”
The DOT will implement offset bus lanes for most of the 2.7-mile corridor from Southern Boulevard to River Avenue. 149th Street carries four bus routes with a total of 55,000 daily riders and offer a connection to 10 subway lines, the HUB and Lincoln Medical Center.
Existing Conditions on East 149th Street
Currently, the Bx2, Bx4, Bx17 and Bx19 serve high concentrations of essential workers. On 149th Street, buses can be slower than walking. They typically only travel three miles per hour within Community Board 4 due to heavy congestion all day long. Additionally, buses often arrive off-schedule, two or three at a time and due to traffic, block emergency vehicles.
Construction has been moved up to begin this month and the city will install “bus only” markings, basic signage and some concrete work.
It will also implement red paint, overhead signage, remaining concrete and signal timing changes. DOT will continue to monitor conditions during and after implementation and will continue to work with CB 4, CB 1, elected officials and stakeholders to make adjustments as needed
The bus lane hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and when bus speeds are three to five miles per hour across all of 149th Street.