This project has been in effect since 2008 and had over 60 community meetings. Mr. Carry said it is important to "keep the community involved," and "each improvement should be fully evaluated."
So what does the future hold for this selected bus service?
- The M34 and M16 will run express along 34th Street.
- Metro card vending machines will be placed outside every bus stop so commuters can pay before boarding the bus
- create an off-set bus lane: lanes will be away from curb so it won't block parking
- have a "bus bulb" which is an extended sidewalk for pedestrians to wait for buses only. This will leave free space for sidewalks and won't block traffic.
- Proposed bus bulbs may be placed along East of 3rd Ave, West of 9th Ave, 3rd to 9th Ave, and 10th to 9th Ave., near the Lincoln Tunnel underpass.
After the presentation, we were allowed to view maps of the project, and talk to MTA representatives. Eric Beaton, another MTA representative, lead a discussion about the 9th to 12th Avenue section of the selected bus service. Residents were concerned about the bus bulbs affecting parking, specific loading zones, bicycle lanes, and Dyer Ave. which is close to the Lincoln Tunnel. They are also concerned that having a bus bulb near the Lincoln Tunnel will affect traffic and pedestrian safety. The concerns became so intense that Mr. Carry stepped in to answer questions.
After the meeting, I had an opportunity to speak with Mr. Carry (right) about this project and how it'll affect current bike lanes. He stated that the current bike lanes near 34th Street will remain, but bikers can use smaller "commercial" lanes, because "they're easier to move about." When I asked him about a similar project in Brooklyn, he said "We are working on something on Nostrand and Rogers Ave." and "we're also focusing on Utica Ave." Mr. Carry continued to say that it's possible Brooklyn will have a select bus service, but it's still "being talked about." For more information about the 34th Street project or upcoming meetings, go to www.nyc.gov/brt