With lots of construction ahead for Lower Manhattan, the Department of Transportation has been considering a plan that would close off Broadway south of Ann Street (see map) to all traffic except for city buses. The plan is being reviewed by community boards, and the DOT says they want to encourage more drivers to use mass transit instead. Which makes you wonder how much of that traffic isn't commercial.
Additionally, the DOT is building "bus bulbs" to make it easier for buses to pick up passengers as well as will create a bus-only lane on Broadway, all to be completed by June 1. Streetsblog explains what bus bulbs are:
[Bus bulbs are a ] design in which the sidewalk is extended into the street at bus stops. Bus bulbs allow a bus to stay in its lane to pick up and discharge passengers instead of having to pull over to the curb. The benefits of bus bulbs include preventing buses from being delayed, reducing sidewalk congestion, providing space for bus shelters and other amenities, and reducing pedestrian crossing times.
The construction projects that the DOT had in mind when developing these traffic-lessening measures clog up downtown include the Fulton Transit hub and the World Trade Center redevelopment. The NY Sun says the plan would "require a police presence of 30 traffic agents working two shifts a day to reroute traffic," but it might be necessary, if they want construction not to be bogged down by traffic. An interesting dilemma - and possible stop-gap solution - for very crowded streets.
Photograph by rdcapasso on Flickr