Wow! Streetsblog attended the Department of Transportation's and New York City Transit's "co-presentation" of the city's Bus Rapid Transit program and discovered "A Transit Miracle on 34th Street."
DOT will repave and restripe for five lanes between Third and Ninth Avenues by the end of this year, with painted bus lanes on the north and south sides and three auto lanes in the center. Service hours will also be extended. Phase 2 calls for a 34th Street Transitway, closing the street to cars between Fifth and Sixth and installing pedestrian plazas. On either side of that block, there would be two lanes for cars heading in one direction -- toward the rivers -- while on the other half of the street, buses would have two extra-wide lanes separated from traffic. In other words, buses would constitute the only through traffic on 34th Street. According to Sadik-Khan, 34th Street BRT will eventually tie in to new East River ferry service (details to be announced next week).
Like many wide crosstown streets, 34th has tons of traffic, especially with the Queens-Midtown Tunnel in the east. Buses are historically sluggish (or pokey) when traveling across 34th, and DoT Commissioner Jeannette Sadik-Khan said NYPD will have a unit "dedicated to bus lane enforcement."