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City wants to extend Fulton Street bus lane

Full speed ahead: A look at where the city wants to extend the Fulton Street bus lane.
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Fulton Street bus riders may finally get to experience life in the fast lane!

The city wants to add dedicated bus lanes for the B25 and B26 between Lafayette Street in Fort Green and Grand Avenue in Clinton Hill, because the people-movers keep getting stuck in rush-hour traffic, a rep told Community Board 2’s transportation committee meeting on Thursday night.

“There’s a fair amount of traffic on Fulton Street and parking activity that’s problematic to the bus,” said Department of Transportation spokesman Kyle Gebhart.

There are already coach lanes on the stretch between Boerum Place Downtown and Lafayette Street, but the buses then join regular traffic and often get bogged down at peak hours when competing with drivers making turns, parking, and — worst of all — double parking, Gephart said.

“The biggest issue is a lot of double parking that happens,” he said. “This is a safety issue and also slows down the bus quite a bit.”

Around 20,000 commuters rely on the lines every day — often choosing them over the C train because they come more frequently, he said.

The idea is in its early stages so there are few specifics, and committee members stressed that it is really important the agency find out how many parking spaces the lanes will usurp and how it will affect the many businesses along bustling commercial corridor.

“This is a strong, heavy commercial district so we’d be interested in seeing how this is going to work,” said committee member John Dew.

Along with the bus lane, the city also wants to make the street safer for foot-based commuters by adding “neckdowns” — painted on sidewalk extensions — to shorten pedestrian crossings at around 10 locations between South Portland Avenue and Grand Avenue.

Drivers fatally hit eight people on the street between 2011 and 2015, and injured another 67, according to city data.

But several locals said they didn’t need the new additions because traffic on residential blocks is already calm enough.

“There’s no benefit, you’re just wasting money,” said Fort Greener Lucy Koteen.

Others claimed the neckdowns will just get in the way of speeding cars, while some drivers will try to use them as parking spaces.

“What happens when it’s a little bit of a wider street is that cars are going a bit faster and they make that turn a little fast,” said Hilda Cohen, a Fort Greene resident and committee member. “You have to make sure it doesn’t become a protected parking spot.”

The city only presented the plan to the committee to get its feedback, and will survey more residents this winter before developing a complete plan and presenting it to the board for a vote in the spring, according to Gephart.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:25 am, February 21, 2017
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Reasonable discourse

Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr. from BS, BK, NY, US says:
Catch-22: Good for bus riders, bad for drivers.
Feb. 21, 2017, 5:24 am
Peter from Brooklyn says:
Fulton Street has the subway underneath it and buses running on it.

Close the car lanes entirely.
Feb. 21, 2017, 11:13 am
Mike from Slope says:
Busses should always have priority over private cars.
Feb. 21, 2017, 2:18 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I hate to break this to some of you, but placing a bus lane only makes traffic for all others worse rather than better. I'm all for enforcing the double parking, but that's about it here. Once you get them out of the way, the road moves smoother, because those double parking don't just hurt the buses, but also everyone else who is using the roads. Another thing is that the bus lanes do remind me of the carpool lanes on highways and why there is always traffic whenever they are in effect, which is why I feel bus lanes do the same for local roads. As for closing off Fulton Street in that area entirely to private vehicles, they will just end up causing traffic and surrounding streets, which will make them start complaining about receiving the alternating volume from there, which is why there was so much local opposition to ideas such as the 34th Street Transitway or even a busway for 5th Ave.
Feb. 21, 2017, 3:53 pm
Boris from Bed-Stuy says:
The bus-only section of Fulton Street has been working well for years. Make this extension buses-only as well! Bus lanes are easy to ignore, and the placard class would feel more embarrassed about parking on a bus-only street instead of a street with other cars present.
Feb. 21, 2017, 5:28 pm
NN from Boerum Hill says:
This is a really good idea. I also hope they consider making that whole stretch bus only like people have been suggesting, and maybe extend it all the way to Broadway Junction.
Feb. 22, 2017, 8:09 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First of all, knock it off with the impersonations. The other reason I'm not for bus lanes is just like bike and HOV lanes, they may look good on paper, but not in practice. Also, not everyone has the luxury to get around without a car especially from knowing where they come from as transit deserts do exist in NYC. The main reason is that most of the streets just aren't wide enough to support them anyway. More importantly, closing off a major thoroughfare to all other vehicular traffic will cause them to spill over to other streets that can't handle such vehicles especially if they happen to be commercial vehicles such as trucks that can't use such streets to begin with, which is why the anti-car fanatics lost on tearing down the Sheridan Expressway. Don't be surprised if locals oppose this because they don't want to get the asthma from those vehicles being forced to use their blocks for Fulton Street being closed off to them in claiming that it's a bad idea.
Feb. 22, 2017, 4:03 pm
Troll Barzilai from Peasant Ville, NY says:
I didn't want to miss an opportunity to do an anti transit or anti bicycle rant from the windshield perspective.

The most important thing above all modes of transportation is obviously to ensure that all lanes are dedicated 100% to people in single occupancy SUV's.

The reason you see traffic near HOV lanes on highways is because, in my opinion, HOV lanes cause traffic. Not as others will tell you that the HOV lanes were put there BECAUSE of the excessive traffic.
Feb. 23, 2017, 12:51 am
Hi Troll Barzilai from Brooklyn, NY says:
Tal doesn't even understand the windshield perspective. It is the window-less basement in parent's suburban home perspective.
Feb. 23, 2017, 3:21 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Sometimes I can't understand how low you anti-car fanatics stoop by using impersonations. Then again, I guess they are being paid by Paul Steely White to do this just to downplay those such as myself otherwise they will have to start looking for real jobs. Anyway, I just say enforce the rules on those who double park and pull over at bus stops not to mention being more proactive on that. If that is done, the traffic on Fulton Street will move much faster with no lanes being blocked off. However, I feel that those very said fanatics will be against this as part of their no other motor vehicles on the road campaign in that it will make even bus lanes feel obsolete to this not to mention how much sense that makes.
Feb. 24, 2017, 3:57 pm
Guest from NYC says:
You're fighting the current Tal.

And you're wrong.

"because the people-movers keep getting stuck in rush-hour traffic"

Better to prioritize buses because they move more people in less space with less emissions per person.
Nov. 10, 2017, 5:40 pm

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