Gotcha: NYC To Add Bus Lanes To Flatbush Ave Corridor

Special Report: The DOT always looking for a way to fight cars, introduced a plan to add bus lanes to one of Brooklyn’s most trafficked roads: Flatbush Avenue.


Flatbush, NY — The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), always looking for a way to fight cars, introduced a plan to add bus lanes to one of Brooklyn’s most trafficked roads: Flatbush Avenue.

Under the banner of “Better Buses,” the DOT introduced a proposal to make Flatbush Avenue a “Bus Priority” area. The DOT chose this corridor because it is a major corridor in Brooklyn with connections to major job centers, housing, shopping, and recreation.

The DOT recently outlined its proposal to Brooklyn’s Community Boards 2 and 8, which are situated along the northern portion of the corridor.

“By redesigning Flatbush Avenue, we can speed up bus service to improve the lives of nearly 70,000 daily bus riders currently stuck on one of the most congested corridors in Brooklyn—while also enhancing pedestrian safety,” said DOT Press Secretary Vin Barone in a statement.

A bus lane on Flatbush Avenue would arguably be one of the Adams administration’s signature transportation achievements—among far-left progressives, ahead of a busy mayoral election in 2025.

The corridor carries an average of 132,000 bus riders daily along 12 MTA bus routes using Flatbush Ave. Many of these routes connect with major subway connections, such as Atlantic Terminal, which provides connections to LIRR and nine subway lines; Nostrand Junction with the 2/5 trains; and Prospect Park with B/Q/S trains.

The B41 bus is the primary route that runs along Flatbush Ave.

The corridor runs between the Manhattan Bridge, the BQE, the Belt Parkway and the Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, which connects the Rockaways with Brooklyn. It also serves as a vital corridor for the Kehillos of Flatbush, Midwood, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, and Crown Heights.

The Plan

The DOT divided the corridor into three sections: Downtown Brooklyn/Northern Flatbush Av, Prospect Lefferts Gardens/Flatbush, and Southern Brooklyn.

  • In Downtown, buses have the slowest speeds and the closest density of subway and road connections.
  • The Prospect Lefferts Gardens/Flatbush corridor suffers from congestion due to double parking. It also has the highest ridership and slow bus speeds.
  • In Southern Brooklyn, Flatbush Ave has the Lower density, a wider roadway south of Utica Ave, and fewer connections to subway lines.

The DOT plans to replace car lanes with bus-only lanes in each direction of the avenue, starting with Livingston Street and Grand Army Plaza.

  • The three proposals via the DOT

The DOT is offering three options:

Curbside bus lanes — This would provide dedicated space for buses along the curb and allow for additional traffic capacity. The drawbacks include eliminating parking and only permitting quick pick-ups and drop-offs during bus lane hours, and would frequently be blocked due to parking/loading demand

Offset bus lanes—This fixes most of the curbside option’s drawbacks. It would provide dedicated space for buses in the lane next to parking and allow for parking and loading during all hours. It is less likely than curbside lanes to be blocked due to parking/loading demand.

Center-running bus lanes—This plan includes creating a dedicated busway for the corridor, which will physically separate bus lanes while also enhancing bus service.

Unlike the offset lanes, this plan would also include median bus stops to increase safety by shortening crossing distances and providing pedestrian refuge. It would minimize bus-vehicle conflicts as well as bus lane blockages

The Path Forward

Going forward, the DOT says that it will refine its design proposals, reach out via community board proposals and on-street interviews and continue with traffic analysis and project design.

The plan follows the Brooklyn Bus Redesign, which would redesign the borough’s bus lanes. Part of the proposal is to create the B41 Select Bus Service (similar to the B44, B46 and Q44). The proposed Interbough Express would also connect with the route.

The DOT says it hopes to implement the bus lanes along Flatbush Ave by mid to late 2025.

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1 Comment

  • The DOT is shortsighted 07/03/2024 | כ"ז סיון התשפ"ד

    What’s the deal?

    NYC is taking the short way instead of building a light rail or subway line in this transit desert

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