As WestView goes to press, two lawsuits are about to be filed by my office addressed to the efforts of DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg to needlessly reshape our community. At first, she used the proposed L Train shutdown as an excuse. Now she wants to champion “fast bus service on the M14D and the M14A.” These are buses which go across Fourteenth Street: The M14A running from its west end terminus in Abingdon Square, across 14th Street and down Avenue A, the 14D from its west side terminus at Chelsea Piers across 14th to Avenue D.
DOT has gotten NYC Transit to change the 14th Street Bus Lines to SBS (Select Bus Service) a design originally created for long north-south routes. They plan to cut out 15 stops, including the one at Abingdon Square. They want to cut the stops near Union Square, and numerous stops on Avenues A and D. That community has a large elderly and disabled population which uses buses. Led by the 504 Democratic Club and Disabled In Action, we will be suing to stop this violation of the NYC Human Rights Law, which requires accommodation of disabilities, not accommodation of speed. (DOT argues that buses will move 1 mph faster!
The second suit flows out of the plan to turn 14th Street into a two-lane street, with only buses and trucks allowed to proceed across town. Five block associations, the Flatiron Alliance, the Council of Chelsea Block Associations, and five co-operative apartment corporations will be suing to stop this. They will allege that the plan was not properly vetted and evaluated under the State Environmental Quality Review Act. We expect to be in court with both cases by June 3.