The upgrades include new traffic signals, traffic islands, new water mains, fire hydrants and curb extensions along the route. On February 14, 2020, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced the completion of the redevelopment of one of the busiest bus routes along Utica Avenue in Brooklyn, connecting major residential and commercial hubs. The $22.7 million dollar project will improve the B46 Select Bus Service (SBS), which services about 44,000 daily riders between Bedford-Stuyvesant to the Kings Plaza Mall.
The B46 SBS Route redevelopment includes the following:
-New traffic signals, street lights and signage along with asphalt in many areas with new pavement markings.
-29 new reinforced-concrete bus pads along the B46 route from Avenue N to Eastern Parkway.
-32 neckdowns, angled structures that narrow the roadway designed to calm traffic and shorten the distance pedestrians have to walk across the street.
-An additional 12 bus bulbs, curb expansions that increase the sidewalk space near bus stops.
-Two new traffic islands at Crown Street and at Rutland Road.
-11 curb extensions around two nearby schools, PS 208 and PS 221, in conjunction with the DOT’s School Safety program.
-Almost 83,000 square feet of new sidewalks and one mile of new water mains.
-15 replaced fire hydrants and 62 new catch basins to improve street drainage.
The project was launched as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Better Buses Action Plan, which aims increase bus speed by 25 percent, rising from their current average speed of eight miles an hour, and to enhance existing bus lanes throughout the City. The redevelopment of the B46 route also aligns with the Mayor’s Vision Zero initiative, which seeks to protect pedestrians and cyclists from fatal traffic crashes. Several streets along the B46 route are considered Vision Zero corridors, regions known for pedestrian and cyclist injuries.
Seniors, persons of color and low-income New Yorkers make up a large percentage of bus riders. Buses that are frequently delayed and diverted off schedule create problems, both work-related and personal, for riders who rely on the service to get to and from their destinations on time. Improvements to the bus system will add to the mobility, economic health and well-being of these communities by getting people to their destinations reliably, safely and quickly.
DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg stated, “We are proud that across Brooklyn from Kings Plaza Mall to Bed-Stuy, 44,000 daily B46 Select Bus Service riders are seeing faster and more reliable commutes. After implementing SBS along this corridor more than three years ago, we have seen the busiest route in Brooklyn bus service bring its riders faster and more reliable bus service.”
DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo stated, “These upgrades along the B46 Select Bus Service route make bus service faster and more reliable, and the streets safer for riders and pedestrians alike. DDC partners with DOT to bring the Mayor’s Vision Zero initiatives to every neighborhood.”
By: Anna Kovalevska (Anna is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, class of 2020.)