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Appeals judges approve 14th St. busway, overturning previous ruling


The 14th st. busway has the green light — again.

A panel of appellate judges ruled 3-2 to allow the city to go ahead with plans to turn a lengthy section of 14th Street into a mostly car-free busway, overturning an Aug. 9 decision by a judge from the same court that the plan couldn’t move forward without further study from the city.

The ruling is the latest twist in a months-long legal saga.

The plan, originally introduced as part of the MTA’s efforts to compensate for the shutdown of the L train for tunnel repairs, would close 14th st. from Third to Ninth Avenues to private car traffic.

The plan was set to go into effect on Aug. 12, after a Manhattan Supreme Court Justice gave the go ahead. But a coalition of West Village and Chelsea residents, represented by lawyer Arthur Schwartz, filed a successful appeal to put the kibosh on the plan.

Opponents claimed the city had not done its due diligence in evaluating the potential traffic effects of the new plan. But city officials said they had done thorough traffic simulations.

Traffic will be diverted to surrounding streets, where many of the residents opposing the plan live.

Transportation officials estimate the plan could increase bus speeds by 30% for the route’s 27,000 daily riders. Under the guidelines, only trucks making deliveries, buses, and cars accessing garages or making pickups or dropoffs can access the street from 6 a.m to 10 p.m.