Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn between Tillary and Livingston streets is only five or six blocks long, but it’s one of the most important streets in Downtown Brooklyn, with the state courthouse building, the District Attorney’s Office, MetroTech Center, NYU Tandon engineering school, the New York City retirement office, one of the entrances to the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge and more.
So when the city Department of Transportation proposes to make this stretch of Jay Street into a busway — which would limit traffic to buses, trucks, bicycles and local access — it’s bound to have major repercussions, as well as presumably improve bus service.
According to the DOT, the project will increase bus speeds and reliability, help improve travel times for commuters, improve bicycle and pedestrian safety, ease congestion and reduce the impact of illegal parking.
Here’s how it will work. Buses, trucks and bicycles only will be permitted to enter Jay Street from the north or from the south. Cars needing local access can enter from the east or west, with Johnson Street converted to one way eastbound to provide this local access.
The city is seeking a busway because Jay Street between Livingston and Tillary streets hosts seven bus routes carrying 46,000 passengers, often creating a bottleneck.
Cars that need to be diverted from this part of Jay Street, according to the DOT, can use parallel north-south streets such as Adams Street and Flatbush Avenue, which the city says can handle a much greater volume of traffic.
The DOT is currently conducting community outreach on the plan, which it describes as a pilot project, and plans to create a Community Advisory Board to guide it, according to a statement issued by the traffic agency.