In the fall of 2014, DOT converted the Third Avenue bus lane from curbside to “offset” (one lane away from the curb) from 36th Street to 55th Street. The new design allows daytime commercial loading to be restored along the eastern curb, keeping the bus lane clear. This results in expedited bus speeds for the 59,000 daily riders who use the M101, M102, and M103 buses in addition to a dozen express routes utilizing the corridor.
Currently, M101, M102, and M103 buses do not stop between 55th Street and 61st Street, yet 57th Street is a major destination. Right-turn lanes for Queensboro Bridge-bound traffic between 57th Street and 59th Street preclude buses from accessing the curb for a conventional bus stop. Additionally, 57th Street is a high-crash intersection for pedestrians. To address these issues, DOT plans to install a bus boarding island between 56th Street and 57th Street providing a new bus stop at 57th Street. The project will also make pedestrian safety improvements including the elimination of left-turn/pedestrian conflicts, increased pedestrian crossing time, and added protected crossing time for pedestrians.
May 5, 2014: Third Avenue Bus Improvement Project - Introduction Download the Presentation (pdf)
December 1, 2014: Bus Boarding Island and Pedestrian Safety Improvements Download the Presendation (pdf)