Bus Priority Projects
Utica Avenue Bus Priority & Safety Improvement Study
Every day, thousands of bus riders travel on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn. Utica’s B46 bus carries almost 50,000 passengers a day, making it the second busiest bus route in New York City. Many of the neighborhoods along Utica Avenue, including sections of Crown Heights, East Flatbush, and Flatlands, lack direct access to the subway, making the B46 a key transit link to subway stations at Eastern Parkway (3 and 4 trains) and Fulton Street (A and C trains).
Utica Avenue is also a priority corridor for safety improvements. Utica has among the highest rate of injury from motor vehicle crashes in Brooklyn. A major contributing factor to this problem is speeding—DOT has found that over 60% of vehicles on Utica are traveling above the speed limit (30 mph). Speeding on the corridor endangers other vehicle drivers and pedestrians. For example, the intersection of Church Avenue and Utica Avenue has among the highest number of crashes involving pedestrians in Brooklyn.
To enhance bus service and to improve safety, DOT is undertaking a study of Utica Avenue between Saint Johns Place and Church Avenue. The study will assess existing traffic and pedestrian conditions on Utica and recommend a series of improvements to reduce crashes and to increase bus speed and reliability. The study kicked off in October of 2011 and is expected to be completed by the spring of 2012.
About the Study
The study team’s first step is to gain a better understanding of travel patterns and traffic conditions on Utica Avenue from St Johns Place to Church Avenue. DOT is conducting extensive data collection and analysis to identify high crash locations, busy pedestrian areas, and sources of bus delay. The study team will be gathering data on traffic volumes, turning movements, and pedestrian flows at key intersections, crash locations and causes, and bus passenger volumes. The data collection phase of the project is expected to wrap up by early 2012. DOT will then take the lessons learned from the data collection and analysis to come up with different ideas to improve safety and bus speed and reliability. Each of these ideas will then be evaluated by DOT with community input.
The recommendations of the study will likely have implications for transit riders, pedestrians, motorists, and Utica Avenue businesses. Over the fall and winter of 2011 to 2012, DOT will seek input from the local community and reach out to key stakeholders, including merchants. DOT also plans to offer briefings on the study to the Community Boards along the study segment.
Over the coming months, DOT will be:
- completing data collection on traffic, pedestrian, and transit conditions on Utica Avenue.
- making presentations on the study to local Community Boards within the study segment. Check the DOT Calendar for upcoming presentations
- Reaching out to key stakeholders, including local merchants.