Utica Avenue Bus Priority and Safety Improvement Study

Overview | Updates | Design | Community Outreach and Reports | Timeline


Utica Avenue Bus Priority and Safety Study Project Area

The Utica Avenue B46 bus corridor extends eight miles across Brooklyn carrying 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 3 and 4 subway trains at Eastern Parkway, the A and C trains at Fulton Street, and to other major bus routes, such as the B35 on Church Avenue.

Utica Avenue is also a priority corridor for safety improvements, as it has among the highest rates of injury from motor vehicle crashes in Brooklyn. Speeding is a major contributor to this problem and DOT has found that over 60% of vehicles on Utica are traveling above the speed limit (30 mph), endangering other drivers, bikers, and pedestrians. The intersection of Church and Utica Avenues, for example, has among the highest number of crashes involving pedestrians in Brooklyn.

To enhance bus service and to improve safety, DOT will implement a series of phased improvements to the corridor, including:

The implementation plan is the result of the Utica Avenue Bus Priority and Safety Improvement Study conducted between 2011 and 2013 and extensive input from community boards, local merchants, residents, and transit riders.


Initial improvements, including the addition of red bus lanes, loading zones, traffic signal changes, and left-turn bays began in June 2014.


The B46 bus route will receive a number of improvements, implemented in a phased approach:

Short-Term, Beginning Summer 2014

  • curbside bus lanes on the southbound side between St Johns Place to Eastern Parkway
  • Removal of southbound bus lane between Union Street to Carroll Street to add peak period commercial vehicle loading
  • offset bus lanes and left turn bays between Carroll Street and Church Avenue
  • Left turn restrictions at some intersections to improve traffic flow
  • Transit signal priority for buses
  • Traffic signalization improvements to improve traffic flow

Long-Term: 2016

  • Resurfacing and restoration of pavement markings between St Johns Place and Snyder Avenue
  • Four bus bulbs
    • Church Avenue Northbound
    • Church Avenue Southbound
    • Winthrop Street Northbound
    • Empire Boulevard Northbound
  • 14 curb extensions
  • Three pedestrian islands

Community Outreach and Reports

Community outreach for the project was conducted through a series of presentations, meetings, and engagement with community boards, local merchants, residents, and stakeholders to identify issues, propose options, and gain feedback for the design of the project.

Community Advisory Committee

DOT and MTA have convened a Community Advisory Committee to provide guidance for the Utica Avenue Select Bus Service project. The committee will meet throughout the project's planning phase and is comprised of a broad range of stakeholders, including elected officials, Community Boards, community groups, and major area institutions.

February 4, 2015: Community Advisory Committee Service Planning Meeting Download meeting materials (pdf)

September 16, 2014: Community Advisory Committee Kickoff Meeting Download the presentation (pdf)

Community Board Meetings

Community boards are local representative bodies. There are 59 boards across the City. DOT and MTA make presentations to all of the Community Boards located along proposed Select Bus Service routes.

Community Board 8

November 18, 2014 (Transportation Committee): Utica Avenue Select Bus Service Briefing Download the presentation (pdf)

Public Workshops and Open Houses

Public workshops and open houses provide an opportunity for neighborhood stakeholders, residents, and bus riders to engage with one another and the project staff to develop plans for the corridor that best suit the needs of the community. DOT and MTA will host public workshops and open houses and work with the community to develop plans for bus stop locations, SBS features, and design of the corridor.

March 19th, 2015: Open House Download the presentation (pdf)

November 13, 2014: Public Workshop Download the presentation (pdf) Download the presentation (pdf)

Bus Priority and Safety Improvement Project Outreach
DOT communicated regularly with community boards, elected officials, local merchants, and residents throughout the Utica Avenue Bus Priority and Safety Study conducted between 2011 and 2014.

September 15, 2011: Presentation to stakeholders, including Brooklyn Community Boards 8, 9, and 17 Download the slideshow (pdf)

January 24, 2012: January 24, 2012: Presentation to local merchants and Councilwoman Darlene Mealy Download the slideshow (pdf)

February 4, 2012: Presentation to Council Member Darlene Mealy

April 26, 2012: Project update presentation to stakeholder group Download the slideshow (pdf)

May 1, 2013: Project update presentation to Councilman Jumaane Williams

September 12, 2013: Presentation to Brooklyn Community Board 8 Download the slideshow (pdf)

September 19, 2013: Presentation to Brooklyn Community Board 17 Download the slideshow (pdf)

September 24, 2013: Presentation to Brooklyn Community Board 9 Download the slideshow (pdf)


April 2009
Utica Avenue identified as a potential BRT corridor in the Bus Rapid Transit Phase II report

October 2011
Utica Avenue Bus Priority & Safety Improvement study kickoff

Fall 2011-Winter 2012
Initial presentations to community stakeholders

Winter 2011-2012
Data collection of existing traffic, pedestrian, bus passenger, and safety conditions

Spring 2012
Traffic analysis and preliminary concepts developed

2012-Early 2013
Develop proposed street markings plan for “short-term” improvements.

Summer-Fall 2013
Presented updated designs to community boards and elected officials

Summer 2014
Implementation of short-term improvements, including bus lanes, loading zones, left turn restrictions, addition of turn-bays, and signal improvements

Throughout 2016
Implementation of capital improvements including bus bulbs and curb extensions