October 31, 2023
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NYC DOT Celebrates Completion of East Gun Hill Road Redesign to Speed Up Buses and Enhance Safety on One of the Bronx’s Most Dangerous Corridors
Project makes commutes faster and more reliable for 40,000 daily bus riders with more than three miles of bus lanes improving connections to subways, jobs, and health care
Redesign includes safety improvements like shorter crossings and traffic calming at 25 intersections along Vision Zero Priority Corridor
New York — New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez today announced the substantial completion of the East Gun Hill Road Bus Priority and Safety project in the Bronx, which is delivering faster and more reliable service for 40,000 daily bus riders and safer streets along a Vision Zero Priority Corridor. As part of the project, DOT redesigned more than 20 intersections to expand pedestrian safety, shorten crossings, and calm traffic along one of the most dangerous streets in the borough.
“A reliable bus network is critical for our local economy, connecting people with jobs, health care and other essential services," said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “We’re thrilled to be able to deliver faster bus service and a safer street environment for the Bronx community.”
"This holistic redesign makes East Gun Hill Road both safer and more efficient by prioritizing bus speeds for 40,000 daily riders and redesigning more than two dozen intersections," said NYC DOT Commissioner Rodriguez. "This administration is committed to equity, and this life-saving project is one of many we’re installing this year for Bronxites, who deserve reliable commutes and safe streets. We thank the MTA for their close partnership and Mayor Adams for his support.”
“Bus lanes are a critical tool to deliver the faster, more reliable bus service that customers tell us in survey after survey is their number one priority,” said NYC Transit President Richard Davey. “The collaborative effort between DOT and the MTA to create a dedicated lane will speed up buses on Gun Hill Road. Bronx riders will now have better bus service along this essential crosstown route, which serves thousands of customers daily on the Bx28 and Bx38, with connections to four subway lines, several north-south bus routes, and Metro-North. With bus-mounted camera enforcement coming to this corridor soon, even faster buses are on the way.”
At 3.1 miles, the East Gun Hill Road Bus Priority and Safety project is one of the longest bus priority projects under the Adams administration. It builds on the administration's successful work in 2022 to improve the lives of 400,000 daily bus riders with faster and more reliable service. The project also builds on the administration's commitment to developing innovative tools to manage curb access, as outlined in the "Making New York Work for Everyone" action plan developed by the "New" New York panel that Mayor Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul convened last year.
East Gun Hill Road serves 40,000 daily bus riders across the Bx28 and Bx38 routes — connecting to other local buses and the 2, 4, 5, and D subway lines. The route also connects to community institutions, residential centers, and commercial hubs — including Montefiore and North Central Bronx hospitals, Co-Op City, the Jerome-Gun Hill Business Improvement District, and The Mall at Bay Plaza. New bus-only lanes and turn bays will help bus riders cut through congestion and double parking, which had slowed buses to less than five m.p.h. during peak commuting times.
This section of East Gun Hill Road is a Vision Zero Priority Corridor and features a per-mile rate of deaths and serious injuries within the top 10 percent of corridors in the borough. On average, roughly five people have been injured every week in crashes on East Gun Hill Road. The redesign added painted or concrete curb extensions at 25 intersections, discouraging speeding, improving visibility between drivers and pedestrians, and helping prevent dangerous wide-angle turns.
Bus Lane Design
NYC DOT worked with community partners to develop a unique design for the East Gun Hill Road bus lane, from Bainbridge Avenue to Bartow Avenue, to ensure businesses can receive deliveries without blocking bus lanes. The design features new loading zones and metered parking as well as 3.1 miles of a mix of offset (next to the parking lane), center-running, and curbside bus lanes. NYC DOT will be working with MTA to implement both NYC DOT's stationary and MTA's bus-mounted cameras in the future. Camera enforcement brings a $50 fine for the first offense, with escalating fines up to $250 for a driver who receives more than four violations in a 12-month period.
At two locations, DOT installed concrete, block-long bus boarding islands that allow passengers to quickly and safely board buses. This design separates the bus lanes from general traffic, improving bus speed and reliability, while also making it safer to cross the street. The islands are located on East Gun Hill Road between Hull and Decatur Avenues as well as between Tryon Avenue and Kings College Place.
The project was the culmination of extensive public outreach, with more than two dozen meetings held with community members over 3 years. DOT made several design improvements in response to community feedback, including pedestrian safety improvements and new parking spaces at several locations.
“The completion of the East Gun Hill Road Bus project represents a significant milestone in our efforts to deliver faster, more reliable service and a safer future for all New Yorkers,” said State Senator Jamaal T. Bailey. “Today, we are taking a step forward in the transformation of East Gun Hill Road, not only improving service for 40,000 daily bus riders but making our streets safer for pedestrians, commuters, and motorists alike. I want to thank our community for their invaluable input in shaping this project and Mayor Eric Adams, Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, and the Department of Transportation for their continued work to create a safer, more efficient transportation system.”
“Ensuring road safety for pedestrians and motorists creates a need for dedicated bus lanes and turning bays across New York City, especially here in the Bronx,” said State Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie. “Bus lanes make public transportation more efficient by improving the reliability of a necessary resource for our communities, encouraging ridership of public transportation while decreasing fuel emissions, as well as making accessibility a priority. Thank you to my partners in government for making the East Gun Hill Road Bus corridor redesign a reality. The public transportation of the Northeast Bronx requires our continued focus as we work towards a more safe, accessible, and equitable system for all.”
“All the data show that bus lanes and busways make streets fairer and safer," said Jolyse Race, Riders Alliance Senior Organizer. “Thanks to DOT's work on Gun Hill Road, 40,000 bus riders now will save precious time and enjoy faster, more reliable service – and one of the Bronx's most dangerous streets will be a safer public space for everyone who uses it. Millions of riders across the city are demanding more busways and bus lanes to speed up service and stop dangerous crashes."
“Bus improvements are critical to improving transit equity and access for riders,” said Lisa Daglian, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC). “We're thrilled that 40,000 bus riders will experience faster commutes and smoother rides thanks to new bus lanes and turn bays on Gun Hill Road, so that buses aren't stuck crawling behind traffic and double-parked cars. We thank NYC DOT for making this investment in Bronx bus riders.”
“40,000 daily bus riders are getting a much-needed boost on East Gun Hill Road. We're glad to see DOT announce the completion of this project, which brings much-needed safety improvements for everyone using the street. To achieve Vision Zero and meet the requirements of the NYC Streets Plan, completing projects such as this one are vital,” said Jada Yeboah, Bronx/Uptown Organizer for Transportation Alternatives. “We look forward to joining Commissioner Rodriguez on more groundbreakings and ribbon-cuttings on street safety projects in the Bronx and beyond.”
“This project begins to right the wrongs of decades of harmful policy and transit injustice,” said Sara Lind, Co-Executive Director at Open Plans. “Allocating a traffic lane for bus service is a simple, proven way to dramatically boost equity and mobility; mixing bus lanes with loading zones, pedestrian amenities, and effective enforcement ensures that each aspect works in concert with the others to create an efficient, convenient, and highly useful corridor.”
“The Gun Hill Road bus and pedestrian upgrades are going to make life significantly better for the 40,000 Bronxites who ride the Bx28 and Bx38 every day, connecting residents from Co-op City to Norwood to multiple subway lines, healthcare resources, shopping, and other amenities while also improving pedestrian safety along one of the borough’s most-dangerous corridors,” said Eric McClure, Executive Director of StreetsPAC. “The effort to better organize Gun Hill Road will reduce crashes and corresponding deaths and injuries while also making for quicker bus trips and improving reliability. Gun Hill Road is emblematic of how relatively simple design changes can have a profound impact for transit riders, and we urge NYC DOT to replicate these types of projects across the city.”