May 17, 2023
One of Adams Administration's Longest Bus Priority Projects, Project Will Accelerate Commutes for 40,000 Daily Bus Riders and Improve Connections to Subways, Jobs, and Health Care
Project Will Add More Than Three Miles of Camera-Enforced Bus Lanes, Safety Improvements Like Shorter Crossings and Traffic Calming at More Than 20 Intersections Along Vision Zero Priority Corridor
Administration Delivered Faster, More Reliable Service for 400,000 Daily Bus Riders in 2022
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez today announced the start of construction on the Gun Hill Road Bus Priority and Safety project in the Bronx, which will deliver 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 will redesign more than 20 intersections to expand pedestrian safety, shorten crossings, and calm traffic along one of the most dangerous stretches in the borough.
At more than three miles, the Gun Hill Road Bus Priority and Safety project is one of the largest 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.
"Bronxites deserve safer streets and faster commutes, and that's exactly what our administration is delivering with the Gun Hill Road Bus Priority and Safety project," said Mayor Adams. "The data is clear: This is one of the most dangerous streets in the Bronx, and these improvements will reverse the course we are on. With this project, we are following the data to deliver a safer, more prosperous, more equitable New York City."
"Part of 'Getting Stuff Done' means getting stuff moving. It is our responsibility to make sure New Yorkers can get around the city quickly, safely, and on time," said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. "Our partnership with the MTA on the bus routes benefits millions of New Yorkers each and every day. The Gun Hill Road Bus project is a massive win for the Bronx community. Thank you, DOT, for keeping New York City moving."
"This redesign will make Gun Hill Road a safer, more efficient corridor — speeding up the commutes for 40,000 daily bus riders while improving access to local businesses, job centers, and health institutions," said DOT Commissioner Rodriguez. "Through the Adams administration's commitment to equity, Gun Hill Road is an example of one of many great, lifesaving projects we are delivering this year to ensure Bronxites have access to reliable transit and safe streets. We thank the MTA for their partnership, and we will be closely monitoring traffic during the construction along the corridor."
"We are excited to be working with DOT on this project to help buses move faster on Gun Hill Road," said Frank Annicaro, vice president for buses, New York City Transit. "New York City Transit serves thousands of customers daily on the Bx28 and Bx38 routes on Gun Hill Road, connecting Bronx residents to Montefiore Hospital, four different subway lines, several north-south bus routes, and Metro-North. Having new bus lanes and boarding islands will get customers where they are going more quickly and reliably."
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 anchor community institutions, residential centers, and commercial hubs — including Montefiore and North Central Bronx hospitals, Co-Op City, the Jerome-Gun Hill shopping 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 has slowed buses to less than five m.p.h. during peak commuting times.
This section of 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 are injured every week in crashes on Gun Hill Road. The redesign will add painted or concrete curb extensions at 25 intersections, discourage speeding, improve visibility between drivers and pedestrians, and help prevent dangerous wide-angle turns.
Bus Lane Design
DOT worked with community partners to develop a unique design for the 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 offset (next to the parking lane), center-running, and curbside bus lanes — which will be enforced with both DOT's stationary and MTA's bus-mounted cameras. 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 will install concrete, block-long bus boarding islands that allow passengers to quickly and safely board buses. This design will separate the bus lanes from general traffic, making it safer to cross the street, while also improving bus speed and reliability. The islands will be located between Hull and Decatur Avenues as well as between Tryon Avenue and Kings College Place.
Outreach and Implementation
The project is the culmination of extensive public outreach, with more than two dozen meetings held with community members. Work will begin today on Gun Hill Road between Webster Avenue and Bainbridge Avenue, with work on the rest of the corridor to begin soon thereafter.
During implementation, DOT will maintain a travel lane in each direction and access to each block. Construction will be most disruptive between the Bronx River Parkway and Bainbridge Avenue, from now through June, and DOT advises drivers to seek alternate routes around this area during construction. The remainder of construction will be less disruptive and will continue through early fall. DOT will monitor the corridor during and after implementation and adjust as needed to improve traffic flow.
"This transformative redesign of Gun Hill Road's transportation infrastructure marks a milestone in our ongoing efforts to address long-standing concerns and create a safer, more accessible, and efficient transportation network for Bronxites along one of the most dangerous corridors in the borough," said New York State Senator Jamaal Bailey. "The Gun Hill Road Bus Priority and Safety project will not only deliver faster and more reliable service for 40,000 daily bus riders, but create safer streets by expanding pedestrian safety measures, shortening crossings, and implementing new traffic calming measures. I want to thank Mayor Eric Adams, Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, and the Department of Transportation for prioritizing this project and their commitment to engaging with the community throughout the planning process."
"The Gun Hill Road redesign is an urban planning triumph. We will end the era of Gun Hill Road being in the top 10 percent of most dangerous streets in the Bronx, with an average of 5 injuries per week," said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. "Mayor Adams and Commissioner Rodriguez spoke to the community to create a redesign that improves safety and bus service while considering everyone's needs. More than 20 intersections along this vital corridor will receive expanded pedestrian safety, shortened crossings, and traffic calming. The new bus lanes ensure that the Bx28/38 on-time rate will go from 65 percent to 100 percent, speeding the travel time for 40,000 riders. At the same time, we are integrating parking and loading zones into the redesign, allowing small businesses along the corridor to continue receiving deliveries and welcoming customers who drive. Under the mayor and commissioner, everyone will get improved safety and convenience, while reaching their destinations in a New York minute."
"Millions of riders rely on our buses to get to their destinations, and this Gun Hill Road redesign will help to make their commutes faster, safer, and more reliable," said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. "I want to thank Mayor Adams and DOT Commissioner Rodriguez for their work on this project and for their continued commitment to improving safety for the millions of commuters who utilize public transportation in our city."
"We are pleased that the mayor and Department of Transportation continue to move towards the goals of the streets plan for faster bus service and safer streets," said Natasha Elder, director of equity and resiliency projects, New York Public Interest Research Group. "Faster, reliable and accessible service will get more folks on public transportation. The installation of bus lanes on Gun Hill Road and throughout the city will improve bus speeds and decrease congestion along the corridor, while making strides to improve the city's overall public health and air quality."
"Like all New Yorkers, Gun Hill Road bus riders deserve fast and reliable public transit service," said Jolyse Race, senior organizer, Riders Alliance. "Four miles of new camera-enforced bus lanes will go a long way to speed up bus service for 40,000 Bronxites each day. Riders applaud the work of the Adams administration, DOT, and MTA to make faster buses a reality on Gun Hill Road and help deliver on the mayor's promise to us."