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Commuter Alert: Most Of 14th Street Will Be Closed To Cars Most Of The Time Starting July 1

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - There's a commuter alert you should know about.

Starting next month, cars will be banned on most of 14th Street in Manhattan.

It's part of the MTA's plan to increase bus service while repairs continue on the L train.

Starting July 1, some big changes are coming for commuters, CBS2's Natalie Duddridge reported. A very busy stretch of 14th street from Third Avenue to Ninth Avenue will be shut down to cars.

The MTA and Department of Transportation announced Monday that beginning July 1, private cars will be banned along 14th Street from Third to Ninth Avenues from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

It's a pilot program that transit officials are testing as construction continues on the L train's Canarsie tunnel, which runs directly below 14th Street.

The plans were originally announced in April.

In the proposal, personal cars will only be able to make pick ups, drop offs and access garages. Only buses, trucks, and emergency vehicles will be able to use 14th Street.

It also means the launch of the M14 select bus service to keep commuters moving.

"There's no point in having a bus lane if you have it hopelessly blocked with people double parking, delivering. I call it the 'park anywhere lights.' People put the four-way flashers on, you can park anywhere, right? No, you can't park in a bus lane. It's selfish, it holds up thousands of people," said MTA CEO Andy Byford.

The busways plan has drawn criticism from the surrounding community worried about traffic overflow to surrounding streets.

Officials say the bike lane network will be maintained for cyclists.

The pilot program is expected to last 18 months, so if 14th Street is part of your commute, you will have to make adjustments.

Drivers can still use 14th Street overnight after 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.

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