AGBC News Episode 46: The Guggenheim Opens and the Busway is Buzzing
The city reaches out to New Jersey 🌉
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We've been following the 14th Street busway since it was first proposed, and after being blocked twice by legal complaints, the street has been swept free of cars and the buses have been roaming free for two weeks now. In a press release from the MTA, preliminary data shows that ridership is up and buses are moving faster along 14th Street. A cross-town trip from Third Avenue to Eighth Avenue will now take 10.6 minutes, compared to a 15 minute trip from last year. While collecting data on the Select Bus Service plan implemented along the M14 route, the MTA saw a jump in ridership, with 15% more people choosing to take the prioritized buses, and in the short time the 14th Street busway has been operating, the ridership has jumped again, topping 31,000 daily riders on an average weekday. The busway, which limits traffic on 14th Street from 6am to 10pm, is planned to last 18 months, after which the DOT will assess the impact it has had on bus transit and traffic in the surrounding area. — Also this week, independent data analysis firm INRIX evaluated traffic data from the streets surrounding the 14th Street busway and found that there was no change in traffic speeds, and zero impact on traffic to the immediate north or south of 14th. The initial objections raise by local community groups claimed the busway would negatively impact nearby streets by pushing 14th Street's traffic into their neighborhoods, but the speed increase for 31,000 daily bus riders came at no expense to traffic, with differences in average speeds on surrounding streets never slowing more than a half a mile per hour. Here's how INRIX described the results: "The impact, or lack-there-of, may seem surprising but similar projects around the world have had similar results. The reallocation of space from vehicles to buses represents a far more efficient use of a limited public resource. Whereas one urban lane in congestion can move roughly 1,000 people an hour, a transit way can hit 25,000. As a result of this project, more people are getting where they need to be faster and more reliably."
18 years ago on October 24, 2001 — A 14-story construction scaffolding and brick building façade collapses, killing five workers and seriously injuring 10 others in a courtyard at 215 Park Ave South near Union Square
54 years ago on October 18, 1965 — Closing day of the NY World's Fair at Flushing Meadows Park — Bowery Boys podcast
24 years ago on October 23, 1995 — A Greenpeace activist piloting a "gas-powered parachute" flies a banner outside the UN building
88 years ago on October 24, 1931 — The upper level of the George Washington Bridge is opened in a dedication ceremony, and opens to traffic the next day — United States Marine Band conducted by Leonard Slatkin playing William Schuman's 1950 composition "George Washington Bridge"
60 years ago on October 21, 1959 — The Guggenheim Museum Opens on the Upper East Side
136 years ago to October 22, 1883 — The original Metropolitan Opera House opens
Beginning October 18th through the 20th, you'll have the once-a-year opportunity to explore the city like never before when Open House New York brings you exclusive tours of the city's architectural masterpieces that are sometimes hidden from public view or pass by unnoticed the rest of the year. Visit ohny.org for the full schedule of events, some of which require advance registration, but most of which are open all day to the public. The choices range from brand-new developments like 277 Mott Street to historic homes like the Alice Austen House, built on Staten Island in the 1690s. Going beyond architecture, you can also tour special projects like a solar rooftop in Harlem and an urban farm run by Brooklyn Grange in Long Island City. Each site sets its own visitation hours, so visit ohny.org to plan out your weekend!
And, if you're planning on marching in the Village Halloween Parade, you better be finishing up your costume soon! Halloween is less than two weeks away, and the city's biggest party will be stepping off Thursday, October 31st at 7pm at Sixth Avenue and Canal. The parade is unique because it lets anyone participate! If you wear a costume centered around this years theme of "Wild Thing", you'll be allowed to march is a special section of the parade, but anyone who shows up in a costume will become part of the parade, and usually more than 50,000 people show up! Visit halloween-nyc.com for full info, and if you haven't decided on a costume yet, visit the AGBC costume ideas generator at agreatbigcity.com/halloween-costumes where you can get funny New York-themed costume ideas like dressing up as a vintage traffic jam now that the 14th Street busway is open or strike fear in the heart of anyone who has walked the city streets by becoming the Starbucks Bathroom of Doom!
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AGBC is more than just a news website: Every evening, just before sundown, A Great Big City checks the Empire State Building's lighting schedule and sends out a notification if the tower's lighting will be lit in special colors for a holiday or celebration. Follow @agreatbigcity on social media to receive the alerts.
Park of the day
- 10th Annual Harvest Festival in Brooklyn Bridge Park — Saturday, October 19, 2019 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
This is the AGBC Concert Calendar for the upcoming week:
- The Misfits with Rancid and The Damned are playing Madison Square Garden in Midtown West / Chelsea / Hudson Yards on Saturday, October 19th at 7pm.
- Mana is playing Barclays Center in Boerum Hill on Saturday, October 19th at 8pm.
- Steely Dan is playing Beacon Theatre on the Upper West Side on Saturday, October 19th at 8pm.
- Benin International Musical is playing Carnegie Hall - Stern Auditorium in Hell's Kitchen / Midtown on Saturday, October 19th at 9pm.
- 85 South is playing Apollo Theater in Central Harlem on Sunday, October 20th at 5pm.
- 85 South is playing Apollo Theater in Central Harlem on Sunday, October 20th at 9pm.
- Tidal X with Alicia Keys is playing Barclays Center in Boerum Hill on Monday, October 21st at 8pm.
- Steely Dan is playing Beacon Theatre on the Upper West Side on Monday, October 21st at 8pm.
- Charli XCX is playing Terminal 5 in Hell's Kitchen / Midtown on Monday, October 21st at 8pm.
- Charli XCX with Allie X is playing Terminal 5 in Hell's Kitchen / Midtown on Tuesday, October 22nd at 8pm.
- Steely Dan is playing Beacon Theatre on the Upper West Side on Tuesday, October 22nd at 8pm.
- Dermot Kennedy with Talos is playing Kings Theatre in Ditmas Park / Flatbush on Tuesday, October 22nd at 8pm.
- Jessie Reyez is playing Brooklyn Steel in Greenpoint on Wednesday, October 23rd at 8pm.
- Fantasia with Robin Thicke is playing The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in Midtown West / Chelsea / Hudson Yards on Friday, October 25th at 7pm.
- Billy Joel is playing Madison Square Garden in Midtown West / Chelsea / Hudson Yards on Friday, October 25th at 8pm.
- Alec Benjamin is playing Terminal 5 in Hell's Kitchen / Midtown on Friday, October 25th at 8pm.
Find more fun things to do at agreatbigcity.com/events.
Today's fact about New York
Here's something you may not have known about New York:
The extreme highs and lows for this week in weather history:
Record High: 88°F on October 22, 1979
Record Low: 30°F on October 19, 1940
Weather for the week ahead:
Light rain on Sunday through Wednesday, with high temperatures rising to 67°F next Friday.
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