Community Board 10 got a look last Thursday at the city Department of Transportation’s plans to speed up bus service along Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards, but were left with some concerns.
The DOT plans to build dedicated bus lanes for part of the route this year. Between Metropolitan and Eliot avenues, bus lanes to be constructed later this summer would be in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and for a two-block span north and south of Rockaway Boulevard, dedicated bus lanes would be built for use only during the morning and afternoon rush hours.
The latter project, which is in CB 10’s area, would eliminate a number of parking spots along Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards during the times when the bus lane is in service. The bus lanes between Metropolitan and Eliot would not take away parking spots.
“Woodhaven Boulevard is not like any other street in the city,” said Eric Beaton, director of transit development at DOT. “It’s a unique street, it’s very wide and you know that it has a lot of issues.”
He noted that congestion and bottlenecking is a big problem, notably where Woodhaven Boulevard meets Rockaway Boulevard and Liberty Avenue.
But board members were concerned about the plans to create bus-only lanes on Cross Bay Boulevard between Plattwood Avenue and Rockaway Boulevard, where there are a number of small businesses.
“Many of these businesses rely on that parking to bring in customers,” said CB 10 First Vice Chairman John Calcagnile. “If you take away their parking, you’re taking away their business.”
Beaton said the bus-only lanes northbound would only be in effect during the morning rush hour before many of those businesses open.
North of Liberty Avenue, bus lanes would take away some residential parking between 101st and Liberty avenues during the afternoon rush hour, which has a few residents concerned.
“Parking is already difficult as it is in the neighborhood and this will make it worse,” said resident Jennie Stuart.
The lanes are expected to be constructed later this summer.