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Queens Chronicle

Bus plans impacting Ridgewood residents

Fresh Pond bus lane will begin; B38 stops to be removed on route

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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 11:46 am, Thu Aug 29, 2019.

Like it or not, here it comes.

The Department of Transportation announced last Friday that the Fresh Pond Road bus lane will be implemented this month. The DOT confirmed work began Monday. That is despite the fact that Community Board 5 voted 28-6 against the proposal. The board’s Transportation Committee, however, was in favor.

Amid less fanfare, the MTA is scheduled to begin operating articulated buses on the B38 route. The new 64-foot-long buses will replace 40-foot-long buses on its run from Ridgewood to Downtown Brooklyn.

However, the MTA’s plan means the loss of the Putnam Avenue, Madison Street, Palmetto Street, Grove Street and Harman Street stops in Ridgewood.

“It is a wide spacing there already and eliminating both the Harman and the Grove Street does make for some pretty long runs for people that happen to live in the middle of those,” said Community Board 5’s Public Transit Services Co-chairman John Maier, at Tuesday’s Transportation and Public Transit Combined Committee meeting.

He added, “I think we need to write [the DOT] a letter about Madison Street eastbound because that’s a connection to the Flushing-bound Q58 ... why are they removing service?”

Regarding the Fresh Pond plan, the work will see a nine-block bus lane installed on the southbound side of Fresh Pond Road from Bleecker Street to Putnam Avenue. Seventy parking spaces will be lost during its night peak, mitigated by 61 new metered spaces on “spurs” with two-hour parking from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and alternate-side parking at other times. There would be new loading zones at key locations also.

The DOT does not plan to eliminate select parking spots in bottleneck areas.

Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village) has spoken out against the lane.

“This bus lane would have been an easier sell to the community if the DOT had slowly phased in other recommendations first, as both Community Board 5 and I requested,” he said in a statement. “Instead, the DOT’s community input process was ineffective, they ignored the votes of the community board, and they will end up making more changes to the bus lane once they realize the flaws in their plan after the fact. I will be sure to keep a close eye on Fresh Pond Road going forward and hold DOT accountable for this decision.”

The DOT noted the lane will speed up the Q58, QM24, QM25 and QM34 buses.

Gary Giordano, district manager of CB 5, said he believes the lane will be better for emergency vehicles that are driving through the area though he’s concerned about possible significant business losses for merchants.

He voiced his disappointment regarding the DOT’s choice to not try some suggested traffic-calming measures.

“I am upset that they didn’t go along even with the Transportation Committee and the community board recommendation to see if the signal timing could provide relief before they went ahead with this full-blown plan,” Giordano said. “I think that’s a bit of a smack in the face.”

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1 comment:

  • Buster57 posted at 3:41 pm on Thu, Aug 22, 2019.

    Buster57 Posts: 79

    Why bother having a community board if no one listens to their decision? WE THE PEOPLE have rights and it is disgusting that these agencies - who get paid lots of money - can override what the people decide. NYC has become a stupid place to live. Thanks Dumblasio!