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Queens Chronicle

NYC Transit talks buses in Laurelton

MTA is seeking riders’ input for its route redesign effort in Queens

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Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2019 10:30 am

Back in April, officials with New York City Transit promised an extensive public outreach effort when they unveiled their Fast Forward plans to analyze and redraw the entire Queens bus system.

On May 30 officials greeted all comers at the Laurelton Library with a brief video presentation — it was short enough to be repeated multiple times as new people ambled in — followed by individual stations where residents and commuters could ask questions of and offer opinions to NYC Transit personnel.

The session was the seventh of nine promised by NYC Transit at the April meeting of the Queens Borough Board.

The agency, as it has done in Staten Island and is doing in the Bronx, is looking at rerouting certain lines, spacing out stops to reduce travel time between them, technology to give buses priority at traffic signals and other means of improving speed, reliability and on-time performance.

Mark Holmes, chief officer and vice president for Planning, and David Moss, director of Service Design, repeatedly used the word balance when describing how NYC Transit will take its data from riders, engineers, technicians, the NYPD and the city’s Department of Transportation.

And if you’ve ever tried to keep your balance on a crowded city bus with an armful of belongings or just your morning cup of coffee, you have an idea of what they’re up against. Holmes said, for example, that removing some bus stops along some routes would, in fact, make buses run faster.

“Would people be willing to walk a little farther to the bus stop to get where they’re going faster?” he asked. “We have to find a balance.” He said the calls get even tougher with older, narrower streets.

One aspect that will be looked at is whether bus routes laid out 40 or more years ago — sometimes along former trolley lines — could be tweaked to serve more people more efficiently.

They also said there are advantages and tradeoffs to both shorter, more direct runs with fewer turns, and those that serve longer, wider service areas.

“If you make one change, you might be giving someone else a two-seat ride,” Moss said. “Or someone might have a circular route, but it drops him right at his doctor.”

Suggestions left by the public on sticky notes included creating a bus terminal in Flushing; making Archer Avenue from 150th Street to Guy R. Brewer Boulevard in Jamaica a “buses only” zone from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and sorting out what appears to be confusion between local and limited stops on the Q5 route at the Jamaica end.

A report on the existing conditions in Queens will be released in July. A draft plan of alternatives is scheduled for November, followed by more community outreach. A final plan, which still will be subject to public review, is scheduled for next April.

Those wishing to fill out a survey based on the video presentation may do so online at queensbusredesign.metroquest.com.

Those seeking more information on the project and updates on additional workshops and open houses can go to new.mta.info/QueensBusRedesign.

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1 comment:

  • pvrjr posted at 1:10 pm on Sat, Jun 8, 2019.

    pvrjr Posts: 315

    It's very important for many Queens bus riders to get involved in this process ASAP. [beam]