PHOTO: State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. is calling on area residents to attend meetings and submit input on the Select Bus Service project slated for the Q52/53 line along the Woodhaven-Cross Bay corridor.
State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) this week reminded residents who live in communities that would be impacted by the Woodhaven-Cross Bay corridor Select Bus Service project to attend as many meetings as possible and submit input on the plan.
According to Addabbo, the city Department of Transportation is set to begin holding public meetings this fall to collect comments about the controversial project, which currently seeks to remove a lane of traffic from the corridor in both directions, in order to create a Bus Only lane for the Q52 and Q53 routes and place pedestrians waiting for a bus on the median.
“Long after DOT has decided whether to implement this plan in our neighborhoods and move on, we are left behind to deal with the outcome, whether it be good or bad,” Addabbo said. “It is crucial that we help the agency make an informed decision by providing as much input as possible before any plans are set in stone. You may think your opinion does not matter, but in this case, it could not be more important. I encourage all my constituents to take advantage of these town hall meetings, contact DOT and submit your questions and concerns while you still have the chance.”
In March, DOT announced that Design Concept 2—a “transit-oriented boulevard” in which buses travel in designated lanes in the main roadway—had been selected out of the three that the agency and the MTA had developed.
According to DOT, Concept 2 “provides faster and more reliable bus service, allowing buses to travel free from turning or parking conflicts, with an anticipated travel time savings of 25 to 35 percent. Median transit stations with shelters, seating, and real-time bus information will be constructed, giving passengers high-quality waiting areas.”
However, as Addabbo related to The Forum this summer, at certain points, the plan calls for the removal of one lane of through traffic in each direction.
“I can’t accept that,” Addabbo said. “Keep three lanes consistent and use the service road.”
Jamaica Avenue has been one of the more hotly contested junctions of the plan, with the controversy mainly surrounding the “no left-hand turns from Woodhaven Boulevard onto the avenue” design element.
Jamaica Avenue small-business advocates have decried the plan.
“The ‘No Left Turn’ on Jamaica Avenue component will mean no vehicular traffic access to our Jamaica Avenue shopping strip,” the Woodhaven Business Improvement District said in a statement in June. “This will be very detrimental to the economy of our Jamaica Avenue small storeowners and business owners and for Woodhaven. This diversion of Woodhaven Boulevard vehicles with potential shoppers will bypass our WBID.”
DOT, which has called the Jamaica Avenue intersection “especially challenging,” has indicated that it is looking into “signalized U-turns” one block south of Jamaica Avenue as an alternative.
Addabbo said community participation in the planning process is paramount right now.
“This plan would have consequences to everyone in the community, and it is important that we voice our concerns immediately,” he said on Monday.
By Michael V. Cusenza email@example.com