Bus depot will not be placed in Maspeth: City

Bus depot will not be placed in Maspeth: City
Photo by Bianca Fortis
By Bianca Fortis

A proposal to relocate a bus depot to Maspeth has been nixed, according to city officials.

In 2011, the city and the MTA announced they would consider moving a depot for Access-A-Ride vehicles to a vacant lot in Maspeth from Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

The depot had been sitting on waterfront space in Brooklyn for years, but residents there rejected it and said they wanted to use the space as a park. The city had promised to create the park as part of the 2005 waterfront rezoning agreement, the New York Post reported.

The city then proposed moving the depot to the lot on 49th Street, between 57th Avenue and Galasso Place.

But in an effort spearheaded by City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Jackson Heights), Maspeth residents rallied against the proposal, saying the neighborhood is already overburdened with truck traffic.

Instead, the city will move it to the Bronx, according to officials.

“We are glad the city has been able to identify a turnkey facility that will enable us to house a portion of our Access-A-Ride fleet,” MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said.

Community members and leaders, including Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), protested at the site in May 2011.

“Enough is enough,” Crowley, whose district is adjacent to the lot, had said at the time. “Maspeth is not a doormat.”

Roe Daraio, the president of the group Communities of Maspeth & Elmhurst Together, had been adamantly opposed to the depot since she had first heard of the proposal more than two years ago.

She said she was glad when she learned the depot would not come to Maspeth.

“We already have a bus depot in Maspeth,” she said. “We’re just tired of getting all the city facilities dumped here.”

She said the city already uses the neighborhood for DOT, police and sanitation facilities.

“Practically every agency you can think of is there,” she said.

Daraio said she was not aware of any businesses moving into the spot now that the city will not use it. But she said community members would prefer a private business to take over the vacant lot. Private industry can generate revenue for the city and bring jobs to residents, she said.

Daraio praised Van Bramer for fighting the issue in City Hall.

“He came and protested with us,” she said. “He put up a good fight.”

Reach reporter Bianca Fortis by email at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4546.