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Where Are the Buses?

Board 5 Eyes Bus Service, Bike Routes

Transportation was a hot topic at last Wednesday’s (Feb. 12) Community Board 5 meeting in Middle Village, as the advisory body voiced support for new bike routes in the area and heard frustration over bus service woes.

New City Council Member Antonio Reynoso (at podium), who represents part of Ridgewood, addressed Community Board 5 during its Feb. 12 meeting at Christ the King Regional High School in Middle Village. Reynoso, who previously worked for former City Council Member Diana Reyna as her Ridgewood liaison, stated he would work with neighborhood residents to improve the community. Also pictured are (From left to right) District Manager Gary Giordano, Board 5 member Donald Passantino, Board 5 Chairperson Vincent Arcuri and Cathy O’Leary, a Board 5 staff member.

Alex Maureau-a representative of State Sen. Joseph Addabbo- vented on behalf of constituents and himself regarding bus service delays around Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village.

His commute to last Wednesday’s meeting, Maureau stated during the public forum, proved a perfect example of the problems which he and other mass transit riders have experienced in recent weeks and months. Though he left his Glendale home at 6:25 p.m.-more than an hour before the Board 5 meeting’s scheduled start time-he only arrived at Christ the King High School at about 7:45 p.m., 15 minutes after the meeting started.

Maureau blamed delays on the Q54 bus line which runs primarily along Metropolitan Avenue between Jamaica and Williamsburg. Three Williamsburg-bound buses never came, he said; after 45 minutes of waiting, a bus finally arrived-but it was packed from door to door with passengers.

“There is no reason for that to happen,” Maureau told the board. “The bus service in this community board stinks.”

Speaking on Addabbo’s behalf later during the session, Maureau stated a host of local residents voiced similar gripes to the senator’s office regarding other bus lines in the community. For example, he noted, the Q29 bus between Glendale and Jackson Heights often experiences delays during the afternoon rush hour, resulting in long lines and “bus bunching” at its Hoffman Drive stop in Elmhurst.

During a recent snowstorm, Maureau added, riders complained of a 90-minute wait for the Q38 bus line, which he speculated may have been the result of the MTA being short of available drivers.

“There’s a lot of issues with buses in this area and it shouldn’t be that way,” he stated. “People need efficient mass transportation” in order to get around.

Board 5 Chairperson Vincent Arcuri invited Maureau and others to share their public transportation gripes during the next meeting of the board’s Transportation and Public Transit committees, which is scheduled for Tuesday night, Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m. at Board 5’s office, located at 61-23 Myrtle Ave. in Glendale.

Board likes bike route plan

The board overwhelmingly recommended approval of a plan to create two perpendicular bike routes through Ridgewood and Glendale connecting to other bike routes in the area. The proposal, put forth by the Department of City Planning, is the first phase in the creation of a bike route network through the board’s confines.

One route primarily runs along Woodward and Onderdonk avenues and connects to the Metropolitan Avenue Bridge in East Williamsburg and the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway in Glendale. The other route runs along Himrod and Harman streets and links to bike routes in Bushwick.

John Maier, co-chair of Board 5’s Public Transit Committee, explained the Himrod-Harman route was originally going to be extended along Eliot Avenue and run to Rego Park. However, those plans were temporarily scrapped after committee members voiced concerns about traffic safety on a narrow section of Eliot Avenue between Mount Olivet and All Faiths cemeteries.

The full length of Eliot Avenue and other roadways in Board 5’s confines may be added to the bike route network in the second phase, which remains under study, Maier added.

The Woodward-Onderdonk and Himrod-Harman routes would feature a combination of dedicated bike lanes and “sharrows,” pavement markings reminding drivers and bicyclists to safely share the road. No parking spaces will be lost, Maier stressed.

Demolition notices

Arcuri announced the board received demolition notices for the following locations: 53-47 67th St. in Maspeth; and 1614 and 1626 Madison St. in Ridgewood. He advised board members to carefully monitor activities at each site and report any questionable work.

Liquor licenses

The board also received the following liquor license applications for its perusal:

– A new liquor license for Good Times Bar & Grill Inc., located at 60- 59 Myrtle Ave. in Ridgewood (formerly Chiquita’s Restaurant).

– Liquor license renewals for Beer LLC, d.b.a. The Avenue Bar & Restaurant, located at 71-22 Myrtle Ave. in Glendale; and London Lennie’s Inc., d.b.a. London Lennie’s Restaurant, located at 63-88 Woodhaven Blvd. in Rego Park.

– New wine and/or beer licenses for Chen Brothers 888 Restaurant Inc., d.b.a. Jade Palace Restaurant, located at 55-33 Myrtle Ave. in Ridgewood; Thumbelina’s Pantry LLC, d.b.a. Norma’s Café, located at 59-02 Catalpa Ave. in Ridgewood; Room 55 Corp., d.b.a. Room 55, located at 75-01 88th St. in Glendale (formerly Tazzina Restaurant); and Bun-ker Fish and Chip Inc., d.b.a. Bun-ker, located at 46-63 Metropolitan Ave. in Ridgewood.

– A wine and/or beer license renewal for Kiko Coco Deli & Grocery Inc., located at 63-31 Forest Ave. in Ridgewood.

– A corporate change notification for Sabor Y Rumba Inc., located at 666 Seneca Ave. in Ridgewood, with principal ownership transferred from Angel Sarmiento to Marco Mendez.

Those who wish to comment on any application may contact Board 5 at the number listed at the end of this article.

The next Community Board 5 meeting is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, Mar. 12, at 7:30 p.m. at Christ the King Regional High School, located at 68-02 Metropolitan Ave. in Middle Village. For more information, call Board 5’s Glendale office at 1-718-366-1834.

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