BY ANGELA MATUA
During its final meeting before the summer break on Tuesday in Ozone Park, Community Board 9 pressed the MTA and the city Department of Transportation (DOT) to make changes to its Select Bus Service (SBS) plan for Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards.
Both the MTA and DOT previously selected a plan to create the bus rapid transit (BRT) system on the boulevard running between Elmhurst and the Rockaways. The new design would create designated bus lanes, left-turn bays at selected locations and slip lanes at select locations to allow vehicles to move between the service road and the main road.
“Our project goal, in addition to improving transit service, is to really think about this plan holistically and how do you transform Cross Bay and Woodhaven boulevards into streets where you can comfortably get on and off the bus,” said Taylor Gouge of the DOT.
The plan would eliminate left turns from Woodhaven Boulevard onto Jamaica Avenue and 101st Avenue in Woodhaven and Ozone Park, respectively. Left turns would be allowed at Park Lane South and 103rd Avenue, but at the meeting, Board 9 members and residents said those left turns were not enough.
“We did hear a lot of concerns about that at our community workshop, so the DOT is currently evaluating some other options that we have for that intersection,” Gouge added.
Board member Priscilla Levine requested that there be countdown clocks along the boulevards to make it safer and easier for those crossing the street to enter and exit buses.
Another workshop will be held on Wednesday, June 24 to discuss these concerns.