Transit advocates to rally in Elmhurst for improvements

Photo courtesy of NYC DOT

As Select Bus Service (SBS) and bus rapid transit (BRT) routes are scheduled to come to Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards, an increasing amount of Queens residents are opposed to the idea of the Department of Transportation (DOT) taking away lanes from drivers and dedicating them for buses.

The Queens Public Transit Committee (QPTC) urges the public to join them during their Transportation for Everyone Rally on Sunday, Sept. 13, at the corner of Hoffman Drive, Queens Boulevard and Woodhaven Boulevard in Elmhurst, to fight for better and faster transportation.

“We are rallying for more transportation, not less transportation,” said Philip McManus, QPTC chair. “People are fed up with our leaders who are making it harder to get around. We are rallying to organize the people to fight for more transportation options and protest anti-transportation plans that hurt commuters. Some leaders are trying to divide and conquer commuters, demonize some commuters and reward others.”

McManus believes the residents of Queens need “faster and safer transportation for everyone which will create more opportunities for people.”

“We need to reduce travel times with reasonable safety precautions to improve our standard of living,” he added.

Members of QPTC are looking to public officials to answer their questions on why some of their transportation options are being taken away in favor of other transportation options.

“Why is it okay to ride a bike, but the city will ticket and slow street traffic with less travel lanes and slower speed limits? Why is it okay for some people to lose their bus stops? Why is it okay to spend money on bike trails but not railways? Why is it okay to spend $32 billion dollars in Manhattan for railway expansion, but no railway expansion in the outer boroughs?” McManus asked.

The QPTC sees several problems with the way transportation is evolving in Queens.

“Vision Zero, Select Bus Service and the QueensWay are all linked together in taking away our transportation options including five bus stops, travel lanes, left turns, parking; narrow travel lanes, reasonable speed limits, local bus frequency and the QueensRail,” McManus said.

“It will also Increase travel times, congestion and gridlock, pollution, accidents, emergency response times, travel expenses, residential traffic and Zero Vision enforcement including tickets, arrest, confiscations, and higher insurance rates with speeding and bus lane cameras,” he added.

The rally will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. near the southbound Q52 and Q53 bus stop. For more information, visit the QPTC website.

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