Pol wants public to speak out on Woodhaven Blvd. SBS plan

Residents are urged to attend upcoming town hall meetings on the DOT's SBS plan.
COURIER/File photo

As the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) plan to bring Select Bus Service (SBS) to Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards drives on, one local elected official is urging his constituents to make their voices heard before anything is finalized.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo is reminding residents to attend the upcoming series of town hall meetings set up by the DOT regarding its SBS proposal. Since its inception, the proposal has been met with strong opposition from the public and elected officials. Now, the public meetings, set to take place this fall, will give residents the chance to speak up about the SBS plan.

The DOT’s plan currently seeks to remove one lane of traffic from Woodhaven-Cross Bay Boulevard in both directions in order to create a dedicated “bus only” lane for the Q52 and Q53 routes while placing pedestrian waiting areas on the median.

Addabbo believes that this plan would ultimately add unnecessary congestion to a main roadway that is already overcrowded and would place pedestrians at serious risk, as they would be forced to cross the highly active roadway in a limited time in order to board the bus from the proposed 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.”

When the proposal was first announced, Addabbo organized a bus tour of the route with DOT and MTA officials in August to show them some of the major problems that would be brought about by the SBS plan. Addabbo has continuously encouraged both residents and city agencies to consider the interest of five key categories that would be affected by the implementation of SBS: bus riders, car drivers, pedestrians, local businesses and residential side streets.

“This plan would affect more than just the straphangers who ride the buses or the motorists who drive behind them. It would put pedestrians in harm’s way by moving bus stops to medians along an extremely busy Woodhaven-Cross Bay Boulevard,” Addabbo said.

Addabbo will inform his constituents of when the DOT town hall meetings will take place as soon as the dates become available. In the meantime, the senator is encouraging residents to frequently check the DOT’s website for information about the SBS proposal.