Motorists aren’t the only ones anxious about what the MTA’s plan to bring Select Bus Service (SBS) to Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards next month will mean for traffic on the congested roadways. One business owner in Ozone Park fears it may cost her customers in the long run.
Nancy Composto, who owns and operates Today’s Home Décor located at 137-07 Cross Bay Blvd. with her son Joseph, is concerned that a newly planned bus stop directly in front of their business thanks to the new SBS routes will hurt her business because cars will no longer be allowed to park near the store.
Today’s Home Décor does not have its own parking lot and depends on customers using the few metered spots in front of the business on Cross Bay Boulevard. When the new bus stop is implemented, those spots will be gone, and so may go Composto’s customers.
“The most important thing is that they are taking away my parking,” Composto told QNS in a phone interview. “There is no place to park here normally. So now [customers] can’t even wait until the next day to come because there will still be no spots for them. We aren’t a foot-traffic store. People come in here to shop for kitchen cabinets, and they need their cars.”
The MTA’s plan entails transforming the Q52 and Q53 limited bus routes into SBS routes by Sunday, Nov. 12. There will also be new bus stops added — like the one in front of Composto’s business — and bus stops taken away further down the routes in the Rockaways and Broad Channel.
Another hindrance to Composto and her store are the three MTA fare stations placed directly in the middle of the sidewalk in front of Today’s Home Décor.
“The second thing is they put these machines right in the middle of the sidewalk so now people have to walk around them,” Composto said. “It doesn’t seem to me to be a good placement for them.”
Composto said she first heard of the MTA’s plan back in May and took it upon herself to reach out to her local elected officials, but the plan moved forward.
“I can’t see it making any traffic better,” Composto said of the SBS routes. “I’m hoping they took into consideration the small businesses in the area that will be affected because of this.”
According to a Department of Transportation (DOT) spokesperson, the fare machines are aligned the way they are because a bus shelter will be installed at the location at it is to DOT’s standards that all fare machines and other SBS amenities are aligned with the back of the bus shelter. The amenities need to meet the agency’s minimum sidewalk clearance requirements. They also noted that the Muni meter other conflicting sidewalk elements at the site will be relocated.