Holden suggests changes to Fresh Pond Road leading up to Ridgewood bus lane launch

Photo courtesy of DOT via Flickr.

On a recent walking tour of Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood, Councilman Robert Holden made a series of recommendations to the city Department of Transportation (DOT) in regard to the launch of a dedicated bus lane along between Metropolitan and Putnam Avenues.

As part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Better Buses Action Plan announced in April, the sluggish section of Fresh Pond Road between Metropolitan and Putnam Avenues was among many across the city that would get a bus lane to address congestion on the thoroughfare.

During the walking tour, Holden suggested better light synchronization, consolidating bus stops and methods to keep the way clear for riders to board and disembark.

“My staff and I gave many alternate suggestions on how the DOT can improve traffic flow on Fresh Pond Road,” Holden said. “We look forward to working in partnership going forward to determine what can be done to make this area much safer and less congested.”

Holden also placed emphasis on the intersection near Putnam Avenue, where he said the nearby Fresh Pond Bus Depot and delivery vehicles put an additional strain on traffic conditions.

The mayor hopes that road redesigns giving priority to public transit, speeds will increase by 25 percent by 2020 and complement congestion pricing in Manhattan when it is finally implemented after about two years since Governor Andrew Cuomo went public with a proposal.

City Councilman Robert Holden with members of the Department of Transportation during the Fresh Pond Road walking tour (Photo via Facebook/Council Member Robert Holden)

According to a DOT spokesman, the agency has not finalized a plan and will be reaching out to local officials upon completion.

“Making it easier to get around our city means New Yorkers have more time for what matters most – for their family and themselves,” de Blasio said in April during his announcement. “These measures are part of our OneNYC strategy to build a fairer, better city for all. They complement congestion pricing, helping us fix our subways and reduce traffic delays to get our city moving.”

The proposal also has the backing of Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan who said improvements to Fresh Pond were long overdue.

Fresh Pond Road sees not only local traffic between Middle Village and Ridgewood, but the two-lane road also accommodates the Q58, QM24, QM25 and QM34. Each of these bus lines see a daily ridership of about 30,000, the de Blasio administration said, and average bus speeds are 5.9 miles per hour in the morning hours and 3 miles per hour in the evening.