Environmental group wants to close the bus gap to the Ridgewood Reservoir

Ridgewood Reservoir added to New York State Register of Historic Places
Photo courtesy of NYC H2O

The nonprofit environmental group NYC H2O has worked for years in order to protect the Ridgewood Reservoir. Now it’s trying to make it accessible to public transit.

NYC H2O took advantage of the MTA’s proposed goal to redesign bus-service in Queens by sending out a flyer urging people to submit requests for the reservoir. Eight local lawmakers have joined the advocacy group in its call to open a more convenient bus stop.

“More families, students and seniors can enjoy this 50-acre natural oasis if there was a bus stop in front of the reservoir,” said state Assemblyman Mike Miller.

The closest subway station to the reservoir is the J train at Norwood Avenue, a mile from the Reservoir. The closest bus stop is the Q56 at Jamaica and Shepherd avenues, which is about a half-mile from the reservoir. 

The MTA describes its public feedback campaign as part of an effort to take “a holistic, blank-slate approach to bus service” in the borough. The MTA would have to assess the NYC H20’s proposed bus line on the basis of whether it reduces redundancy and subway competition.

Though the bus line would doubtless be useful to nature enthusiasts, the redesign’s express purpose is based on relieving commuter traffic and inconvenience. The MTA describes its priority as “providing high-frequency, high-capacity bus service on major corridors.”

The reservoir is located within Highland Park which is run by the New York City Parks Department. In January, NYC Parks and the state Department of Environmental Conservation designated it as a Class 1 Wetland, protecting the threatened and endangered species that live there like short-eared owl, pied-billed grebe and several plant species. 

“The Ridgewood Reservoir is a hidden gem on the border of Queens and Brooklyn, and any additional method to bring people to the reservoir to connect with nature is welcomed,” said Ridgewood Councilman Robert Holden.

To fill out a comment to MTA, visit mta-nyc.custhelp.com/app/comments_queensbus