‘People are walking faster’: DOT to implement bus lanes on Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood

The Q58, which travels along Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood, would soon have a new southbound bus lane in the neighborhood, according to the city's Department of Transportation.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The city Department of Transportation said it would move forward with the implementation of bus lanes along the seven-block corridor of Fresh Pond Road between Metropolitan and Myrtle Avenues in Ridgewood.

In a statement from the agency, a spokesman said although they completed a up to 15 meetings with the public, they believed what was needed to get the average speed of Fresh Pond above 3 miles per hour was not itemized changes, but a sweeping improvement.

According to DOT, the southbound bus lane will not only offer faster bus speeds to meet Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 25 percent goal, but it will mean a net gain in parking.

DOT said at Community Board 5’s transportation committee meeting that they expect 70 parking spaces to change designation. Jason Banrey with DOT said these will be converted to 55 metered spaces on Fresh Pond and into the side street as well as 15 alternate side parking spots.

“Many of the suggestions we’ve received from area elected officials, businesses and the community are included in this plan, however, DOT believes that a la cart treatments like only adjusting signal timings will not address the severe congestion and safety concerns which currently exist on Fresh Pond Road,” a DOT spokesman said. “The plan we’ve crafted, and adjusted multiple times during our 15 community meeting, is a comprehensive design which aims to address the concerns for bus riders and motorists using Fresh Pond Road.”

DOT did not specify a start date to the implementation of the plan, claimed in an email to have completed “hundreds of interviews with … bus riders, surveys with local businesses and other community stakeholders.”

One of the issues experienced on Fresh Pond Road is a high level of bus traffic due to numerous lines, many of which circulating through Brooklyn, being stored overnight in the depot.

The times between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. are the heaviest on Fresh Pond, so the city will be enforcing the bus lane between those time.

“Right now people are walking faster than the 3 mph speeds buses and general vehicular traffic are traveling southbound along Fresh Pond Road,” the spokesman concluded.

DOT will be taking recommendations from Community Board 5 at their next meeting.

The agency did not specify a start date for the project.