By Jon Cronin, Editor
Select Bus Service (SBS) will no longer be in effect on Saturdays on Cross Bay Boulevard following complaints by store owners in the area, state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) said.
Addabbo announced the change in service on Thursday in front of C-Town grocery store on Cross Bay Boulevard. He noted that he had been listening to the concerns of shop owners on the boulevard on a daily basis since the bus lanes went into effect at the beginning of November. Many of the store owner had lost street parking for their customers as a result of SBS.
In negotiations with the city’s Department of Transportation, Addabbo said that he was able to get the curbside bus service suspended on Saturdays. It will now operate on Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“When I first saw that the curbside SBS lanes would be in effect on Saturdays, I knew that had to be changed,” Addabbo said. “There is no rush hour on Saturday, so I felt that day should be given back to the drivers, allowing them to park and access the local businesses. I am glad to see that DOT heard the frustrations and followed through on their promise to continue to look at the SBS route after it was implemented to see how it affected the residents and business owners.”
At the press conference on Thursday, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D- Rockaway Park) called the changes “common sense.”
“Our local businesses are the heart and soul of South Queens,” she said. “It is great to see the Department of Transportation listen and work with our community to ensure residents can have the ability to access their local businesses and facilities.”
Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) also praised the changes.
“I encourage DOT to go further and find additional parking spaces on Woodhaven Boulevard’s underutilized service roads,” Miller said.
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) said that while expanded bus service to underserved areas is important, SBS should not impede on business’ ability to draw customers.
“While it is important to expand bus service to neighborhoods like the Rockaways, where transportation options are limited, it is crucial the expansion does not come at the expense of residents and local business owners,” Ulrich said.
All of the elected officials at the press conference said that they are in support of better bus service for the transportation-starved Rockaways and along the Cross Bay and Woodhaven boulevards, all of which the new 14.7-mile Q52/53 SBS bus route serves. The 15th Senate District, which Addabbo represents, covers most of that corridor.
That route connects to 20 other bus routes, eight subway lines and, according to Addabbo’s office, provides transportation to more than 45,000 riders every day.
Reach reporter Jon Cronin via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 357-7400, ext. 125.