By ARIEL HERNANDEZ
Two bus countdown clocks have been installed by the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) in Sunnyside, with three more expected to be added in Woodside and Sunnyside in September.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), Queens representatives from the DOT, Community Board 2 Chairwoman Denise Keehan Smith and seniors from the Sunnyside Community Center gathered at the 39th Place and Queens Boulevard Q32 and Q60 bus stop in Sunnyside to announce the installation of the countdown clocks.
According to Van Bramer, $200,000 was allocated for the five bus countdown clocks in his participatory budget for 2016-2017, and an additional $300,000 has been secured for the clocks in his 2017-2018 budget, which could result in additional bus countdown clocks for District 26. Participatory budgeting is a process that allows community members to have input into how part of a public budget is spent.
The two new clocks are located, respectively, at 39th Place and Queens Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue and 61st Street. The next three clocks will be installed at Woodside Avenue and 61st Street, Broadway and Steinway Street, and Vernon Boulevard and 50th Avenue.
“These first five clocks are part of the initial $200,000 allocation, and I am excited that more are on the way,” said Van Bramer. “The new countdown clocks will surely make life and commuting easier for local residents who rely on the bus, especially seniors. Now that we see how convenient the clocks are, I am determined to get more installed throughout our district.”
Barbara Lee, a participatory-budgeting transportation budget committee member from the community, said that there has long been a need for countdown clocks at bus stops in the neighborhood.