Residents discuss Woodhaven Blvd. redesign at workshop
by Holly Bieler
Apr 21, 2015 | 4898 views | 2 2 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Stephanie Veras discusses the plan with a DOT official.
Stephanie Veras discusses the plan with a DOT official.
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Residents gathered in Woodhaven on Thursday for the first of four community workshops to discuss the city’s sweeping, $200 million plan to redesign a 14-mile stretch of Woodhaven/Cross Bay Boulevards, including the implementation of a six-mile long Select Bus Service (SBS) route along the corridor.

The plan, unveiled by the MTA and Department of Transportation last March, calls for a number of renovations along the corridor, long cited as among the city’s most chronically congested for drivers and hazardous for pedestrians.

The most ambitious change is implementation of SBS, which would put exclusive lanes for the Q52 and Q53 buses on the main roadway. Other redesign proposals include implementing curbside payment for bus riders, more turning restrictions for drivers and new, landscaped pedestrian medians.

The DOT said the redesign could greatly reduce bus travel times for the 30,000 people who use the corridor’s buses daily, as well as increase pedestrian safety in the area, which had 37 pedestrian casualties from 2009 to 2013.

“We think Woodhaven Boulevard can really be improved,” said Eric Beaton, director of Transit Development at DOT, at Thursday’s meeting at PS 306. “Woodhaven Boulevard is one of the most dangerous streets in Queens, so we think a redesign would be safer for everybody. The need to improve services for buses, as well as the need to improve traffic flow and safety on the street, are really what came together for this project.”

At Thursday’s meeting, in which residents broke off into small groups to discuss the plans with MTA and DOT officials, most seemed supportive of the overall initiative to decrease commute times, even if many voiced concerns with specific logistics of the plan, a number of which they said failed to take into account the volume and commuting patterns of the masses who depend on the roadway.

Shanna Best, an Ozone Park resident who attended the workshop with her husband and two young children, said her biggest qualm with the project was the planned elimination of express service at the Atlantic Avenue stop on the Woodhaven route, where she catches the Q53 bus to get to her job in Harlem every morning.

“If you eliminate that bus stop, that’s only going to move huge crowds to the closest express stop,” she said. “That bus stop is very much needed. It doesn’t make sense. That would really affect me and my whole community. They need to think this through a lot.”

The current plan would have local bus service stop at Atlantic Avenue, while the SBS route would stop at 91st and 101st avenues, perhaps the most significant public transit reroute in the plan.

Stephanie Veras, 20, said she agreed that the elimination of the Atlantic Avenue stop could create problems.

“It’s a hub spot,” she said. “You have a lot of students there, a lot of schools that depend on Atlantic Avenue”

She also voiced concerns with new restricted turns that would be implemented along Jamaica Avenue.

“That’s going to put a lot of people out of their way,” she said.

Beaton said that plans for the project were still first drafts, and that community input for specific changes could be implemented into the final plans for the redesign.

“We’re going to go back and take a look at all the comments we got,” he said. “The goal is to really incorporate the feedback we’re getting here tonight.”

Phil McManus, chairman of the Queens Public Transit Committee, which has staunchly opposed the redesign since its beginning, said it didn’t make sense to take away a lane of all-vehicle traffic on the corridor.

“Don’t mess around with Woodhaven Boulevard,” he said, as he and other committee members protested outside the workshops. “They’re already getting rid of travel lanes as we speak.”

Tom Carmody, who lives across the street from P.S. 306, said that he’d happened upon the workshops with no knowledge of the project, but thus far he thought it was a solid idea.

“I came in here thinking change is bad, of course, everyone thinks that way,” he said. “But I do know Woodhaven is not safe, for pedestrians or drivers. Drivers are dangerous, pedestrians are stupid, and I’m both a driver and a pedestrian. I haven’t done my homework yet, but so far I’m convinced these are good ideas.”

The DOT plans to host three more workshops over the next two weeks in neighborhoods affected by the proposed changes.

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Philip McManus
|
August 29, 2015
Dear Friends,

Are you tired of the gridlock and overcrowded buses, trains and roadways and unfair tolls to Queens, Rockaway?

The Queens Public Transit Committee is having a rally against Select BS, Zero Vision and QueensWay to Nowhere!

We support faster and safer transportation including the QueensRail, citywide expansion of ferry, bus, train and roadway services and the total elimination of the tolls to Queens, Rockaway.

Stop City Hall from stealing our time, freedom, safety and prosperity.

Our "Transportation for Everyone Rally" is on Sunday, September 13 at the corner of Woodhaven Boulevard, Queens Boulevard and Hoffman Drive from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm near the southbound Q 52 & Q 53 Bus Stop. We will have a 3:30 pm photo opportunity for the media.

Will you join us and tell your family and friends to fight for faster and safer transportation?

Please let us know if you have more volunteers joining us. RSVP

RSVP

Philip McManus

PhilAMcManus@gmail.com

718-679-5309

Queens Public Transit Committee

Faster transportation will create more social, economic, recreational, and environmental opportunities.

Facebook:

Rockaway Beach Rail Line

Queens Public Transit

Rockaway Beach Branch

Twitter:

Rockaway Beach Line

Websites:

Rockaway Branch Line blog

Rockaway Branch Line Mission Statement

Queens Public Transit

Please support the following petitions:

Ferry

Queens Rockaway Beach Line

Toll

Train

Q 52 Bus

Station Agents

Metro North Station in Queens

Philip McManus
|
May 05, 2015


The Queens Public Transit Committee met and rallied on Thursday, April 30 at PS 42. DOT had their last scheduled Woodhaven Boulevard Select Bus Service workshop in Rockaway.

Woodhaven Boulevard Select Bus Service / Bus Rapid Transit will hurt thousand of commuters with longer more congested, crumbling roadways that will take your time, freedom and prosperity away.

City Hall and NIMBY politics refuses to restore our train the Queens Rockaway Beach Line, the new QueensRail, citywide ferry service, expand and maintain our transportation system to our borough and region.

We believe removing numerous traffic lanes, left turns, lowering the speed limit and taking away bus stops for the Select Bus Service plan will be a disaster and divide our borough. We need to restore the unused train tracks on the QueensRail and expand citywide ferry, bus, train and roadway services. Our plan unites and helps all the people of Queens and the region.

City Hall is hurting and stealing from Queens.

City Hall will push for more bus lane cameras and more traffic enforcement which will cause more Queens commuters to pay more. The city is demonizing motorist and taxing them to benefit half of Manhattan and outer borough power brokers.

The City took away the Rockaway Beach Line, our ferry, put tolls on Rockaway bridges, refuses to repair our roadways and railways and now they are taking OUR BUS STOPS!

The Dept. of Transportation is planning to take away the following bus stops:

5 rd in Broad Channel,

Beach 105 St.,

Beach 101 St.,

and Beach 98 St.

The Dept. of Transportation is

a misnomer it should be called the Dept. of Bicycle Safety or Dept. of Slow Transportation.

DOT has the audacity to take away our bus stops too? Do they realize the Q 53 Bus was a Rockaway Express Bus from Woodside to Rockaway that took 45 minutes?

How dare they take away bus stops in Queens?

This is outrageous!

Is anyone surprised by this discrimination of our community again? Who is going to stand up and fight for Queens? Who wants to be the next Mayor?

Are we going to lie down and take this or are we going to rise up and fight back?

The Select Bus Service plan on Woodhaven Boulevard is anti transportation and must be stopped. The bicycle fanatics in power only care about bicyclist. We need to have a balanced approach and treat everyone equally. We need to help people get around safely and quickly. City Hall only cares about extreme safety precautions and punishment and not transportation. We should share the road not steal the road.

Vision Zero and Select Bus Service are hurting our city with slower more congested roadways and with traffic lanes closures. DOT has taken away traffic lanes all over Queens, Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Freeway, Shore Front Pkwy, Cross Bay Boulevard, Queens Boulevard, and Rockaway Boulevard.

We need more faster transportation including the QueensRail, ferry, bus, train and roadway expansion.

We need to get organized, unite and build transit coalitions.



Write to the newspapers and demand more service not less service. Don't take away traffic lanes, left turns, parking, railways, and now bus stops.

We told the people that commuters would be hurt by this plan. City Hall and DOT can not be trusted.

Transportation Alternatives, City Hall, Vision Zero, Select Bus Service, and QueensWay are killing Queens.

Don't settle for Select Bus Service crumbs and bones from Manhattan elite. We deserve railway expansion too.

We need your help. Please support our group and help us promote the QueensRail, (Queens Rockaway Beach Line), and faster transportation.

We need to show unity, strength and recruit new friends and groups to our transportation movement.

Thank you to all our supporters.

Philip McManus

PhilAMcManus@gmail.com

718-679-5309

Queens Public Transit Committee

Faster transportation will create more social, economic, recreational, and environmental opportunities.

Facebook:

Rockaway Beach Rail Line

Queens Public Transit

Rockaway Beach Branch

Twitter:

Rockaway Beach Line

Websites:

Rockaway Branch Line blog

Rockaway Branch Line Mission Statement

Queens Public Transit

Please support the following petitions:

Ferry

Queens Rockaway Beach Line

Toll

Train

Q 52 Bus

Station Agents

Metro North Station in Queens