Issues Surrounding Queens Bus Redesign
by Larry Penner
Jan 08, 2020 | 5339 views | 0 0 comments | 119 119 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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There are many issues related to the MTA’s proposed Queens Bus Network Redesign proposal serving customers from Northeast Queens that need to be resolved.

Has someone who worked on this study ever driven a bus along any of the proposed new routes?

It will be very difficult for any standard 40-foot bus, let alone a 60-foot articulated bus, to make a right-hand turn traveling east from Northern Boulevard on to Marathon Parkway.

Several times daily, delivery trucks attempt to pull into the local Stop and Shop supermarket off of Marathon Parkway. They will block traffic in both directions for several minutes while attempting to access the off-street loading dock.

The proposed new QT17 Northern Boulevard East route will replace the old Q12 and Q13 routes, but attempting to navigate Marathon Parkway between Northern Boulevard and Horace Harding Expressway will be challenging.

Significant portions of Marathon Parkway are narrow. Residents along this low-density, single-family home neighborhood will not welcome the noise and traffic of buses day and night.

On June 25, 2010, service was totally eliminated on the Q79 route on Little Neck Parkway. It ran from the Little Neck LIRR Station to Jericho Turnpike in Floral Park.

After significant lobbying by both riders and local elected officials, service was resumed on January 2, 2013, by extending some Q36 buses from their previous Jericho Turnpike terminus to the Little Neck LIRR Station via Little Neck Parkway.

Under the proposed redesign, there will be no service south of the Horace Harding Expressway to Jericho Turnpike.

Residents of North Shore Towers, many of whom are retired seniors, will not be happy with the proposed QMT167 Union Turnpike-6th Avenue bus replacing the QM6.

Service will be significantly reduced down to 5:30 to 9 a.m. for Manhattan-bound buses and 4 to 7:30 p.m. for east-bound buses.

Many other Queens residents will not be happy with only three express bus routes operating on Saturday and no express bus service from any neighborhood on Sunday.

Funding from congestion pricing, which is scheduled to start January 1, 2021, is supposed to help pay for increased, not reduced, bus service. This was supposed to be especially true from old two-fare bus-to-subway neighborhoods.

On the other hand, the proposed QT34 route extending into Nassau County for service to North Shore University Hospital may make sense. It could attract significant numbers of both employees and visitors to the hospital.

This has previously been proven successful with the extension of the Q44 Union Turnpike bus one block into Nassau County for direct service to Long Island Jewish Hospital.

And the proposed new QT1 bus route would cross the Pulaski Bridge to connect Astoria, Long Island City, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Navy Yard, and Downtown Brooklyn.

This might make for a low-cost, easy-to-implement improvement versus the $2.8 billion Brooklyn/Queens Street Car Connector.

Larry Penner is a resident of Great Neck and worked 31 years for the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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