Testimony at Queens Community Board 5 Transportation Committee re: MTA Queens Bus Network Final Proposal

First, I would like to say that this latest proposal is much better than the previous ones presented. We commend the MTA for listening to and acting on public feedback. But there are still some lingering issues for local commuters.

Q14: The Eliot Ave portion of the route does not provide access to the
Metropolitan Ave M train station, so commuters living along Eliot Ave will require a transfer to another bus to get to the subways that serve Brooklyn and lower Manhattan.

Q18: Commuters along 69th Street will lose access to the Astoria bus and LIRR.
We also question the ability of the bus to turnaround at Clinton Ave-68th St.

B57: This was extended to replace Q18 service along 69th Street. It would stop at the 69th Street 7 train, but that is not an accessible station, and LIRR access at 61st Street-Woodside would first require a transfer to another bus or the subway.

Q67: This line in LIC will end at Court Square instead of Queens Plaza, eliminating the N/R/W subway connection, necessitating additional train connections.

B13: This rerouting would supposedly provide desired access to the Ridgewood Reservoir, however, there are multiple problems with this plan.
• First, this idea was proposed by bicycle activists, not bus commuters.
• It eliminates bus service for Liberty Park.
• Highland Blvd prohibits all but passenger cars and may not be safe for regular bus traffic.
• There are speed humps on Highland Blvd. These are prohibited along bus routes. It would be a bad idea to remove them.
• There is no room along Vermont Place for the bus to pull over. Installing a stop here would either require a costly redesign with destruction of parkland or have the bus come to a dead stop in the middle of the road backing up traffic.
A better option to provide bus service to the reservoir might be to leave the route along Cypress Hills Street and add a bus stop south of the Jackie Robinson Parkway to eliminate pedestrians crossing over the highway. It’s a 5-minute walk from there to the reservoir’s northern entrance.
B38: The MTA claims that the discontinued Metro Ave branch of the B38 would be “served” by the two other bus lines that it currently connects with. The B38 provides more frequent service than the B57 does to western Maspeth residents. The Q54 along Metro Ave and the B57 along Flushing Ave will not be rerouted to cover parts of this route should this proposed change take effect.
This branch serves the Linden Hill section of the area, so named because it’s on a giant hill – one that’s difficult to ascend. It also serves hundreds of students at Grover Cleveland High School as well as visitors to Grover Cleveland Park and Linden Hill Cemetery. Eliminating this segment is just a bad idea.
We hope that the MTA continues to hear the community and that this process ends in a more efficient and reliable system for those who rely on MTA bus service.
Thank you.

Christina Wilkinson
Secretary, JPCA