The MTA Bus Company has proposed extending the Q45 bus route past its current terminus, which is on 80th Street at Eliot Avenue in Middle Village. Under the proposal, the Q45 would continue south along 80th Street and would turn eastbound on Cooper Avenue to the Shops at Atlas Park where the bus would then turn around. A public hearing on this proposal was held at the Community Board 5 meeting on June 11th at the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council on Myrtle Avenue and Fresh Pond Road in Glendale. Subsequent to the hearing, the CB5 Board voted overwhelmingly to oppose extending the Q45 bus route south
of its current terminus.

This proposal, if enacted, would put buses along 80th Street past PS49, which is undergoing its own extension to double its size and enrollment. The buses would continue past Dry Harbor Road, Furmanville Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue and another school, PS87, before ending at the shopping mall. Additionally, there are what seem like hundreds of school buses also vying for their place on the roadways.

Currently, the Q29 bus runs along Dry Harbor Road to the same intersection of 80th Street and Furmanville Avenue. This bus also goes past the Shops at Atlas Park along Cooper Avenue to Myrtle Avenue in Glendale.

When school is dismissed at 3pm, traffic is backed up on 80th Street from PS49 to Juniper Boulevard North. The lights make it totally difficult to access the school and maneuver through the hundreds of children and their parents as they try to leave the area on foot and in their own cars.

South of PS49 is experiencing its own nightmare with traffic lined up past that infamous light at the corner of 80th Street, Dry Harbor Road and Furmanville Avenue. Then there is the other school on 80th Street, PS87, that has its own traffic problems. All of these streets would be negatively impacted by putting yet another bus along their roadways.

It’s no secret that Dale Hemmerdinger, Atlas Park owner and MTA Chairperson, has been using his influence to get the Q45 rerouted. While he claims all sorts of other benefits to the community, totally in his headlights is what he sees as the huge benefit to the “upscale” Shops at Atlas Park, which has emerged on our neighborhood scene as an irritant to the locals. Additional development at the site is rumored and will probably come to fruition in the foreseeable future.

Residents of Glendale are understandably upset and they’ve expressed their concern at public meetings but the extension of the Q45 also has a serious impact on Middle Village. The questions we should be asking are, “Why do we need additional bus routes in Middle Village that would exacerbate our already horrendous traffic problems? Will another bus route help the mall do business? Who knows? Should we care?”

Middle Village and Glendale shouldn’t have to provide bus routes to sweeten MTA Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger’s bottom line!