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Via Garibaldi 8

City touts Select Bus Service success on Woodhaven & Cross Bay Boulevards — but one lawmaker doesn’t buy it

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City touts Select Bus Service success on Woodhaven & Cross Bay Boulevards — but one lawmaker doesn’t buy it

Screen-Shot-2018-11-26-at-1.20.19-PM.png

Photo: DOT

By Mark Hallum / mhallum@cnglocal.com / Monday, November 26, 2018 / 2:00 PM

Despite the community opposition in the beginning, the city Department of Transportation (DOT) is calling their Select Bus Service plan on Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards a success a year after it rolled out.

Not everyone, however, is buying it.

The Q52 and Q53 bus routes brought dramatic redesigns for south Queens commuters by creating a dedicated bus lanes and improved curb space for waiting.

A report from the agency released on Nov. 20 claims that commute times have been cut along the 11-mile stretch — and traffic injuries and deaths have been greatly reduced.

“On the first anniversary of the rollout of SBS on the Q52 and Q53 lines, we can take pride in the fact that Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards have truly been transformed,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “This project was a massive group effort by staff at DOT – as the project combined innovative planning and engineering with extensive repaving, street marking, expanded sidewalk and median work, which have together made buses faster and more reliable.  While we were also relieved to see that overall traffic injuries have declined, two recent pedestrian fatalities along Woodhaven prove just how much more Vision Zero work we have to do to make this crash-prone street safer.”

In 2016, DOT went through a series of public comment sessions which saw fear and frustration from both motorists and straphangers who feared one of the new waiting zones at the corner of Woodhaven and Jamaica Avenue would be dangerous, being the setting of rollover accidents.

Community leaders, such as Senator Joseph Addabbo, criticized DOT for its unwillingness to accept input from residents and in November 2017, after the rollout, motorists could be seen in gridlocked traffic along the thoroughfare.

According to the report, 129 people, including 34 pedestrians, were killed or seriously injured between 2012 and 2016. But two recent deaths at Jamaica Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard indicate more traffic calming measures need to be applied.

Commute times have been cut by about 9 to 10 percent and about 80 percent of people prefer the new service to the old, the DOT reported.

Councilman Robert Holden, however, called the recent study on the success of the SBS route biased in the way it confirms the agency’s conviction that the initiative would bring improvements.

“The complaints I receive from my constituents, as well as my own personal experiences driving on
Woodhaven Boulevard, directly contradict the claims in this report. There is no doubt that the DOT could fudge the numbers to fit its narrative, so we deserve a report that is conducted without bias,” Holden said. “The DOT has created a traffic nightmare on Woodhaven Boulevard. It took me months to convince the DOT that traffic lights along the route were not synchronized properly. The project has also created several dangerous curves and slip lanes, and pedestrian safety has barely changed. To spin this report and claim that Woodhaven Boulevard has been improved is laughable.”

Holden claimed his office has received an increased number of requests for speed bumps on residential side streets along the route, indicating a displacement of motorists away from the boulevard.

Source: https://qns.com/story/2018/11/26/city-touts-select-bus-service-success-woodhaven-cross-bay-boulevards-one-lawmaker-doesnt-buy/?fbclid=IwAR3ZN_df-gHNBk0d-_mCsgGrEeB-gpWXLNcmQWupRmZkU9nNz1I3xyVCC8E

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They need to work on reliability for the woodhaven buses. The ride is significantly faster and is something i'd easily feel comfortable opting for at least..

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So its biased because it neglects the input from motorists? If Woodhaven blvd has been a pedestrain issue shouldn't more have been done to help prevent that? To me I feel that is more of a priority than a "traffic nightmare". If the biggest things for traffic to be done is synchronizing lights and speed bumps then what is the cause of this traffic nightmare? If its gridlock due to bus lanes why should straphangers be subjected to being stuck in traffic and resulting in a decline in bus ridership? If more of us are on public transit I think straphangers should be prioritized. But even still with bus lanes you have people parking and driving in them.

I feel like in this case we have way too many lawmakers who put bus riders at the back end of the stick and they always are against improving bus service because those same law makers don't even ride bus themselves. Even take a look at how much our own mayor even cares about bus riders. It seems that people have to try twice as hard to get better bus service and its sad. 

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23 minutes ago, Brillant93 said:

So its biased because it neglects the input from motorists? If Woodhaven blvd has been a pedestrain issue shouldn't more have been done to help prevent that? To me I feel that is more of a priority than a "traffic nightmare". If the biggest things for traffic to be done is synchronizing lights and speed bumps then what is the cause of this traffic nightmare? If its gridlock due to bus lanes why should straphangers be subjected to being stuck in traffic and resulting in a decline in bus ridership? If more of us are on public transit I think straphangers should be prioritized. But even still with bus lanes you have people parking and driving in them.

I feel like in this case we have way too many lawmakers who put bus riders at the back end of the stick and they always are against improving bus service because those same law makers don't even ride bus themselves. Even take a look at how much our own mayor even cares about bus riders. It seems that people have to try twice as hard to get better bus service and its sad. 

No, it could be biased because the DOT has an agenda and yes they can easily fudge the figures to fit that agenda. They've been touting Vision Zero for years now and talking about how great it is and how fatalities have been reduced all around the City. The math doesn't add up though and I'll explain why.  On the one hand they're saying well bus trips are faster along the corridor at a time when NYC buses are the slowest in the nation.  Too many contradictions.... How can bus service on that corridor be so much better now when the lights aren't synced? Is it solely because of all door boarding, bus lanes and people being able to pay before they board, even with the speeds being reduced from 30 to 25 mph? I'm not sure I buy that. Even Polly Trottenberg admitted in the last meeting that the amount of app based vehicles has QUADRUPLED in just the last few years, so that means you have more congestion on the streets that would definitely negatively impact ALL buses, yet somehow SBS routes get through all of that? It seems a bit too convenient for me.  It's not about being anti-bus but rather making SBS service look as if it's oh so great. I think the real reason this is being pushed is these buses receive federal funds. That means the City doesn't have spend so much and neither does the (MTA) because they can run these buses instead of building more subways which would cost them BILLIONS. That's the deal here.  SBS functions as BRT so instead of building a true subway, they have SBS at a fraction of the cost AND they get new buses federally funded, bus shelters and countdown clocks too. It's too good to be true. It's like free money.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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6 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

The math doesn't add up though and I'll explain why.  On the one hand they're saying well bus trips are faster along the corridor at a time when NYC buses are the slowest in the nation.  Too many contradictions.... How can bus service on that corridor be so much better now when the lights aren't synced? Is it solely because of all door boarding, bus lanes and people being able to pay before they board, even with the speeds being reduced from 30 to 25 mph? 

 

As far as travel speeds is concerned, for me the buses feel just about the same. Pre SBS buses were hauling ass (some still do). Now with the lanes the buses aren't sharing with traffic as much. 

 

They need to do away with this Vision Zero bullshit. Slowing down traffic to then have people rely on unreliable mass transit is a disaster. 

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6 minutes ago, Jdog14 said:

 

As far as travel speeds is concerned, for me the buses feel just about the same. Pre SBS buses were hauling ass (some still do). Now with the lanes the buses aren't sharing with traffic as much. 

 

They need to do away with this Vision Zero bullshit. Slowing down traffic to then have people rely on unreliable mass transit is a disaster. 

They call it traffic "calming". Meanwhile drivers still fly down the street out of anger of being unable to drive without stopping every other light.

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1 minute ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

No, it's biased because the DOT has an agenda. They've been touting Vision Zero and talking about how great it is and how fatalities have been reduced all around the City. The math doesn't add up though and I'll explain why.  On the one hand they're saying well bus trips are faster along the corridor at a time when NYC buses are the slowest in the nation.  Too many contradictions.... How can bus service on that corridor be so much better now when the lights aren't synced? Is it solely because of all door boarding, bus lanes and people being able to pay before they board, even with the speeds being reduced from 30 to 25 mph? I'm not sure I buy that. Even Polly Trottenberg admitted in the last meeting that the amount of apped base vehicles has QUADRUPLED in just the last few years, so that means you have more congestion on the streets that would definitely negatively impact ALL buses, yet somehow SBS routes get through all of that? It seems a bit too convenient for me.

Well I take the B82 sbs everyday for work and I can tell you that sbs does speed up buses. A bus espeically a local one does spend a great deal of time at a bus stop, even at one where its very busy it could take almost over a minute. Before the B82 was converted to sbs It would take me nearly and hour to get home and thats because often service was sporadic and dwell times at bus stop was awful and it lead to people farebeating. Now with all door boarding and paying before you get on a bus can spend literally half the time it use to at a bus stop and leave. Now being how the bus lanes were significantly cut down on that route the only fast part is on the big part of kings hwy, it shaves off around like 4-8 minutes but its been an improvement for me even though there can be further improvements. So I can see why they say it speeds up buses in a vision zero plan even when speeds are capped and lights aren't synced. Now if the solution is have lights more synced and raise up the speed limit then that needs to be addressed.  

 

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1 minute ago, Brillant93 said:

Well I take the B82 sbs everyday for work and I can tell you that sbs does speed up buses. A bus espeically a local one does spend a great deal of time at a bus stop, even at one where its very busy it could take almost over a minute. Before the B82 was converted to sbs It would take me nearly and hour to get home and thats because often service was sporadic and dwell times at bus stop was awful and it lead to people farebeating. Now with all door boarding and paying before you get on a bus can spend literally half the time it use to at a bus stop and leave. Now being how the bus lanes were significantly cut down on that route the only fast part is on the big part of kings hwy, it shaves off around like 4-8 minutes but its been an improvement for me even though there can be further improvements. So I can see why they say it speeds up buses in a vision zero plan even when speeds are capped and lights aren't synced. Now if the solution is have lights more synced and raise up the speed limit then that needs to be addressed.  

 

Well if they're also using TSP, then I would expect that to help too. Let's also not forgot that running the lines as SBS lines greatly reduces the (MTA) 's expenses so they have everything to gain from this, and so does the City. They can say HEY LOOK!! We made bus service better (all while they are grinning and taking federal funds). Less money that the City has to spend too...

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1 minute ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Well if they're also using TSP, then I would expect that to help too. Let's also not forgot that running the lines as SBS lines greatly reduces the (MTA) 's expenses so they have everything to gain from this, and so does the City. They can say HEY LOOK!! We made bus service better (all while they are grinning and taking federal funds). Less money that the City has to spend too...

If passengers are happy with the service shouldn't that be a plus? In my community sbs has helped me a lot as person who doesn't have a license or a car I can get to work or even to the city in a reasonable time. The first in my area was the B46 sbs and recently was the B82. If the MTA has everything to gain from sbs because its funding from the federal government I would say let them use that to better service on high volume corridors because they literally don't have money. At this point there won't be any new sbs until a few years from now so we are just going to have to wait till other ways of improving bus service such as all door boarding, tap cards, and others prove themselves. The city on the other hand... Yeah the need to get on the ball with improving service. 

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1 minute ago, Brillant93 said:

If passengers are happy with the service shouldn't that be a plus? In my community sbs has helped me a lot as person who doesn't have a license or a car I can get to work or even to the city in a reasonable time. The first in my area was the B46 sbs and recently was the B82. If the MTA has everything to gain from sbs because its funding from the federal government I would say let them use that to better service on high volume corridors because they literally don't have money. At this point there won't be any new sbs until a few years from now so we are just going to have to wait till other ways of improving bus service such as all door boarding, tap cards, and others prove themselves. The city on the other hand... Yeah the need to get on the ball with improving service. 

Nothing wrong with using free federal funding, but they're only making SBS lines better while doing nothing to improve local bus service, and that's a problem.

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1 minute ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Nothing wrong with using free federal funding, but they're only making SBS lines better while doing nothing to improve local bus service, and that's a problem.

 

He didn't mention how shit the B46 local has become 😆

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1 minute ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Nothing wrong with using free federal funding, but they're only making SBS lines better while doing nothing to improve local bus service, and that's a problem.

I can agree. Lets just wait till what all door boarding does to local routes. 

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Just now, Jdog14 said:

 

He didn't mention how shit the B46 local has become 😆

Well I don't take the local anymore. I usually take the sbs when I need to get into the city because its literally the next corner from the local stop near my house. But I do understand the local has become less dependent but recently I've been seeing more locals. The times when I'm waiting for the bus. 

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1 minute ago, Brillant93 said:

Well I don't take the local anymore. I usually take the sbs when I need to get into the city because its literally the next corner from the local stop near my house. But I do understand the local has become less dependent but recently I've been seeing more locals. The times when I'm waiting for the bus. 

 

As we speak there is a 35 minute gap between southbound buses. Maybe during the rush there are more buses, but outside? Forget it.. 

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Just now, Jdog14 said:

 

As we speak there is a 35 minute gap between southbound buses. Maybe during the rush there are more buses, but outside? Forget it.. 

Are you looking at a transit apps for bus times? Because usually when I look at bus times it would show like a 20 the 30 minute gap but thats just before another bus starts up. It would be hard to believe for the B46 because I never witnessed it being 35 minutes late. Unless its very late at night like past 1am in the morning or so. 

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1 minute ago, Brillant93 said:

Are you looking at a transit apps for bus times? Because usually when I look at bus times it would show like a 20 the 30 minute gap but thats just before another bus starts up. It would be hard to believe for the B46 because I never witnessed it being 35 minutes late. Unless its very late at night like past 1am in the morning or so. 

 

46016887812_820db35b9a_b.jpgUntitled by kennyhdr, on Flickr

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Just now, Jdog14 said:

 

46016887812_820db35b9a_b.jpgUntitled by kennyhdr, on Flickr

Oh okay I see what you mean. Also to add the alert says buses are running late due to weather conditions so that could be why the buses are running late. 

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2 minutes ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

Maybe the solution is to remove all buses from Woodhaven.

And put them where?? On your block? :D

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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52 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Nothing wrong with using free federal funding, but they're only making SBS lines better while doing nothing to improve local bus service, and that's a problem.

They should've done all door boarding and "tap cards" on local buses a LONG TIME AGO. Anyone else agree with this statement? I'd be riding the Q60 on certain occasions and let me tell you that half the time, SERVICE IS SHIT! It's even worse when you add bunching into the mix.

31 minutes ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

Maybe the solution is to remove all buses from Woodhaven.

No. Even if you were to put them on RBB (which is a horrible idea). I take the Q52/53 SBS to the (A) train as my alternative to school as opposed to taking the (M)/(R) tothe (E) or Q60 to the (J)(Z), and let me tell you that I get there 20 to 30 minutes faster because of the 52 and 53. Driving on Woodhaven sucks, but at least the buses are reliable there. Taking away the buses from Woodhaven would be a disservice to Queens. 

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56 minutes ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

Maybe the solution is to remove all buses from Woodhaven.

And how do you expect the many people without a car on Woodhaven to get around? Subways, only for people near QBL, Jamacia or Rockaway lines and none of them down the boulevard itself. Driving, that's expensive for many who can't afford it (and already takes forever as @LaGuardia Link N Train pointed out), especially every day. Taxis, Uber or Lyft, all of them also way more expensive than a bus considering other factors like more frequent "surge pricing" and traffic. Walking, too time consuming everyday, will lead to more clogged streets and reduced accessibility for those who need it. Biking could theoretically work, but I highly doubt they'd replace the practicality and capacity of the SBS routes

Edited by NoHacksJustKhaks

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9 hours ago, NoHacksJustKhaks said:

And how do you expect the many people without a car on Woodhaven to get around? Subways, only for people near QBL, Jamacia or Rockaway lines and none of them down the boulevard itself. Driving, that's expensive for many who can't afford it (and already takes forever as @LaGuardia Link N Train pointed out), especially every day. Taxis, Uber or Lyft, all of them also way more expensive than a bus considering other factors like more frequent "surge pricing" and traffic. Walking, too time consuming everyday, will lead to more clogged streets and reduced accessibility for those who need it. Biking could theoretically work, but I highly doubt they'd replace the practicality and capacity of the SBS routes

 

9 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

And put them where?? On your block? :D

 

9 hours ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

No. Even if you were to put them on RBB (which is a horrible idea). I take the Q52/53 SBS to the (A) train as my alternative to school as opposed to taking the (M)/(R) tothe (E) or Q60 to the (J)(Z), and let me tell you that I get there 20 to 30 minutes faster because of the 52 and 53. Driving on Woodhaven sucks, but at least the buses are reliable there. Taking away the buses from Woodhaven would be a disservice to Queens. 

 

The local elected officials clearly want motorists to have absolute priority, and that means getting rid of all the buses. Those buses would then become available for use where people actually want them. 

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50 minutes ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

 

 

 

The local elected officials clearly want motorists to have absolute priority, and that means getting rid of all the buses. Those buses would then become available for use where people actually want them. 

People want those buses on woodhaven. I’m not sure if you’re trolling but to take away bus service from thousands of people to suit motorists is just selfish. 

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54 minutes ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

The local elected officials clearly want motorists to have absolute priority, and that means getting rid of all the buses. Those buses would then become available for use where people actually want them. 

Most of the local officials just want the old service to be restored since they stand alongside the community oppositon of how SBS potentially has made their lives worse. If the few numbers of them completley wanted to get rid of all of the buses and service, community opposition to this idea would far outweigh any positives given. Since people do actually want buses on Woodhaven. The Q53 on it’s own has one of the highest ridership numbers of any bus route in Queens (usually only topped by the Q10). Expecting all those riders to give up such a valuable bus service on the basis of motorists interests is simply asinine.

Edited by NoHacksJustKhaks
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