Whitestone residents rally against bus route


| mchan@queenscourier.com |

Photo courtesy of State Senator Tony Avella
Photo courtesy of State Senator Tony Avella

Buses are still going down a narrow residential street in Whitestone and often getting stuck, residents say, despite two years the community has spent pushing for another route.

“It is incomprehensible that the MTA would consider such a narrow street for the routing of a city bus,” said State Senator Tony Avella. “This is an accident waiting to happen and is ruining the quality of life for the residents on this block and jeopardizing their safety.”

The Q15A bus route has run through 10th Avenue, between Clintonville and 152nd Streets, since 2010, when the MTA axed Q14 service.

Officials said the line was created to serve former Q14 riders and continues on the old route along 150th Street to 7th Avenue.

But since then, residents say they have been squeezed in as buses rumble down the tight two-way street.
“Residents living on this block are very fearful when driving out of the driveway due to the dangerous traffic pattern created by this bus route,” said Whitestone resident Kevin Leibowitz. “Due to the buses speeding down this narrow street, many drivers are fearful of getting hit and damaging their cars.”

Karen Babizh, whose family owns Clinton Restaurant, said the eatery lost four parking spots and is constantly interrupted by traffic jams.

“Buses often get stuck as they go down on the street, and whenever it happens, the bus driver would come into our restaurant, asking customers to move their cars,” she said.

An MTA spokesperson said the agency looked into having the alternate route join the Q15, but the changes were not effective.

“At the community’s request, the MTA did look at having the Q15A travel on 7th Avenue, Clintonville Street, and 14th Avenue to rejoin the Q15,” said MTA spokesperson Deirdre Parker. “However, this would take many of the riders along a long, circuitous, U-shaped routing and greatly slow their commute.”

The MTA believes 10th Avenue is “a wide enough street” for both buses and cars, Parker said. The authority does not have plans to reroute either lines.

 

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