Select Bus Service: An Update

B44 Select Bus Service

(c) 2013 C. Walton

Being that I have been following SBS in New York City for quite some time, I shall post some updates for those who have been following as I have.

Bx12 Pelham Parkway/Fordham Road

As of this writing, the eastbound main road of Pelham Parkway between White Plains Road and Stillwell Avenue has been repaved and reconstructed with wooden guard rails to protect the overgrown tress from swerving cars.  The westbound main road has yet to be worked on, but should be soon.  There is also work going on at Bay Plaza (construction of a new mini-mall with a Macy’s) and at Fordham Plaza (redesign and construction, still on-going).  Bus lanes should be repainted at some point while the DOT figures out how they will do so on the concrete sections of Fordham Road (between University Avenue and Third Avenue) since they wear out the fastest.

M15 First/Second Avenues

Right now, we still have Second Avenue Subway construction that is making a mess between 101st Street and 65th Street, which should start winding down in the next two years.  On 1st Avenue, though, the DOT has completely repaved the roadway all the way from 72nd Street to 125th Street, once a concrete roadway now an asphalt roadway.  Also, we have several completed bus bulbs at Houston Street, 25th Street, 34th Street, 106th Street, and 116th Street, with new bus bulbs being built at 79th, 86th, and 96th Streets.

M34/M34A 34th Street Crosstown

The DOT is undertaking a major reconstruction of 34th Street which will give 34th Street its SBS treatments including bus bulbs, turnout lanes, parking on one side of the street, left-turn bays and bans, and other sidewalk treatments to finally speed up buses from river to river.  The work was started at 11th Avenue while work is being done at the new Hudson Yards neighborhood and subway extension.  Construction is working its way east causing havoc with traffic, buses, and stop relocations.

S79 Hylan Blvd/Richmond Avenue

Nothing really new to report, operations-wise, except for a new stop at Guyon Avenue.  Street-wise, there has been backlash from Staten Island drivers about right turns into mall parking lots being a problem due to bus lane cameras catching drivers trying to make their turns and having summonses being sent to them for supposed bus lane violations.  The violations have since been rescinded and the camera enforcements relaxed.

Bx41 Webster Avenue

Not much work being done along this corridor, though some stops will have bus bulbs built.  The southbound stop at Tremont Avenue appears more like an SBS stop envisioned by the DOT, and some of the transit and street improvements envisioned have come along, making the transfer experience to and from the SBS and other lines safer.

B44 Nostrand/Rogers Avenues

The road work on Nostrand between DaKalb and Atlantic Avenue is still not done, for whatever reason, though there are two added SBS stops, one at Gates Avenue and one at Avenue L, mainly due to passenger and council member demands.  Apparently, since B44 local service still needs much improvement, there are too many SBS buses passing by with horrifically long stop spacing.  On a good note, though, the southbound stop at Nostrand/Church has a wayfinding stanchion which has walking distance information, points of interest, and a countdown board which gives passengers real-time information on both the B44 SBS and B44 local buses, so that passengers can choose which service to ride ahead of time.  This is a pilot that, if successful will be deployed at all B44 SBS stops.

M60 125th Street/LaGuardia Airport

The fare machines are being installed at most of the Manhattan stops, with close to nothing so far on the Queens side.  The stop at 120th/Broadway was added back in; it was originally slated for elimination once SBS began.  The Park Avenue stops are at Madison Avenue in both directions.  There is also markings in the pavement for the restriping and repainting of lanes from Lenox to 2nd Avenue.  ***PLEASE NOTE:  SBS on the M60 should begin on Sunday, May 25, 2014.***  A new bus shelter was constructed at Lexington Avenue in front of the Pathmark for dedicated standing space for riders taking the M60.  Most stops have two Metrocard machines and one coin machine, while some stations have just one Metrocard machine.  Lexington Avenue eastbound has three Metrocard machines for anticipated heavy boarding.

Q52/Q53 Woodhaven/Cross Bay Blvds

As of right now, just a workshop explaining what the DOT and MTA want to do with Woodhaven and Cross Bay was held.  The City Councilman responsible for spearheading these talks, Mr. Eric Ulrich, was there to make a quick speech about his efforts to bring SBS to Queens (finally) and make his districts safer for all.  It appears that Woodhaven SBS is top priority over any Rockaway Line plans due to driver and pedestrian safety urgency and years of applying piecemeal solutions for very little gain.  This will be a challenge because of interest groups showing slight opposition to the project, traffic lobbyists worried about decreased road capacity on this busy corridor, and because this will be MTA Bus Company’s first venture into Select bus Service which NYCT has had 6 years of experience with.

 

Another update coming soon…

 

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