The traffic mess spawned by shuttle buses ferrying passengers to Red Hook’s IKEA seems to have cleared – for now.
“The service provider [Corporate Express] added dispatchers to ensure that the buses stay on route and do so in a timely manner,” said Joseph Roth, a spokesperson for IKEA.
The buses caused tie-ups on local roadways, particularly in Brooklyn Heights, prompting critics to demand action.
The free buses travel on two routes, one stopping in front of Borough Hall, and the other stopping at Smith/Ninth Street and Ninth Street and Fourth Avenue.
Critics said the buses routinely caused tie-ups on Joralemon Street, and, making matters worse, belched diesel fumes into the air.
As part of an agreement between IKEA and the city’s Department of Transportation, the buses, which operate between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., were not permitted to idle for longer than three minutes.
Roth said that the dispatchers will provide an extra set of eyes to keep the buses from idling. He said IKEA will also continue to monitor the situation. “We have regular meetings with the service provider,” he said.
Community Boards 2 and 6 recently met with IKEA officials to discuss the bus issue, and any other emergent concern. The meeting was scheduled before the store officially opened in June, an effort to address any and all unintended consequences, store officials said.
“I think IKEA is still a work in progress,” said Craig Hammerman, the district manager of Community Board 6.
“We are glad that they are just as dedicated to working with us now, as they were before they had a building.”
The board’s Transportation Committee is expected to host a public meeting that IKEA officials are scheduled to attend. At press time, information had not yet been posted on the board’s website, www.brooklyncb6.org.
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