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A Sheepshead Bay panel is blasting the city’s plans to bring select bus service along Nostrand Avenue between Sheepshead Bay and Williamsburg, claiming that the double buses expected to be used will gobble up precious parking spaces.
The Department of Transportation just received a $29-million grant so it can move ahead with the select bus plan — as well as create a dedicated lane for buses — but Community Board 15 members shot the proposal down, claiming that the articulated buses, which are about twice the size of a regular bus, will not be able to fit into a typical bus stop and will force the city to remove parking spaces.
“The bus stops must be elongated to handle this long bus,” said Theresa Scavo, chairwoman of CB15. “If you ride down Nostrand Avenue, especially near the new supermarket, you don’t have room for parking. The question is, how many parking spots will this remove?”
The answer to Scavo’s query is not many, according to Department of Transportation spokesman Nicholas Mosquera.
“Combined with the consolidation and relocation of other bus stops, the project will affect seven parking spaces out of a total of 1,050 spaces on the project route within CB15,” said Mosquera, who added that Sheepshead Bay residents will benefit greatly from the upgraded service.
“Residents will have faster, more reliable, and more frequent bus service that connects them to the subway and to the rest of Brooklyn.”
The new service will save straphangers 25 minutes of travel time, Mosquera said.
Part of the grant would go towards installing dedicated bus lanes on Nostrand Avenue running along the B44 route, which begins in Sheepshead Bay, then splits at Foster Avenue, with northbound buses traveling down Bedford Avenue and New York Avenue and southbound buses traveling along Nostrand Avenue until the route ends in Williamsburg.
The lane will be off limits to cars from 7 am to 7 pm on weekdays, and open to general traffic overnight and all weekend.
Work on the new service is expected to begin before the year is out, and will be in operation sometime next fall.
The B44 is the city’s fourth busiest bus route, ferrying 44,300 passengers on an average weekday, according to city officials.Reach reporter Colin MIxson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-4514.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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