Thursday, January 10, 2008

Q45 rerouting causing waves

MTA Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger could unfairly influence controversial bus-route changes that would benefit the shopping mall his family owns in Queens, critics charged Wednesday.

Fear MTA chair could guide bus change

But Hemmerdinger's son, who runs The Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale, insisted his powerful dad won't advocate for the stops at the upscale mall.

"He'll have nothing to do with it," snapped Damon Hemmerdinger, the mall's development director. "This is not about him."

Dale Hemmerdinger - president and co-owner of ATCO Properties, which owns the mall - was confirmed in October as chief of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The MTA has proposed extending the Q45 route so passengers will be let off at Atlas Park. Changing the course of the Q23 is also under discussion.

Locals worry the new routes will take away parking spaces and increase noise, traffic and pollution. They are urging the elder Hemmerdinger to recuse himself from the decision.

Irate Queens residents blasted the proposal at a community board meeting last night and were expected to do so again at a property owners' gathering tonight.

Damon Hemmerdinger, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and the local community board asked the MTA in 2005 for "enhanced bus service" to the Atlas Park area, leading to reviews of the Q45 and Q23 routes, Donovan said.

Sources say the mall is tanking rapidly. I really like the mall, but don't expect the surrounding community to suffer sacrifice more because you can't make a go of it. Start better relations by dropping the slogan "just outside Forest Hills"... it's in GLENDALE!

Updated 1/11/08: Bus reroute benefits Queens mall owned by MTA chairman's family


Anonymous said...

Why don't we just divert every bus route to the Atlas Mall? Glendale residents already take the bus to the express train. They don't need a route to another stop on the same line.

Anonymous said...

as if the traffic on 80th street in middle village is not bad enough already.

i knew when this place was built it was going to end up killing the neighborhood with traffic.

and the q23 on cooper ave? please gimme a break. the mall is tanking because the consumer is tapped out and we are in a recession
no bus route is going to save that place and with dropping property values in the surrounding area it will only get worse

queens is toast

Frank said...

While I've never been to Atlas Park, nor do I care if it tanks or not, I don't think nepotism is really the heart of the issue here (although I'd agree 100% that Dale Sr. shouldn't be part of the decision making process).

The real issue is these people's 'not on my backyard' attitude. There are plenty of homes in Queens that have bus routes running in front of them. What makes anyone's house more special than another?

Plenty of people in the surrounding neighborhoods would welcome better bus service to that area.

Anonymous said...

The Q45 is a decent fast line due to a relatively short run. The proposed extension from Elliot Ave to Atlas would serve only the mall. If the Q45 were to be extended to Juniper Valley Park only, then you would be actually serving the community in a way that benefits local residents and visitors.

Let's face it, Atlas is a bust probably due to Atlas buisness plan. Visiting and touring it last weekend, it appeared to be very pleasant and clean, but a ghost town.With few stores opened and besides Borders, Regal Cinimas and Chiles resturant, everything else is unappealing.

The Q45 should not be extended to save this place, as this place is essentially dead and will be forced to close relatively soon.

Anonymous said...

Reminder :
Melinda Katz took money from ATCO.

Anonymous said...

Well Frank, they weren't at the CB5 meeting last night. In fact, not one person spoke in favor of the bus rerouting. The streets it wants to make the turnaround on are very narrow and not built for bus traffic. A lot of the houses there also don't have driveways or garages.

Anonymous said...

Reminder :
Dennis Gallagher took money from ATCO.

Fred said...

Several people last night said the bus extension to the mall would be acceptable, but not down to Myrtle. This I agree with.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't having more people take the bus, rather than drive, to the mall lessen traffic on 80th Street? I understand concerns about a bus turnaround, but what is wrong with extending buses a few blocks down 80th Street, especially if it will help people get to the mall. I know my grandmother would love to be able to take the bus there without having to transfer.
Whenever I stop by Atlas the movie theater, the restaurants and the Amish Market all seem quite busy. I'm not sure about the smaller shops but they do not anchor the mall. What is your basis for saying that it is not doing well?
It would be a poor reflection on this part of Queens if this whole mall fails. It would imply that nice mid- to upscale shopping and restaurants in a pretty setting are not appropriate for this area.

Queens Crapper said...

"Wouldn't having more people take the bus, rather than drive, to the mall lessen traffic on 80th Street?"

Yes but how will you get people to take the bus when -
a) parking costs $3 and the bus all together costs $4
b) everyone in the vicinity owns a car or already gets there some other way (like your granny)
c) it is easier to transport your bought goods in a car trunk than by carrying them on a bus?

In other words, there is no incentive for people who already drive there to take the bus. This is being done to bring people who currently aren't visiting to the mall. Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, etc.

Frank said...

"Well Frank, they weren't at the CB5 meeting last night. In fact, not one person spoke in favor of the bus rerouting."

I was going to go but there was no bus line that went there from Rego Park :)

Anonymous said...

and god knows the good citizens of middle village and glendale would welcome all our neighbors from elmhurst and jackson heights with open arms (rolls eyes)

crappy you are so predictable

Anonymous said...

crappy says

Yes but how will you get people to take the bus when -
a) parking costs $3 and the bus all together costs $4
b) everyone in the vicinity owns a car or already gets there some other way (like your granny)
c) it is easier to transport your bought goods in a car trunk than by carrying them on a bus?

well it is only a $1 difference and what about gas you know $3.30 a gallon or did you forget that in your little analogy?

because with the home prices in middle village and glendale they should all be rich land barrons right with their 600k 2bedroom 1 bath shacks right?

cannot wait until the foreclosures start in earnest

if you want to know there is one tomorrow 61-83 77th place
go to the courthouse 11am and bid on it

small minded just the way queens likes em

go gettem archie i mean crappy !

Anonymous said...

Yes, in a utopia, everyone would pay more to take public transit, sacrifice by lugging bundles home on the bus and save the environment. This is not what will happen. Gas prices going up has no effect on driving habits. Take a look at the LIE at rush hour.

Queens Crapper said...

"and god knows the good citizens of middle village and glendale would welcome all our neighbors from elmhurst and jackson heights with open arms (rolls eyes)"

Don't understand your point. They are taking the bus to the mall to do some upscale shopping.

Anonymous said...

That's just what I want on the bus with me during rush hour - someone carrying loads of bags...

Julie said...

"I was going to go but there was no bus line that went there from Rego Park :)"

Q38 to the M train, 1 stop to Fresh Pond and walk a few blocks. Similar to what people who go to the mall are expected to do from 74th Street in Jackson Heights. You mean that's too much trouble and people won't go for it?

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the Q23 bus!
That would provide a vital link from the E/F subway & LIRR to Metro and Trader Joes->Atlas-> the mall!
Or I guess the dollar van/limos can fill in the gap.

Anonymous said...

Where were all the people from Jackson Heights and Elmhurst last night demanding to have the bus route extended so they can get to the mall? You mean they weren't busting the doors down?

Frank said...

Julie, I was joking. Although I would hesitate to go to another neighborhood's CB meeting.

Anonymous said...

Their marketing plan is wrong. Forest Hills already knows about it and isn't coming. They need to market to Manhattanites. They should contract with Hampton Jitney to bring people out for the day. God knows a Manhattanite won't take a subway and a bus - through Queens no less.

Ted said...

Yeah, bussing worked for Ikea for awhile.

Anonymous said...

I think some of the people here are missing the point. The buses are not being re-routed for some type of practical need, like a rise in population of the area warranting a change in service. It is solely for the purpose of one family(the Hemmerdingers) to increase their wealth and expand their business. They are scumbags who are doing this at the expense of the quality of life of the people of the surrounding area. Unfortunately we have useless shitbag local politicians like Pinky Gallagher who not only refused to fight this "high end" polished turd of a mall, he acted like a little errand boy for Mr. Hemmerdinger helping him every way possible. This used to be a quiet little town here in CB5, but this kind of over development is hurting our community and lowering our property values.

Anonymous said...

Glendale was a great neighborhood before Atlas and will be a great neighborhood should they leave. In fact, a lot of headaches will disappear along with that mall.

Anonymous said...

I love the Atlas Mall!
It was a bit strange though to put a higher end place in this type of area. Perhaps the cost was prohibitive for the more desirable areas.

Anonymous said...

Yes, many streets have a city bus traveling down, but --- we already have a bus in Glendale that goes to Middle Village, Queens Blvd. Elmhurst and Jackson Heights (29). We don't need another one. The proposed turn around streets (79 Place)is too narrow. If we sacrifice parking spots for the sake of a bus, where will residents and their visitors park??? We're bounded by cemeteries, train tracks and Atlas --- there are no other streets to park on. As it is after 5:00 P.M. I have to park 4-5 blocks away from my house. the Q45 will not bring me anywhere that I need to go --- unless I now will have to park miles away. Maybe taking the bus to my car will be a solution !?!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

Why do we need to bring more people to Atlas Park? Way more the 1/2 the stores are empty now for nearly 2 years. New vacant stores are becoming available everyday (Bombay).

Will it be exciting for Q45 bus riders to come to Atlas to wander around empty buildings??? Maybe the bus should just turn around in the mall on the Atlas Street system. This way passengers can just tour the mall and stare at all the empty windows, never having to leave the bus.

The Glendale residents have no need for a new bus in Glendale. The 2 buses that we already have take us to the Atlas Mall, the Queens Center Mall and we can get to the J, M, L, R, G and 7 trains by these buses. All these trains will get us anywhere we want to go in NYC.

The MTA will be wasting manpower, and fuel sending new buses to Glendale (causing a fare increase excuse???).


Anonymous said...

upscale mall? with chili's as an anchor tenant? where do you people shop the 99 cents store?

what a bunch of nimby losers you are

Anonymous said...

upscale mall????

atlas is not upscale my friends i'm sorry, unless you do your clothing shopping at the 99 cents store well than i guess so

my observation is with the prices of the homes in glendale and middle village being as high as they are the people who live in them should easily be able to afford the "luxury" stores of atlas and not whine over a dollar or two.

that just goes to show you what a complete house of cards real estate prices in queens are

you can afford a mortgage on a 600k home but an extra buck is gonna set you back?

give me a break these old coots in these areas with their wishing prices should all drop dead and leave their castles in a body bag

greedy old bastards can rot and enjoy the traffic of atlas as well and the wonderful immigrants from brooklyn and other areas of queens riding into their precious hood on the new bus lines

Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone is jealous that they can't afford to buy a home in Middle Village. If you think $600,000 is a lot of money to buy nice house, then you really are not too savvy about New York City real estate.

faster340 said...

upscale mall????

Compared to that piece of shit 3rd world bazaar Queens Center Mall? Have you ever been in JC Penny's on a Saturday or Sunday? I feel like I am in one of those bazaars in Turkey that you see on the National Geographic channel. People throwing racks of clothes around and tearing up displays and things. It's totally disgusting. People lounging about on the mall furniture like it's their house, leaving their garbage and such all over the place letting their dirty little anchor baby climb all over everything and leave their trail of slime on everything.

I hate the QCM! It's a HOLE... Atlas Mall is very refreshing compared to QCM... I feel like I am on vacation somewhere else in the world when I am there.

I actually hope it makes out because it's a lot nicer place to go than some of the other borough malls or establishments.

And NO I have no relation to the Hemmerdingers or politicians related to this project.

I give credit where credit is due and Atlas Mall could be a big credit to all, the rich and poor alike.


NY Zeitgeist said...

I think that the point is being danced around here. The fact is that this is a working class neighborhood. Many folk here can NOT afford a $600,000 mortgage and are working 2 and 3 jobs to make ends meet. There is no extra money at the end of the month. Sure, if you are a lifelong homeowner in Glendale, and your house is paid for, you probably can afford a little extra but are also close to retirement age and are living on a fixed income. Folk that have purchased homes here in the last decade have fallen prey to the gentrification of the neighborhood and are now stuck in a lifetime of indentured servitude in order to pay off a mortgage.

Anonymous said...

Middle Village and Glendale have not been "gentrified." The fact is that a household income of $120k-$150k, which is typical for a married couple with government, union or administrative jobs, can afford to buy a 3-bedroom house in Middle Village or Glendale. Given the proximity to Manhattan, good schools, and the amount of space you get, I think home prices in these neighborhoods are fairly low.

georgetheatheist said...

To hell with both malls, Atlas & QCM. I buy via mail order, my pants, my books, even my eyeglasses (from Canada!).

Anonymous said...

Let me tell you how full of it the Hemmerdingers are. If getting good transportation to the terminal is absolutely a priority, why wasn't it so important when the terminal was full of factories? I mean here we had people who needed to get to work. It seemed only to become a need when the mall opened. The Hemmerdingers are developers and will do what developers will to to increase their bottom line. H. Dale Hemmerdinger himself gave thousands to the Spitzer campaign and to the Gallagher and Katz people. If that's not buying influence I don't know what is. Check the Campaign Finance Board it's all there. For Damon to state his father will "Have nothing to do with it" is laughable. He's already done it. To place the burden of a failed business plan on the community as one of the folks above commented("It would be a poor reflection on this part of Queens if this whole mall fails.") is really sort of shifting the blame. Glendale was a good place to live before the mall. The Hemmerdingers have done a lot to ruin it and if unchecked will do more. I'm sure he'd like to move every bus to stop at his mall. The Q54 for example was a quick route it had an almost arrow straight route to it's destination. Now it's probably one of the slowest routes in the borough. Stop the Hemmerdingers NOW.

Anonymous said...

"Mr. Hemmerdinger said Atlas Park was meant to help provide a much-needed town square for neighbors, many of whom live in modest brick homes on narrow residential streets. Residents of central Queens have always wanted access to more high-end retailers without having to travel to areas like Austin Street in Forest Hills or the Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island, he said.

Very interesting. So the mall is supposed to be for the immediate vicinity and NOT Forest Hills, yet the mall couldn't care less what the people who live around there think. May be time for a boycott.

Anonymous said...

Watch out they're moving down the block!!!

I attended tonight's meeting of CB5's Transportation Committee. The Plan "B" is to now have the bus go down Cooper up the library block (73 Place) to Myrtle, go down to 71 Street and turn around to Cooper for the return trip.

No matter how hard the representatives from the MTA Bus tried to convince the committee that this expansion would serve the people of Glendale, many seemed unconvinced.

The people of Glendale can already reach trains by the B55 or the Q29. There are no "manufacturing jobs" in Glendale (as they claimed) that people from other communities need to get to. They claim it will be easier for the people in Glendale to get into the city by riding the Q45 route all the way from Glendale to 74th Street in Jackson Heights --- Yeah Right!!

As far as the "pretending" that this is not to serve wholly to boost the Atlas Mall, we all know the answer to this:

Take a look at the MTA's Queens Bus Map "The Shops at Atlas Park" is on the map as a point of interest. Now look for the Queens Center Mall. Can you find it? Who
decides what a "Point of Interest" is on the bus maps --- certainly not the chairman of the Queens Center Mall.

As for the turn around --- if the MTA wants to bring people to Atlas, let the bus turn around in Atlas. They have created a neat street system right inside the mall that would allow easy access for the bus.

And, finally, why didn't Mr. Hemmerdinger feel it was important to re-route buses to bring workers to the factories at Atlas Park over the past 80 years?

Anonymous said...

Damon Hemmerdinger and his father are as corrupt as it gets. The older one is in his position as MTA chairman soley due to his illegal (bundled) campagn
contributions to the likes of Spitzer, the disgraced former govenor. These ethically corrupt people have left a long trail of cheated people in their wake.
While campagn contributions are limited by law, check out muckety or other websites to discover how they getaround this. Everyone in his family, and everyone who works for him makes a contribution. This is illegal.