Friday, June 20, 2008

Liu accuses MTA of "favoritism and nepotism"

MTA BUS ROUTES KEEP IT MALL IN THE FAMILY: POL
By PATRICK GALLAHUE
NY Post Transit Reporter

A city lawmaker yesterday blasted the MTA for rerouting two bus lines to serve a Queens shopping mall developed by the agency chairman's son.

Councilman John Liu said the MTA should formulate a new procedure for public input to determine bus routes, citing the controversial effort to extend lines to The Shops at Atlas Park.

"In the case of expanding bus service to Atlas Park, people have every reason to suspect favoritism and nepotism," Liu said after a City Council hearing.

The Shops at Atlas Park is owned by Damon Hemmerdinger, son of MTA Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger.

But the younger Hemmerdinger and MTA officials countered that they began working on one of the proposed routes years before the father was appointed board chairman in 2007.

"Discussions about rerouting the bus began about five years ago," Damon Hemmerdinger said.

Atlas Park was served by the Q29, but officials moved the Q54 from a lightly used terminus to the mall.

Damon Hemmerdinger requested the Q23 also be rerouted, but that was rejected. The board is proposing to reroute the Q45 to the mall.

Lois Tendler of NYC Transit said it was common to move bus routes to such destinations.

From Metro:

Liu noticed the Shops at Atlas Park now appears on bus maps. Cafiero responded by pointing to Spring Creek’s Gateway Center Mall, which is on the map and served by two buses.

But not all malls are created equal, said Staten Island Councilman Vincent Ignizio, who unsuccessfully lobbied to extend the S74 to the Bricktown mall. “It seems like a tale of two MTAs,” Ingnizio said.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Liu is off the wall on this. This is only an issue becauses the Juniper Park Civic wants something new to yell about. Before Atlas was a shopping area, it was a manufacturing depot, with big trucks coming and going at all hours. Now people complain about extending bus service, which will be great for a lot of people. Some people just love to complain about everything.

Anonymous said...

Actually, this issue has nothing to do with the juniper park association. The Stop the Q45 committee was started by people in Glendale.

Christina Wilkinson said...

The Juniper Park Civic Association has not taken an official stance on this issue. We have members who think it's a good idea and members who don't. Our VP, Lorraine Sciulli, has written an Op-Ed in the latest Juniper Berry against the bus rerouting, and our 2nd VP, Ed Kampermann has spoken publicly in favor of it. The MTA has said they would do whatever they pleased regardless of what the community board voted, even though the vote was unanimously against it.

Anonymous said...

Fares keep going up, MTA Board memebers ride the subways and buses for free for life . . . What has Liu done for 7 years as head of the Transportation committee on the city council beside collecting the extra 20,000 a year he gets for being committee chair?

Now he wants to run for office using all his overseas money that is recorded as large contributions by dish washers or other low wage owners to a lot of different politicans.

Anonymous said...

Another aspect of this: some people take the Q54 to the M train to commute into the city. If I had to detour down to Atlas Park every morning when I was trying to get to work, I'd go ape sh-t. Just saying...

Anonymous said...

It's interesting how people complain about the car traffic and parking issues because of AP, and then, when its suggested that public transportation adapt to new and growing business, there is so much negative feedback. I would rather have AP be easier to get to via public transport, than have people drive from Forest Hills to get there

Anonymous said...

That's nice but the Q45 doesn't go through Forest Hills...

People who live in Queens know better than to take the bus anywhere. Your ride takes double to triple the time it should. And I really don't see Forest Hillers hopping on any kind of bus whatsoever. I mean really. Why lug your crap on the bus when you can drive it right to your doorstep?

Jason in Kew Gardens said...

The reroute of the 54 is ridiculous. It now takes 5-15 minutes longer to get from Cooper to 80th than it did when the bus traveled through St. Johns. Here's an idea... instead of detouring the bus for hundreds upon hundreds of daily commuters, let the people who are going to Atlas Mall walk the 5 short blocks down 80th St. or Cooper Ave. (leaving them closer to their destination anyway) and then catch the bus on Metro. The only people I ever see waiting for the bus are clearly employees at the mall and I have never seen more than 3 of them waiting at once. The majority of the time the bus blows right past the stop completely.

I thought Atlas Park was trying to attract the ritzy crowd anyway.

Anonymous said...

favoritism? gasp!

nepotism? wow!

Pretty funny considering he is a product of the clubhouse.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Hemmerdinger can also build a train station for his struggling mall?

Anonymous said...

The people of Glendale that are complaining about the bus going into Atlas Park are doing so because it is all about being prejudice. They do not want the park to service people of color. They want the Park to stay white that is the bottom line here. They are afraid that any busses that service the mall will make it more accessible for people of color and if there is no public access it will only be patronized by the people in the area I.E. the white people. that is what this is really about, but they are trying to mask it with traffic problems BULL. 80th street was always a traffic nightmare.

Anonymous said...

Atlas Mall is a failure. It cannot draw enough people to justify it's rentals. The prices at the mall for rental are absurd. And yes there are plans to have the LIRR build a station for a stop at the mall and it will happen.

I have news for everyone, the Hemmerdinger family is all of the sudden donating a lot of money to Como and Crowley. So watch and see when Como supports a motion all of the sudden for a LIRR station right in the mall. Como is going to allow that LIRR to be built inside the mall because that is what the Hemmerdinger family wants.

Jason in Kew Gardens said...

"The people of Glendale that are complaining about the bus going into Atlas Park are doing so because it is all about being prejudice. They do not want the park to service people of color. They want the Park to stay white that is the bottom line here."

Shouldn't you be under a bridge?

Anonymous said...

Como is just like Serph, he'll say nothing about the Q45 because it's easier to sit on a fence about controversial issues. They play all of us for fools.