The MTA will reroute another bus past its chairman's family-run shopping mall in Queens, defying a community board's 39-to-1 vote against the switch and marking the second such reroute in just over a year, officials said.
MTA chief Hemmerdinger gets stop & shop in bus rerouting
Starting Sept. 1, the Q45 bus - which runs from Jackson Heights to Middle Village - will extend its route about 1.4 miles south to stop at the Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale, co-owned by MTA Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger.
In July 2007, the MTA diverted the Q54 a few blocks off its old path so it, too, could stop at Atlas Park.
Critics charge Hemmerdinger orchestrated both reroutes to benefit the mall - run by his son, Damon - despite nearby residents' concerns about noise, traffic and pollution.
"This is like sticking it to the people of Glendale," said Gary Giordano, district manager of Community Board 5. "This is a crazy move that is going to hurt [Atlas Park's] goodwill with the community even further."
The board, which plays an advisory role in city government, voted overwhelmingly against the Q45 reroute on June 11.
A month later, on July 11, MTA Bus President Joseph Smith sent a letter to Giordano thanking the board for its input - but announcing the reroute would still go forward.
Photo from the NY Observer