Saturday, August 15, 2015

Select Bus lane on Woodhaven Blvd pretty much a disaster

From the Queens Chronicle:

It’s official: Woodhaven Boulevard now has dedicated bus lanes from Metropolitan Avenue to Alderton Street and Dry Harbor Road, and as they run right in front of this newspaper’s offices, we can tell you firsthand the results are not looking good so far. And we expect worse to come.

Of course traffic is more congested when you have fewer lanes, as drivers now do during both the morning and evening rush hours, in both directions. Only the true believers who want to get people out of their cars would contend otherwise. So we now have a handful of employees who commute home to South Queens from our Rego Park offices stuck in traffic longer than they were before. Their reports as to how bad it is do vary — along with the times they hit the road — but one says her former 45-minute commute has been closer to 90 minutes. She’s actually started taking the Van Wyck Expressway to the Belt Parkway to get back to Howard Beach, a route that looks insane on a map but actually has been eating up less of her time. Others are hitting the side streets to go north and south, surely something the residents on those blocks are not thrilled to see.

But of course a key point of installing bus lanes is to frustrate drivers enough so they either take another route or start riding public transportation. The advocates of lane reduction surgery generally don’t admit that, but one elected official we recently spoke with did, and that’s someone who supports the bus lanes. Get ’em off Woodhaven and onto the Van Wyck, off Queens Boulevard and onto the Long Island Expressway — that’s the thinking. Or, best of all, get them onto buses. That’s great for those who can or want to take the bus, but many need a car, van or truck for their job; and few like being forced onto public transportation by the anti-car crowd whose thinking is taking over the government.


Q53 Rider said...

Bus Lanes Worked Wonders on East 125th. Now What About the West Side?
by Stephen Miller

Since debuting last year, Select Bus Service on 125th Street has dramatically improved transit speeds, especially on the section with dedicated bus lanes east of Lenox Avenue, according to NYC DOT and the MTA. The results strengthen the case for adding bus lanes west of Lenox, which DOT had scuttled in 2013 in response to resistance from local electeds. With more favorable politics prevailing today, the agency could revive bus lanes for West Harlem and greatly extend the impact of 125th Street SBS.
The improvement in bus service thanks to camera-enforced transit lanes, off-board fare collection, and other SBS features is impressive. From end to end, the M60 bus from 110th Street to LaGuardia Airport now travels 11 to 14 percent faster than it did before. On 125th Street between Second and Lenox Avenues, the only part of 125th to receive dedicated bus lanes, the M60 is now 32 to 34 percent faster, an improvement that MTA bus planner Evan Bialostozky called “shocking, to even me.”

The M60 isn’t the only route to benefit from the new bus lanes: Local bus trips on the M100 and Bx15 are 7 to 20 percent faster between Second and Lenox.

“That’s helping a lot of people,” Bialostozky told the Community Board 9 transportation committee last Thursday. Crosstown buses on 125th Street serve more than more than 32,000 riders every day. Before the dedicated transit lanes debuted last year, these routes had been among the city’s slowest buses, crawling through traffic and around double-parked cars.

Even as the bus lanes have sped up trips for transit riders, they haven’t had much impact on general traffic speeds. According to DOT, eastbound taxi trips on 125th between Second and Lenox Avenues are generally faster, while westbound trips have either slowed slightly or not seen any change.

Anonymous said...

The buses on Woodhaven are slow because they stop every 2 blocks. I used to take the Limited Q52 and that was a lot faster, and no special bus lanes were needed.

Anonymous said...

Of course this is all about hurting people with cars. First the speed limit was reduced along Woodhaven and now this. I can see how a person's commute along this corridor would now double. It's ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Every time I have said " they want our cars" someone writes it off as a crackpot statement. Looks like the Queens Chronicle is starting to listen.

Anonymous said...

I sat thru many urban planning classes back in the 70's and things like this bus lane would have given the tree hugging professors a wet dream.

georgetheatheist said...

Why would I want to stand, shoulder-to-shoulder. with the collective masses, getting jostled on a bus, when I can ride comfortably in my own personal vehicle?


Anonymous said...

A slightly different take. I'm not a huge fan of these bus lanes but I have sat and watched the new ones on Woodhaven Blvd a few times this past week and a half. While not perfect, it seems somewhat orderly as long as vehicles making right turns or turning into a parking spot watch their rear. What interests me if that the Queens Chronicle is so quick to label them a disaster and a failure. They also mention the fact that the lanes run right outside their offices. I'm just wondering if their conclusion is based on some major inconvenience they could be facing as a result of these new lanes. Such an inconvenience would invalidate any possibility of an impartial view on their behalf. I'm sure they were majorly inconvenienced this past week when the Queens Boulevard bound side of Woodhaven was having their bus lane markings laid down. Bottom line, let's not accept the judgement of a biased tabloid. Let's wait and judge for ourselves.

Anonymous said...

I've been inside the Chronicle's reception area. The blinds are always drawn and the staff cannot see Queens Boulevard.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I sat thru many urban planning classes back in the 70's and things like this bus lane would have given the tree hugging professors a wet dream....Bus lanes, bike lanes, congestion pricing, east river tolls,easing parking requirements on new construction, and tiny electric cars and scooters are all those professors demon spawn.

Anonymous said...

The car hating crowd mainly live in their bubble of Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn and are absolutely clueless and aloof to the transportation reality of millions of New Yorkers who live in places such as Eastern Queens, South Brooklyn, Eastern Bronx, who MUST rely on their cars to get around in the OUR city. The car haters are unwilling to accept the fact that if one lives in Eastern Bronx and works in Eastern Queens, it would take at least 5 hours to commute each way through bus, subway, another subway and then another bus! Or that a parent in Glendale must use the family car to take the children to soccer, dance, language classes plus run daily errands. Case in point is Vernon Blvd, which is a major corridor connecting the Bronx to Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn and is a major trucking route and warehouse area. Vernon has now been reduced to two car lanes and three bike lanes. When the trucks are unloading and protruding into Vernon, there's no way to drive around them because barriers have been erected to protect the empty bike lanes!

georgetheatheist said...

1923 . . . so what else is new?

Anonymous said...

"They also mention the fact that the lanes run right outside their offices. I'm just wondering if their conclusion is based on some major inconvenience they could be facing as a result of these new lanes. Such an inconvenience would invalidate any possibility of an impartial view on their behalf."

They "Mention the fact" as a geographical reference point and familiarity with the problem...

Toby Sheppard Bloch said...

I live nearby, own a business that often requires travel by car, and think the lanes are great. I have employees that commute using the 52/53 and these will ease their burden significantly, and the quick buses will encourage me to take mass transit when the car isn't required.

Single occupancy vehicle travel is selfish, degrades the environment, creates congestion and is bad for our community and our society. It's the 21st century, and it time to leave the bad mistakes of the 20th century behind.

Anonymous said...

They are making a mess out of trying to transfer as much public resources to private developers.

They talk about green lives, then shut down all the stores for gin-joints and you have to get into a car for a damn widget you could get at the corner.

They ruin our streets with bike lanes for a handful of people in the interest of green life style, then let gin joints take down their walls to aircondition sidewalks.

This city is becoming a mess because a tiny handful of not very bright people with agendas have weaseled their way into positions of authority. All this social engineering is our generation's answer to prohibition.

A big mess.

Anonymous said...

Too Many choke points to run sbs efficiently along woohaven..........

Anonymous said...

their theory is make it so miserable for drivers they will switch to mass transit.
wrong - the drivers will sit in the traffic created by these bureaucrats and eventually move to a free state that has not been infiltrated with these Utopian planning, statist loving, progressives. when they leave their tax money will go with them. all that will be left are the homeless, and they need the buses.
makes sense.

until we truly become detroit there will be tons of pollution spewed on woodhaven.

the unintended consequences of these planners sitting in their ivory towers looking down upon us like the disposable lab rats we are.

Philip McManus said...

Dear Friends,

Are you tired of the gridlock and overcrowded buses, trains and roadways?

The Queens Public Transit Committee is having a rally against Select BS, Zero Vision and QueensWay to Nowhere!

We support faster and safer transportation including the QueensRail, citywide expansion of ferry, bus, train and roadway services.

Stop City Hall from stealing our time, freedom, safety and prosperity.

Our "Transportation for Everyone Rally" is on Sunday, September 13 at the corner of Woodhaven Boulevard, Queens Boulevard and Hoffman Drive from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm near the southbound Q 52 & Q 53 Bus Stop. We will have a 3:30 pm photo opportunity for the media.

Will you join us and tell your family and friends to fight for faster and safer transportation?

Please let us know asap if you have more volunteers joining us. RSVP

We need to rally and tell the world Select BS, Zero Vision, QueensWay to Nowhere, exclusive bike lanes and bus lanes divide, separate and isolate People and Money and stop City Hall from discriminating and dividing commuters and the outer boroughs.

NYC is Five Boroughs and not just the lower half of Manhattan.

Give us back the QueensRail, stolen bus routes, ferry service, travel lanes, free bridges, left turns, our speed limits, local bus frequency, faster railways and reopen and maintain our roadways closed to bike, bus lanes and paint.

The outer boroughs demand EQUALITY and COMMON SENSE!

Philip McManus

Queens Public Transit Committee
Faster transportation will create more social, economic, recreational, and environmental opportunities.

Rockaway Beach Rail Line
Queens Public Transit
Rockaway Beach Branch

Rockaway Beach Line

Rockaway Branch Line blog
Rockaway Branch Line Mission Statement
Queens Public Transit

Please support the following petitions:
Queens Rockaway Beach Line
Q 52 Bus
Station Agents
Metro North Station in Queens