Assembly Member William Colton (D-Bath Beach, Bensonhurst) this morning railed against the MTA for their plan to institute select bus service (SBS) along the B82 bus route that cuts across southern Brooklyn.
SBS service includes off-board fare payment, bus lanes, traffic signal priority, and longer spacing between stops. The bus lines on paper are supposed to service communities now well served by the subway, but has had a mixed reaction with a growing number of residents distressed in SBS taking away a good number of valuable parking spots and making it especially hard on seniors that use local stops which the SBS bypasses.
The B82 route runs through major arteries of southern Brooklyn from Coney Island through Bath Beach and Bensonhust and then along Kings Highway between Marine Park, Midwood, Flatbush and East Flatbush up Flatlands Avenue through Flatlands and Canarise before ending at Spring Creek Gardens, formerly Starrett City.
At his press conference this morning on the corner of Kings Highway and West 6th Street, Colton called the MTA arrogant for ignoring the input of the community’s residents and businesses who overwhelmingly object to the SBS along the B82 route.
Colton emphasized that seniors with limited mobility, small business owners, and the disabled will be seriously hurt by the proposed changes.
“This neighborhood does not need SBS. You have a problem that is going to be created and made worse because of the city imposing a solution for a problem that it’s not going to solve, that it is in fact going to make worse,” said Colton.
Colton alleged that the MTA never consults the people in the community and that MTA officials only requested to meet with him after receiving wind about the long-time Brooklyn lawmaker’s community meeting.
Colton said many living and working on Kings Highway have not even heard of this plan until his office reached out to them. Those who heard of it, want nothing to do with it, he said.
Colton noted that members of Community Board 11 disapproved of the agency’s plan to place parking meters along side streets. The MTA will move forward with the plan despite clear opposition, indicative of a lack of transparency and accountability, he said.
Colton emphasized that SBS would especially hurt women in the neighborhood, calling the plan “Anti-Women.” They are those who work locally or who would find parking an increased obstacle in caring for their families, he said.
According to the MTA website, the SBS B82 plan was rolled out in a number of community meetings in neighborhoods along the route time line starting in September 2016. They also submitted several Powerpoint presentations.
However, according to the MTA’s own data an expected 1,500 passengers were reached at only 12 stops, 5.5% of the 27,000 daily riders.
The SBS will also cut off several lanes of traffic along Kings Highway and Flatlands Avenue. It is slated to start this summer.