City Council Member and Lieutenant Governor candidate Jumaane Williams (D- Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) and community members gathered yesterday to call on the MTA and Department of Transportation to reconsider the location of a bus stop along Kings Highway.
Williams and community members gathered outside the home of Raymond Boyce, a resident of the neighborhood who has already been affected by the bus line. The new proposed B82 Selected Bus Service line would run through Kings Highway and add a proposed stop on the intersection of Kings Highway and Avenue K.
The residents of the community are in complete agreement that the selected locations for the bus kiosks are disastrous. They said their concerns were not addressed by the city.
“We’ve seen this happen over and over with the MTA and the DOT,” said Williams.
Although Williams said the community would benefit from a select bus service line in the neighborhood, it needs to come from a place of communication and cooperation between the DOT, the MTA and the community.
Williams said the community was not consulted over the location of the new kiosks. Currently, one of the proposed locations already has a bus stop for the B7 line, which residents have already complained is in a less than ideal location. The stop is in the medium of a street and does not have a crosswalk, this either forces residents to go out of their way to get to the nearest crosswalk, or alternatively, jaywalk.
“The only thing we ask is to accommodate the reasonable complaints and concerns the residents have,” he said.
Another concern the residents had with the choice for the bus stop was that it would cause the bus to have to make a sharp turn after picking riders up along Kings Highway. The community has proposed moving the stop to an area on Kings Highway and Flatbush avenue, an area they said makes more logistical sense because of the roundabout and raised islands at the intersection.
“This is not the first time the MTA and DOT have been deceptive about these issues, especially in these communities,” Williams said.
Raymond Boyce, the owner of the home that is directly across from the proposed bus stop, said he has been in contact with the MTA since 2015 over the placement of the stop in front of his home. He said the intersection would greatly benefit from a raised island on the road that would direct traffic more smoothly.
“They don’t care about the traffic and the direction, only a raised island can do that,” Boyce said.
Boyce and other residents have said the MTA and DOT have done construction work as late as 4 a.m. They said this one of many examples of the departments ignoring their concerns.
According to Boyce, the community reached out on multiple occasions to get the MTA and DOT to set up meetings with the community that allowed them to voice their concerns, but they have been turned down time and time again.
“When they discriminate against you, when they don’t include you, you’re a second-class citizen,” Boyce said.