Ever since the Select Bus Service (SBS) lanes went into effect in November of 2017, local elected officials’ offices have been working on addressing the concerns of residents and business owners, who are upset with the removal of parking spaces along Cross Bay Boulevard.
In order to relieve some of the parking frustration of his constituents, State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., along with his colleagues in government, has been in discussions with the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) to amend the active hours along curbside bus lanes south of Liberty Avenue.
Initially, curbside SBS lanes were active during both the morning and afternoon rush hours, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., on Monday through Saturday.
Addabbo urged DOT to eliminate the Saturday rush hour limitations on parking, allowing residents and visitors to park on Cross Bay Boulevard during the weekend.
“When I first saw that the curbside SBS lanes would be in effect on Saturdays, I knew that had to be changed. There is no rush hour on Saturday, so I felt that day should be given back to the drivers, allowing them to park and access the local businesses,” Addabbo said. “I am glad to see that DOT heard the frustrations and followed through on their promise to continue to look at the SBS route after it was implemented to see how it affected the residents and business owners.”
“Our local businesses are the heart and soul of South Queens, it is great to see the Department of Transportation listen and work with our community to ensure residents can have the ability to access their local businesses and facilities,” said Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato. “I am proud to join Senator Addabbo and my colleagues in announcing these common sense changes to the SBS lanes.”
“I am thrilled to hear DOT will be giving the SBS lane back to residents who are looking to shop along Cross Bay Boulevard,” said Assemblyman Mike Miller. “This is a big win for business owners and for the community. I encourage DOT to go further and find additional parking spaces on Woodhaven Boulevard’s underutilized service roads.”
“While it is important to expand bus service to neighborhoods like the Rockaways, where transportation options are limited – it is crucial the expansion does not come at the expense of residents and local business owners,” Councilman Eric Ulrich added. “I urge the Department of Transportation to work with the community to reach a compromise for both commuters and business owners alike.”
Senator Addabbo also noted that this change is a big win for the business owners along Cross Bay Boulevard. Since the SBS lanes were implemented, the Senator heard from agitated business owners saying that they were losing customers since they could no longer park outside of their establishments.
“Many businesses were negatively affected by the SBS lanes,” he said. “I am all for improving public transit and making it more reliable for passengers, but not at the expense of our local businesses. This change is a step in the right direction to make the roads accessible for everyone and I appreciate DOT’s willingness to work with the local electeds and the community.”
This new Q52/53 SBS route covers 14.7 miles, the longest ever for the service. The corridor serves over 30,000 daily bus riders, connecting Queens residents to local businesses, eight subway lines and over 20 additional bus routes in Elmhurst, Rego Park, Middle Village, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, Howard Beach, Broad Channel, Rockaway Park, and Arverne. Altogether, over 45,000 daily riders of Queens bus routes, including express bus passengers, are benefitting from bus and safety improvements along Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards.