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The Phantom Bus of Fort Greene

for The Brooklyn Paper
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It was like waiting for Godot — if Godot were the B-38.

On any given morning, you’ll find Fort Greene commuters waiting at the corner of DeKalb Avenue and Washington Park for a B-38 bus — but that bus will never come because, unbeknownst to them, the bus stop is no longer there.

“It was removed to adjust spacing between stops,” said Deirdre Parker, a New York City Transit spokeswoman. “[The city Department of Transportation] and Transit have been working throughout the five boroughs to fight traffic congestion by having bus stops every three blocks (instead of every other block) where possible.”

That, in and of itself, is a contentious issue. Community Board 2 has said it supports measures that ease congestion on the avenue, but some area residents complain that the distance between bus stops burdens the elderly and handicapped.

But even more irksome, say residents, was the lack of notification that the bus stop would be removed — and the sensation of playing a role in some sort of absurdist play.

“I noticed it was gone after I waited and waited for the bus,” said Diana Turner, a dialysis patient. “Finally somebody told me it was gone. I don’t understand. I haven’t even seen a notice.”

She wasn’t the only unwitting rider.

“A couple of neighbors were waiting out there, and the busses passed right by,” said Phillip Kellogg, the president of the Fort Greene Association. “No signs. No notification. No outreach.”

Parker said Transit normally must “place signs on buses and on the stop itself.”

Updated 4:28 pm, July 9, 2018
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