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Bus, stop! DUMBO residents protest B25 route

The Brooklyn Paper
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They might be the only people in the borough who wish they lived further from a bus stop.

Residents on Main Street in DUMBO are demanding that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority re-route a bus that they claim causes traffic jams and road rage on their already cramped street — saying it’s only a matter of time before someone gets run over by the B25.

“We’ve been petitioning the MTA for years,” said Ethan Goldman, a vocal opponent of the B25 bus route. “This is a huge problem that could easily be fixed, but they refuse to listen.”

For decades, the B25 bus has run from Downtown to DUMBO via Cadman Plaza West before heading east on Front Street to Main Street.

But that was before the neighborhood became a hotspot for families and art houses including Galapagos Art Space and powerHouse Arena.

Now during the morning rush, DUMBO residents complain that one or more buses get stuck between illegally parked delivery trucks and cars — creating a din of perpetual honking and screeching tires in a neighborhood that is already among the noisiest in the city.

Off peak, the bus careens dangerously down the block before dropping off riders at Water Street, critics of the route allege.

Most Brooklynites would love 24-7 bus service in front of their homes, but Goldman and his Main Street neighbors say it would be safer to have the bus loop at Prospect, Washington and York streets instead.

“It’s frightening just trying to get across the street,” said Jennifer Rapaport, a Main Street mom to 2-month-old and 3-year-old boys. “We need public transportation — just not here.”

Goldman said the problem will only get worse after that the Department of Transportation creates a pedestrian plaza near Pier 1 — preventing buses from doing U-turns on Old Fulton Street on weekends.

The DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance devised alternative routes, but an MTA spokeswoman said the changes would leave bus riders further from the neighborhood’s main attractions and slow service.

“We feel that it is important that the route continues to serve the destinations closer to the water,” said spokeswoman Deirdre Parker. “The alternative streets that have been suggested would cause even more congestion.”

By the MTA’s last count, the bus picked up 41 riders and dropped off 166 at Main and Water streets on average weekdays in 2008.

Rob Perris, district manager for Community Board 2, said that the Department of Transportation tightened parking restrictions on the street and cops amped up enforcement for a spell last fall, but it still didn’t solve the problem.

“If the enforcement is only way that this bus route is going to work, that’s a sign that this isn’t a good plan,” he said.

Reach Kate Briquelet at kbriquelet@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-2511.
Updated 5:31 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

jj from brooklyn says:
I've seen the congestion on Main Street in the morning. The answer is simple: Station DOT agents and tow trucks and ticket and tow the hell out of the double parkers. I've seen 15 minute backups -- with never a DOT agent or tow truck in sight. Instead, DOT's busy ticketing and towing non-obstructing vehicles in Brooklyn Heights.

The bus service is needed and appreciated in DUMBO. Get rid of those who block the buses, not the buses!
March 12, 2012, 9:06 am
Newkirk Plaza David from Brooklyn says:
This is a story filled with BS - - illegally double parked cars create 100 times more of a hazard than the B25 buses. Step up enforcement of double parkers and that STOP sign at Front and Old Fulton.
March 12, 2012, 12:26 pm
Grt from Brooklyn says:
Wow. Rob Perris is essentially admitting that drivers are selfish jerks and that the police are powerless to do anything about them.

Buses don't cause congestion. Illegally parked cars and delivery vehicles do.
March 12, 2012, 12:37 pm
Dave from Park Slope says:
Do they call it "DUMBO" because people are blaming the buses rather than the illegally double-parked cars and trucks that are clogging the streets?

Easy solution: close the street to all motor-vehicle traffic EXCEPT buses. Problem solved!
March 12, 2012, 12:55 pm
Robert Perris from Community Board 2 says:
Grt, I am not only admitting but stating as fact that many of the drivers on this block are selfish and the police, with limited resources, cannot dedicate the manpower necessary to keep people from illegally parking and blocking through-traffic.

I have stated consistently that the problem is not the buses; the buses are collateral damage.
March 12, 2012, 3:06 pm
Mata Hari from DUMBO says:
This issue is not about double-parked cars or law enforcement. There has always been a lot of commercial/resident traffic on Main Street and there has never been a problem until the MTA, with the backing of local officials, started sending 150 buses a day down the street (check the bus schedule if you think this is an exaggeration).

The MTA (along with DOT) is using Main Street as a turn-around for the B25 bus and have created a never ending parade of buses on the street, one after the other, often 2 or 3 on the street at the same time, morning through night. Main Street cannot support this level and frequency of bus traffic, nor should it.

It is a blatant instance of the MTA simply abusing residents and holding them in great disdain, instead of listening to their pleas for relief and attempting to solve a very simple problem which is destroying the quality of life on Main Street and in Dumbo.
March 12, 2012, 4:16 pm
Mata Hari from Dumbo says:
And Mr. Perris, you are completely wrong in your views and attitude regarding the street.

It is not about "selfish" drivers blocking the "friendly" old bus ripping down the street 10 or 12 times an hour and endangering the lives of children and pedestrians, with the poor old bus as "collateral damage." The buses ARE indeed the problem.

Main street is not a bus lane. It is a small, narrow residential street. The buses do not belong on this street. Period. They need to be re-routed to a more suitable street.
March 12, 2012, 4:34 pm
Gunga Din from Dumbo says:
What hogwash. Cars do not belong on this street. Period. It should be for pedestrians only.
March 12, 2012, 4:48 pm
mike from GP says:
Sounds like there needs to be more enforcement from the NYPD. I don't know the full details of the situation, but in my many years of experience in this stuff is that NYPD is (including TEA) is not very good knowing the traffic/parking laws, much less enforcing them. So perhaps the CB could engage the local precinct to do some more work, and when it comes around to budgeting time, try to work more $ for enforcement in.

I wonder also if DOT could add more commercial loading zones, as well as introduce their ParkSmart program to the area. Because "free" or too cheap parking is a congestion generator in itself.

But to blame buses, that's silly. I'm not sure why 1 person in a car gets to have priority over 10 people in a bus. That's a bit inequitable, no?
March 12, 2012, 7:19 pm
seen it all from downtown says:
Double parked cars are the problem, sometinmes in the afternoon if you drive down court street,past atlantic ave , you will get stuck in traffic for ten minutes or more ,because some selfish ass is double parked , dot should have roveing tow trucks , once the word gets out it will stop .
March 12, 2012, 8:39 pm
Mati Hari from Dumbo says:
It would be great if it were a pedestrian only street. But that just goes to the point of how ridiculous it is to have 150 buses a day on the street.

Btw, it is not about one car blocking 10 people on the bus. It is really about the bus blocking everybody else who has real business on the street. The bus is 99% empty all of the time because Main Street is being used as a "turnaround" point by the MTA. The stop that most people get out at is either Borough Hall or on Old Fulton Street.

There are not more than 30-40 people a day combined (for 150 buses) who use this bus coming into or going out of Dumbo. That is a fact, and not based on the MTA's 2008 "check."
March 13, 2012, 10:11 am
Tony G from Cobble Hill says:
Hey 'Mati Hari'
150 Buses a day for a route that is 6 miles long seems pretty reasonable (Think about all the people who use the line) from end to end.

Also, the buses are not the problem

"Now during the morning rush, DUMBO residents complain that one or more buses get stuck between illegally parked delivery trucks and cars"

ILLEGALLY PARKED DELIVERY TRUCKS AND CARS are the problem !
March 13, 2012, 4:32 pm
Tony G from Cobble Hill says:
Hey 'Mati Hari'
150 Buses a day for a route that is 6 miles long seems pretty reasonable (Think about all the people who use the line) from end to end.

Also, the buses are not the problem

"Now during the morning rush, DUMBO residents complain that one or more buses get stuck between illegally parked delivery trucks and cars"

ILLEGALLY PARKED DELIVERY TRUCKS AND CARS are the problem !
March 13, 2012, 4:32 pm
JudahSpechal from Bedstuy says:
Public transportation in the big city. Deal with it you bunch of whiners. Maybe if you get rid of the bus you can limit the amount of isitor to a park & waterfront all New Yorkers paid for, just like those great beaches across the Gil Hodge bridge
March 14, 2012, 11:41 am
mike from GP says:
Thought this was a nice take on the bus hating NIMBYs:

http://brooklynspoke.com/2012/03/14/neighbors-for-better-bus-lines/
March 16, 2012, 8:31 pm

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