HEADING THE RIGHT WAY
When the city, on Oct. 29, unveiled “the biggest
bus improvement project in New York City
history,” it was a sign that the Department of
Transportation seems to be on the right track
toward providing the people of southeast Queens with
proper bus lanes that, in the words of New York City
Transit Interim President Craig Cipriano, will “help
thousands of commuters across 26 routes get where
they need to go faster and more efficiently.”
According to the city, the new busways on Jamaica and
Archer avenues in Jamaica will help to speed commutes
for approximately 250,000 riders a day — more than any
busway to date — and also improve truck and delivery access
for local businesses.
The one-year pilot projects are part of Mayor de Blasio’s
Better Buses plan to install new and improved bus
lanes across the city in 2021.
DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman said, “this is a historic
milestone in our effort to improve bus service for all
New Yorkers.” But, as Cipriano added, the pilot projects
are of great significance to the Jamaica community, as Jamaica
and Archer avenues are “major arteries” that were
in need of dedicated bus lanes.
“We’re doing it here because this is where it has the
maximum impact,” Gutman said.
And he’s right.
Jamaica and Archer avenues were chosen due to their
roles as hubs of transit, education, business and culture.
With such a rich variety of places to go and things to do in
the vicinity of Jamaica and Archer avenues, it only made
sense to test the mayor’s pilot projects here.
The Archer Avenue pilot is a physically protected eastbound
busway that covers 150th Street to 160th Street. The
lanes are reserved for MTA and NICE buses only, which
have access to these lanes 24 hours a day, seven days a
week.Meanwhile, the Jamaica Avenue pilot begins at Sutphin
Boulevard and extends to 168th Street in both directions
and gives access to buses and commercial trucks 24
hours a day, seven days a week.
DOT also installed new curbside regulations to allow
parking, truck loading and pedestrian space where old
bus lanes were removed.
Prior to beginning the pilot projects, DOT held an “extensive
community outreach process,” which involved
open houses to gather feedback on the projects.
We understand that there is some opposition to the bus
lanes — after all, they do take away parking spots from
drivers who may be heading to local shops and eateries.
But there are still municipal lots available to park, and
having dedicated bus lanes will ultimately help draw in
more business to the two thoroughfares.
Kudos to the DOT for implementing the new bus lanes
in southeast Queens. It was about time.
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TIMESLEDGER | QNS.12 COM | NOV. 12 - NOV. 18, 2021
New York City Transit Interim President Craig Cipriano at the ribbon-cutting for the Jamaica busways.
Photo by Jenna Bagcal
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At this time, I wish to offer my congratulations
for Mayor-elect Eric Adams.
We all need to offer our support for the new
incoming mayor, even if we did not vote for
him, as Mayor-elect Eric Adams will have a lot on his
plate and is expected to accomplish much for the good
of all the people of New York City.
The city has a lot of problems as a result of the COVID
19 pandemic, as well as several other issues to address,
including crime, affordable housing, homelessness,
mental health issues, rising food costs and much
In my opinion, Eric Adams is a blue-collar worker
who fully understands the problems of the poor and
the issues facing the common men and women of this
As a retired NYPD captain, I think he will support
I therefore hope and pray he succeeds for the good
of us all!
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.,