30 THE QUEENS COURIER • SEPTEMBER 26, 2019 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Don’t just say ‘no’ to change
For all the attention given to the myriad
problems in the city’s subway system,
not enough attention is paid to the equally
woeful bus network citywide.
Notoriously slow and off schedule, the
buses nonetheless serve as a vital transit
STORY: Queens Place Mall in Elmhurst adds new tenants
including Chipotle and Teriyaki One
SUMMARY: New food options will soon be available at
the Queens Place Mall after Madison International Realty
announced that a variety of tenants have leased of renewed
space at the Elmhurst shopping center.
REACH: 14,734 People Reached (as of 9/23/19)
link for hundreds of thousands of
New Yorkers each day. Th e MTA and
city Transportation Department realize
the problems facing the bus network
and are doing things to try and speed
Unfortunately, in certain instances,
these eff orts are facing backlash from
community merchants and residents who
say the prescribed cures for slow buses
and street congestion are worse than the
With the MTA attempting to close 14th
Street in Manhattan to all vehicular traffi
c except buses, and creating a bus lane
along Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood,
local groups have even taken the extreme
measure of going to court to try and stop
A judge dismissed the case against the
Ridgewood bus lane on Sept. 23, which
was based by the litigants on the perception
that removing parking and traffi
c lanes from Fresh Pond Road to better
accommodate buses would harm business.
But Judge Joseph Esposito, in his ruling,
wasn’t buying it — and made, in our view,
a great point about the resistance to traffi c
changes throughout the city.
“You know why Fresh Pond Coalition
doesn’t like it? Th ey don’t like it because
nobody likes change,” Esposito told attorneys
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for the coalition that sued the city
and MTA. “I don’t like change … But
it’s not about me. It’s not about a narrow
group of people who use the roads
… Everybody has to share the road, you
don’t see that? It looks like you’re taking a
really parochial, myopic view.”
A similar case on the proposed 14th
Street busway in Manhattan is still pending,
and one wonders if the judge in that
case would look to Esposito’s ruling for
Th e transportation situation in the
city, especially with regard to buses, is
untenable. To their credit, the de Blasio
Administration is working with the MTA
to fi gure out ways to speed the buses up
to serve more people, and reverse the
troubling downward trend in ridership as
frustrated commuters turn to ride-sharing
as a faster alternative.
Whether it’s the creation of restricted
bus lanes, rerouting entire bus lines
or expanding limited and Select Bus services,
change needs to happen.
We’re choking on our own traffi c, and
if we can’t get to where we need to go, we
will harm way more businesses and families
than those living on a single street in
any given neighborhood.
Th e city and MTA should always work
with communities when implementing
bus changes to make the transition process
smooth. However, the time to just
say “no” to every proposal needs to come
to an end.
Th e city is at a transit breaking point.
We need to work together to keep moving.
Photo: Mark Hallum/QNS
Photo caption: Tony DiPiazza, from the Federazione Italo-Americana di Brooklyn and Queens, spoke
out in support of a lawsuit challenging the Fresh Pond Road bus lanes on Sept. 18.