Transportation

DOT Implements Hostile Takeover Of Sheepshead Bay Road, Surprising Community Leaders

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Traffic cones closed traffic on East 15th Street between Sheepshead Bay Road and Avenue Z. (Photo: Alex Ellefson / Sheepshead Bites)
Traffic cones closed traffic on East 15th Street between Sheepshead Bay Road and Avenue Z. (Photo: Alex Ellefson / Sheepshead Bites)

Community leaders say they were blindsided this week when the Department of Transportation (DOT) moved forward on a controversial plan to transform part of Sheepshead Bay Road into a Times Square-style pedestrian plaza.

The agency sprung the project on the community Sunday, haphazardly sprinkling orange traffic cones around East 15th Street and Jerome Slip to close the streets to traffic. The B36 bus stop was also moved to Avenue Z and a section of Sheepshead Bay Road, between East 15th Street and Jerome Avenue, was made into a one-way.

The plan, part of the mayor’s Vision Zero campaign, was introduced to the community board last year. However, many assumed the project was dead after board members voted it down.

But last month, DOT announced they were reviving the proposal, partly because a pedestrian was struck and killed by an MTA bus in December. However, Community Board 15 Chairwoman Theresa Scavo said the board was given no notice the plan would be implemented Sunday.

“We received no direct correspondence from DOT about when the work would begin or when it would be completed,” she said.

The MTA posted a sign informing commuters the B36 bus stop has been moved to Avenue Z. (Photo: Alex Ellefson / Sheepshead Bites)
The MTA posted a sign informing commuters the B36 bus stop has been moved to Avenue Z. (Photo: Alex Ellefson / Sheepshead Bites)

The community board did receive an email April 4 from DOT that the plan would be implemented at the end of the month, but there were no details about what date the project would begin or what the changes would look like, Scavo explained

“They should have given us another presentation. All we received was: ‘It’s being done, goodbye,'” she said.

The plan also calls for creating a taxi stand a block away from the subway station, putting pedestrian islands where Sheepshead Bay Road meets Jerome Avenue and East 14th Street, and adding crosswalks throughout the roadway. A DOT spokesperson said the agency had no timeline for when it would follow through on the rest of the proposal.

sheepshead bay road

Instead, commuters coming out the subway station glared at the sign posted at the old bus stop for the B36 bus — informing them it had been moved to Avenue Z. Cars swerved around the traffic cones littering the roadway. To some, the move felt more like a hostile takeover considering it was such a huge change for one of the community’s major roadways.

Traffic cones at the intersection with Jerome Avenue prevent cars from heading west on Sheepshead Bay Road. (Photo: Alex Ellefson / Sheepshead Bay Road)
Traffic cones at the intersection with Jerome Avenue prevent cars from heading west on Sheepshead Bay Road. (Photo: Alex Ellefson / Sheepshead Bay Road)

Steve Barrison, president of the Bay Improvement Group, said he found out the project was underway at a Bayfest planning meeting on Tuesday.

“Everyone feels like we’ve been ambushed,” he said. “What’s the rush? This is going to have a tremendous impact on our community, on our visitors, on our shoppers, on our businesses, and on our commuters.”

Scavo said DOT should have made more of an effort to communicate with the neighborhood after they announced the plan was moving forward.

“They should have come to the community board again, made a presentation, and listened to the community. I don’t think they were exactly following procedure that’s been established,” she said.

New street signs were installed on Sheepshead Bay Road. (Photo: Alex Ellefson / Sheepshead Bites)
New street signs were installed on Sheepshead Bay Road. (Photo: Alex Ellefson / Sheepshead Bites)

A DOT representative is expected to speak next week at the Sheepshead Bay-Plumb Beach Civic Association. However, the group’s co-president, Cliff Bruckenstein, said it was odd his group was selected for the presentation considering Manhattan Beach Community President Judy Baron had been hounding the agency to visit her group.

“They don’t want to make a big showing. So since my community group is the smallest one at the moment, I believe they’re coming to me,” he said.

Bruckenstein said he was also caught off guard when DOT rolled out the project this week.

The Sheepshead Bay-Plumb Beach Civic Association will meet Tuesday, May 3, at 7:45pm in the at Waterford on the Bay, 2900 Bragg Street, near the corner of Emmons Avenue.

Neighbors are encouraged to attend and ask questions about the traffic changes.

“We’re going to have many, many questions,” Bruckenstein said.

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108 COMMENTS

  1. I just came home from that area and saw the orange barrels stretching across Jerome Avenue from Banco Popular to The Coffee Spot. When the traffic light at that corner turns green, drivers are unsure if they can bear left and continue on Sheepshead Bay Rd. toward the train station. Of course the drivers behind the lead car unsure of where to go, have no patience which sets off a string of car horns. How can the DOT do proceed with this project without community backing or a warning they will proceed with the project despite community opposition?

  2. Excellent news! No other way of getting positive change in the community when the board itself rejects any incoming investment. Have never seen a group of people work so eagerly against their own interest.

  3. QUESTION? If a car going West on Avenue Z wants to get to Sheepshead Bay Road, how can he get there when at East 14th Street has NO LEFT TURN?

  4. Putting aside the DOT’s yet-again haphazard approach of not consulting with the community and “temporarily” disrupting the existing flow of traffic for extended periods of time with cones – which is entirely unacceptable, I don’t think the actual changes being made to the roads, or the pedestrian plaza, are necessarily a terrible idea. Unless I’m not reading the map provided correctly, the only real impact here is the left-turn from north-bound Sheepshead Bay Road. Making the detour around Jerome, instead of cutting through Sheepshead Bay Road, will probably save drivers time anyway as it is always busy on that block with traffic backed up from the train station and B4/B49 passengers crossing the street in the middle of the road. Is there anything I’m missing or any specific reason why this proposal was rejected by CB15?

    The only real issue I can potentially see with this proposal is putting the B36 on the same stop as the B4 and B49. That one might take some getting used to as the area under the bridge already gets crowded when the B4 doesn’t come for some time. Adding the B36 back to this stop (it used to stop here in addition to the stop by the train station if I’m not mistaking – someone will correct me if I am) could end up making that block of Ave Z impossible to walk through during rush hour. That said, perhaps even that is better than Sheepshead Bay road being impossible to walk through.

    So, the DOT fucked up and should never have done this without community approval, but I’m not sure what the community doesn’t like about the proposal. Community – educate me please.

    PS – Woohoo, the old comment system is back! Sorry, but having my full name and picture displayed next to comments just isn’t going to happen. Not because I’m up to anything nefarious, but because this is a small neighborhood and people tend to take opinions on the internet way too seriously. I’d be happy to register on the site and provide my information to the editors, but there needs to be a way to post without that information shared. Otherwise this comment would not have gone up.

  5. A very good question indeed. I asked in my post what the community doesn’t like about this proposal and yours would be a valid answer to that question. Curious in finding out DOT’s answer as well.

  6. OK….it has been 4 days since the change and for the first time in ages there has been no traffic jams on SBR by the station on back towards e13th Street and beyond. No horns blowing for hours. Peaceful dinnertime. As for pedestrian plazas I can totally do without them. I for one am willing to give this a chance. People are always resistance to change, give it some time. As for the b36 bus, going straight on Z is safer than all those turns it made and it was a quicker ride home. I can see the train fromy spartment and from what I see is traffic flowing nicely for a change. Just my little two cents worth of thought.

  7. I do not have any problems with the new high rise going up. However, I think that this neighborhood’s mortgage owners, along with the high rise owners, should see the same foreclosure rates as Creole mortgage owners have in Brooklyn.

  8. I hope they clean up East 15th Street and get rid of all those disgusting pigeons!! Who the hell wants to walk through pigeon s–t !!!

  9. The community board does not like East 15 Street being made a plaza. They are afraid of more homeless attracted to the street. They also do not like not being consulted.

    I have other problems. All this will do is move traffic from Sheepshead Bay Road (between East 15th and Jerome) to Avenue Z between East 15th and 17th Street, further congestin that portion of Avenue Z because cars that used to make a left turn to Avenue Z at East 15 Street are now making the turn at East 17 Street. Although buses will not be turning there any more, about five cars more will be replacing the buses that used to turn there so I fail to see how the intersection will be any safer for pedestrians. The recent fatality there was the first one in at least nine years. The B36 has been making that turn there safely for 38 years.

    Bus passengers are also now running up East 15 Street when the see a B36 coming. They didn’t have to run before when the bus stopped in front of the station. It is dangerous because someone could trip and fall. It us especially bad for those going west, because passengers are also now running across Avenue Z, some without looking out for cars.

    I redesigned the B36 route in 1978, when it replaced the B1 and B21, to make those turns because about half the B36 passengers are getting on or off at the station. I could have had it go straight on Avenue Z, but the former route serves the passengers better and delays the buses only by about a minute, two if they miss all the traffic lights. Passengers also feel it won’t be as safe to wait under the overpass when it gets dark because it is poorly lit. I had the B4 eastbound not use East 15 Street, because much fewer people use that route and get on or off at the subway there, and they also can use the Voorhies Avenue entrance where there is no walking.

    The taxi stand could be across the street where it used to be where meters were installed. There is no reason to put it in the former bus stop and I bet taxis will still wait in front of the station when the stand is installed. It makes no sense for the taxis to wait in front of the subway and make bus passengers walk a block for the bus. That’s not the way to encourage mass transit.

    We have not seen the traffic impacts yet because it has been lighter than normal this week, possibly because of the Passover holidays.

  10. This new traffic pattern is awful. Now we have to walk a whole block to catch the B36, which may not sit as long as it used so since the drivers will not see us getting out of the station, and who would want a pedestrian plaza on East 15th under the subway. It is littered with garbage and bird waste!

  11. Thanks for bringing back the old comment system. As a person in a scooter (I try not to go too fast or drive in the street), I’ve yet to attempt to navigate this new obstacle-filled course, but in general i despise these open plaza-like areas…gathering places for whom, exactly? The wretched homeless who are forced out of shelters during the day? All affected community boards in the area should have been notified by letter, not just by e-mail; the residents, too.

  12. I like that the buses now stop on Avenue Z and that the stretch of Sheepshead Bay Rd is now one way. It seems so much safer for the pedestrians getting off the B36 bus to get to the subway station. I’m not sure the pedestrian plaza is needed and I would be concerned that it would turn into a refuge for homeless people.

  13. If they were going to do this, they should have powerwashed all the bird shit off E. 15th under the train and had the NYPD post someone to ticket whoever it is feeding them (now that I’ve had to walk down E. 15th a few times, there’s definitely some idiot leaving bread for these flying rats. East 15th between Sheepshead Bay Road and Ave Z is disgusting!

  14. You go around the corner and go down 14th street and make the left onto the bay road or you go down 16th street onto the bay road. The same way it has always been

  15. Please. This is to attract the hipsters and piss off the working class New Yorkers. Nothing more. Also, probably for spite. Probably because Mr. Allen Rosen has been very vocal about this 3 block span in particular over the past several years.

    I am pretty sure that this goes against ADA regulations. (The B36 being moved especially.) It is obvious that the MTA and DOT are in cahoots with each other as they certainly had much more notice then all of us to get those signs printed up.

    Pedestrian plazas have no business in Sheepshead Bay. There are plenty of seats in Dunkin Donuts and the Old Town Cafe. These people are not going to sit outside. No tourists are coming here, and hipsters WILL NOT drink Dunkin Donuts and they will not frequent the Old Town Cafe if they don’t put Kale on the menu.

    Next week is the test. School returns, more people get off from their vacation. But it won’t matter, it will take months before this nonsense can be reversed and then more tax dollars will be wasted. Well, more likely then not, motorists tax dollars via speed camera revenue.

    The DOT, the MTA and the city DO NOT care about the middle class. Only the mega rich and the hipster. Too bad hipsters will be gone within 10 years time when they get tired from their staycations. This is also proof positive that the DOT will do whatever they wish and the MTA could care less about their customers. This is asinine for this area. People are driving crazier ever since the vision zero implementation. But everything is for the hipster and the cyclists.

    Senior citizens and those with disabilities need to sue the MTA immediately.

  16. I have been told (but I have not witnessed) that some crazy ‘bird lady’ leaves loaves of bread on E. 15 Street to feed the birds. She is doing them more harm than good and needs to be stopped. Sounds like a mental health as well as public heath problem

  17. Nan T. hits the nail on the head. So far, SB Road is less chaotic, easier to cross the street to get to the subway entrance and the B 36 seems to be moving a bit faster. East 15 Street was always clogged by privately owned cars waiting to pick up their ‘significant others’ but would delay the B-36 from making an essential left turn. And there is a lot less horn blowing. Kudos to MTA and DOT for taking action

  18. School was out this week and people were on vacation for Passover and recess. Traffic was lighter all over. You can’t draw conclusions after a few days.

  19. Don’t care whether they are an individual or working for a store, anyone dumping food for the infestation of pigeons needs to be cited and fined every time as part of cleaning that blight out if this plaza has any prayer of success.

  20. Back in the day (lol), the B36 went up Avenue Z. Just as the B49 used to go straight up Ocean Avenue. They’re just going back to the way it was. Finally! At least something can go back to the way it was in my neighborhood in the good old days……………………

  21. Agreed. I have often yelled at, & scared away, pigeon feeders, one of the most detestable things I can think of & it sure has nothing to do with a pedestrian plaza.

  22. This has a lot to do with this particular street that’s being turned into a pedestrian plaza because it’s currently infested with pigeons nested in the overpass of the train and there’s shit everywhere

  23. It’s funny that Metro North (a division of the MTA) has an aggressive (but not harmful) anti-pigeon program for their suburban ridership, but us jerks who ride the transit authority subways get no such help. I’ve seen what Metro North can do to disrupt pigeon nestlings and droppings where they do not belong. Not here on SBRoad.

  24. Guest does not seem to understand the ADA. I’m pretty sure that this does not go against ADA regulations. The MTA is mandated to make reasonable accommodations but not have to build bus stops and subway stations on every block.

  25. As someone who crosses the Sheepshead Bay Road, Jerome Ave intersection twice daily, the one way street and pedestrian island will be the best thing about this. I’ve seen far too many people turn make the left from jerome onto sheepshead bay road, or run the red at top speed turning right on Sheepshead bay road. I don’t have enough fingers to count how many times I was almost hit by a car running a red over there.

  26. No, the B36 went on Neptune, SBR and Avenue Z. It did not go straight on Avenue Z unless you count the three days it did that from Nov 12-15, 1978. The B21 went on AV Z, SBR and Emmons.

  27. If you understand ADA, please explain to me how the MTA was able to completely demolish a bunch of local stations on the Brighton Line and then rebuild them without adding ADA requirements.

  28. The B21 was an underutilized route that operated from 1946 to 1978. It was a combination of two routes that previously operated. On its first day of operation, there was a demonstration in front of Coney Island Hospital that the route did not serve the needs of the community. It consisted of the eastern end of the B4 on Emmons and operated on SBR, Avenue Z, Ocean Pkway and Brighton Beach Ave, etc, to Kingsborough College. The B1 operated from the college along the present B49 route to East 14 St, Avenue X and 86 St to 25 Ave. The B36 operated from Coney Island along Neptune, SBR, E15, and Avenue Z toward Nostrand. There was no through route along Avenue Z. I changed all of that. You can read more here: http://bklyner.com/2013/11/today-marks-the-35th-anniversary-of-the-southwest-brooklyn-bus-changes-plus-more-about-b1-service-update-part-2-of-2/

    There are still a few signs remaining for the B21 after all these years.

  29. My friend tells me that it is now more difficult to cross Jerome Avenue with all the cars now being forced to turn right at the intersection of SBR and Jerome.

  30. Huh? You changed all of that? Are you from the MTA? So when did the B49 come into play? Wow. I still remember getting on the bus and putting a dime in the fare box!

  31. How come Queens boulevard with its history of pedestrian fatalities isn’t being converted to pedestrian plazas?

  32. I made those changes before I joined the MTA when I was at the Department of City Planning. We negotiatiated with the MTA for two years. I changed the B49 at the same time, but that was back when traffic was a fraction of what it is today. Now I believe some B49s at school dismissal time at least need to be returned to the old route straight along Ocean Avenue because the diversion to Sheepshead Bay Station just takes too much time today considering the percentage of bus riders getting on and off at the station.

  33. There is nothing illegal about what they are going. It is considered a minor change without any hearings being necessary. A city council hearing means nothing and this is not a citywide issue. Come to the meeting on Tuesday where DOT and the MTA will be present to answer questions.

  34. Don’t joke about that. They already eliminated two traffic lanes about ten years ago and are eliminating another two for bike lanes and plan to eliminate two more when they institute SBS in a few more years.

  35. Wow!!! I’m honored to speak with you. I sometime think that the 49 should go back to the way it was, but it gives more access to Sheepshead Bay Road. However, having said that, the Bay Road is so congested…………..

  36. He’s allowed to do that. He’s Allan Rosen; the rules that apply to the rest of us don’t apply to him.

  37. “My friend tells me” is not data. Especially when it’s “collected” a few days after a change was implemented, as drivers are getting used to the change and trying out different options. Especially during a week when traffic patterns are abnormal, as you yourself pointed out.

  38. You are not a traffic engineer and do not have the faintest comprehension of traffic engineering. Stop pretending you do.

    Are you seriously suggesting that motorists will be making more turns with the new traffic pattern? Buses will clearly be making significantly fewer. And all motorists will be making significantly fewer turns in the immediate vicinity of the station, where pedestrian volumes are highest.

    If it is dangerous for the B36 to stop on Avenue Z, then it is also dangerous for the B4 and B49 to stop on East 16th. Yes, sometimes people run for the bus, and sometimes people trip and fall. The only solution to that is to have every bus stop everywhere, always. Alternatively, we can accept that there will always be some risks in life and do what we can to strategically mitigate or reduce the most severe risks.

    For motorists, this change simplifies traffic patterns and reduces the need to turn. For pedestrians, the simplified traffic patterns enhance safety. For transit riders, this makes B36 service faster and more reliable – yes, even for riders transferring from the subway, since it takes less time to walk the one short block than to wait for the bus to make two turns. This change is long overdue.

  39. Because how can the middle class possibly get by without driving on this one short block of East 15th Street (that will no longer serve any purpose for motorists)?

  40. I’m not sure what the community doesn’t like about the proposal.

    The Community Board has an allergic reaction to the words “pedestrian plaza” – even though this pedestrian plaza is simply an artifact of the new traffic pattern that makes this one block of East 15th useless to motorists.

    The community as a whole was never asked, and I think you’ll find over time that the community as a whole will like it. Community Boards are not elected and do not represent the community. Community Boards are also not trained in any particular technical fields, like traffic engineering, and when a loudmouth shows up and pretends to know something about a technical field, they’re inclined to listen, even when that loudmouth has no idea what he’s talking about.

  41. There is no honor to speak with Allen Rosen. He’s a grumpy NIMBY who disregards decades of improvements to engineering and design of streets and still thinks that somehow a plan he implemented in 1981 is still relevant in 2016.

  42. I have better traffic engineering sense than DOT’s supposed traffic engineers, some of whom are not even engineers and are only given a provisional traffic engineering title. I know for a fact that one of the former so called “engineers” never had a day of engineering training in his life because we were once former co-workers and he even admitted it to me. He said “it’s only an office title. So don’t lecture me about DOT “engineers”.

    Also, there was nothing dangerous about the bus turns. Two fatalities in nine years that DOT released records for and perhaps no more in the 38 years the buses have been making the turns do not make the intersections “dangerous”.

    First of all many fewer passengers transfer to and from the B4 and 49 than the B36, so your analogy is meaningless. The fact is that the B36 passengers now have to cross an additional street daily. That is nearly 5,000 additional pedestrian crossings. so no way is this any safer. And how does replacing the bus turns with at least five additional vehicular turns at East 17th Street reduce pedestrian vehicular conflicts at East 17th and Avenue Z? All cars that used to turn left at East 15th, have now been moved to East 17th. Also, with all cars now forced to turn right onto Jerome makes it more difficult to cross that street.

    There is zero evidence this will make anything safer and DOT knows that. So rather than doing a six month test to see if their plan even works, they intend to start pouring concrete in a few weeks to prevent any reversal of this dumb idea. Should we ban every bus turn whenever a pedestrian is killed no matter what the reason for the fatality? That is DOT’s insane logic.

    And your statement that people can walk to the subway quicker than the bus can turn is also wrong. It takes about a minute longer in the AM, enough time to miss your train, and in the evening, the extra minute you have to walk to Avenue Z, plus the fact you can no longer wait inside the station in bad whether until you see the bus, increases the chance of missing your bus, makes this an incredibly dumb idea when half the passengers are getting on or off for the subway at the station. We need to make bus transportation easier, not more difficult to encourage its use. You don’t do that by putting taxis in front of the station and make bus riders walk an extra block which is not easy for some elderly and those having difficulty walking. But you couldn’t care less about them.

    The MTA is going along with this only because Trottenberg is on the MTA Board, a plain conflict of interests.

  43. The community does not like this idea. That is why they requested a meeting. They will not learn to like something that won’t work. Sheepshead Bay has real traffic problems DOT is not addressing. Instead tghey are converting the most lightly used portion of the commercial Sheepshead Bay Road into a one-way claiming there is traffic congestion there but without presenting any traffic volumes to back up their claim. Loudmouths who rarely set foot not Sheepshead Bay who don’t have any traffic engineering experience believe they know better what is best for the community than those who actually live there.

  44. They will get by but with getting stuck in more traffic on Avenue Z where the traffic will be diverted to. But that is your goal. If we keep on making it more difficult to drive and park, people will magically shift to mass transit even if we make it more inconvenient by making the walk further to buses and possibly increase their wait time. absolutely brilliant thinking.

  45. The B36 portion of the plan is still very relevant as is the B1 which took the MTA another 32 years to almost fully implement. As I stated, the B49 needs changes.

  46. I didn’t claim it was “data”. Speaking of data, where are DOT’s traffic volume data? They will never present it just like no data was ever presented for the failed B44 SBS plan. How many years must we wait for it?

  47. You can rebuild in place without improving access. Brighton was rebuilt before the most recent round of ADA regulations went into effect.

  48. So they could not get away with that today? Does that mean that all stations on the Sea Beach Line will have to be handicapped accessible?

  49. But more turns are now being made at East 17 Street with increased volume between East 15 and East 17 Street, so congestion will be increased, not reduced.

  50. We we have been asking for a Woodhaven Blvd traffic data for two years and still have not received it. And where is the B44 SBS data? Show it to me. Provide the link if you know where it is.

  51. The DOT engineers cannot even accurately measure the extra distance pedestrians will have to walk. They say it is 260 feet, but that does not include having to cross Sheepshead Bay Road and possibly Avenue Z which is another 60 feet. They also do not include the sixty feet required to walk to the front of the bus stop. So the extra distance is really 350 feet. That’s an error of nearly 33 percent. So much for the accuracy of DOT engineers. And I don’t have to be an engineer to figure that out. You are also not an engineer and can make claims of more reliable bus service without providing any data whatsoever. But any data or anecdotes I present are automatically dismissed by you as invalid. You agree with any decision made by DOT or the MTA and disagree with virtually any statement I make. DOT can make any unsubstantiated claim they want to make without any data, but you never have a problem with that.

  52. I cant wait for the high rise to go up. My house is already grossly overpriced…I can get even more money to move out of this highly expensive and overpopulated area that I used to love…

  53. Then why on earth are you presenting it in response to somebody else’s observation?

    Nobody owes you traffic data. Of course, you’re always welcome to look up data at the NYSDOT Traffic Data Viewer (which you seem to have surprisingly little interest in for someone who claims to understand traffic engineering). (Although the site may be down right now, or maybe it’s a problem with my connection – I can’t seem to pull up the map. Anybody else?)

  54. Potentially heavier traffic volumes for two blocks does not necessarily result in traffic congestion. Were traffic volumes previously higher on those two blocks than to their immediate west? If not, then why would the blocks east of East 15th be any more congested than the blocks to its west?
    You know what used to contribute to traffic congestion? The B36 blocking a lane while waiting to turn left onto East 17th. The B36 no longer makes that turn.

  55. You agree with any decision made by DOT or the MTA and disagree with virtually any state ment I make.

    I certainly have developed a general inclination to disagree with you and to agree with whoever disagrees with you – an inclination that typically puts me on the side of correctness.

  56. Funny, if the community doesn’t like it, then why are so many members of the community reporting right here that they like it?

    How many members of the Community Board are regular B36 riders?

  57. Correct. Considering that you pulled them out of thin air, your conclusions did not relate to school recess or to anything else grounded in reality.

  58. You don’t have the faintest understanding of what causes traffic congestion. Stop pretending that you do.

  59. This new traffic pattern will improve reliability and travel time on the southbound B49. No longer will the B49 get stuck at the Jerome traffic signal behind a motorist waiting to turn left. (Funny how you forgot to point that out.)

  60. Your many writings make it amply clear that you have no traffic engineering sense whatsoever.

    Turns in general pose a danger to pedestrians. That one particular turn hasn’t itself killed lots and lots of pedestrians doesn’t change that fact. Eliminating turns that serve no purpose is beneficial to pedestrian safety. Yes, more pedestrians than previous are now crossing Avenue Z – where, unlike before, turning volumes are now extremely low.

    Turns also decrease bus service reliability, especially where there are large volumes of pedestrian traffic. Not only does this change enhance pedestrian safety, it also enhances B36 reliability. You’ve complained about B36 unreliability and now you complain when the MTA finally tries to tackle the reliability problem. It’s almost as if you don’t care about pedestrian safety or bus reliability! (Wait, almost?)

    Turns, by the way, also contribute to traffic congestion. Left turns, especially – such as the left turn that the B36 used to make off of Avenue Z at East 17th. The B36 no longer makes that turn. Funny how you neglect to point that out.

    If every motorist who used to turn left from East 15th now turns left from East 17th, that would still be an enhancement to pedestrian safety, since there are far fewer pedestrians at the latter than at the former. In fact, though, most motorists over time will realize that they’re probably better off avoiding SBR in the first place and using Ocean instead.

    Yes, if people have to walk a bit longer to make connections, they will occasionally miss their connections and have to wait for the next bus or train – but most of the time they will make the exact same connection that they would have made otherwise, and will furthermore benefit from the faster and more reliable service. On average, people will save time. Look up “expected value” in a high school math textbook (this is hardly rocket science, and I’ve explained it to you many times before).

    Bus service could be designed primarily to accommodate the elderly and disabled – and the resulting service would be highly unattractive to anybody else, because it would be so slow. This is a very short block and the vast majority of transit riders have no difficulty walking it.

    The MTA is going along with this plan because they apparently know what they’re doing.

  61. What is your beef with the elderly and disabled? Seriously, you seem to constantly write off those who have issues walking. It may not seem like a large distance to you, but for a person who has any sort of disability or trouble walking this makes it much more difficult for them. The whole DOT seems to echo your sentiment, and for the life of me I can not figure out why. Who would this service be unattractive too? I doubt any native New Yorker would be upset if the MTA was more accommodating to the elderly and disabled. No… The only morons I’ve ever heard or read about getting upset are the stupid staycationing hipster transplants. But hey, only money talks and the rest of us can go drop dead and screw ourselves I suppose.

    May you never have to endure the issues of someone who is disabled or elderly and relied on this convenience for nearly 40 years. It may seem like a small feature to give up in the DOT conquest to make it difficult for traffic to navigate around, but this is seriously a dumb idea for everyone.

  62. I used to use the train stop on Gravesend Neck Rd. We had the birds flying in the station staircases. Then someone started putting out food for them across the street from the open station to keep the birds away from the entrance of the station. No it was not me. Now that is what makes me think that this was also done at SB station. All the crap is across the street from the main entrance. I have been down to SB road to do my shopping and Those streets are not user friendly for us Seniors.

  63. DOT falsifies data to their favor and liking. You can’t honestly believe they don’t.

  64. Because this change does not harm the elderly and disabled. by and large it helps them by providing them with safer streets and faster buses.

  65. Correct that they could not functionally improve access today. I do not believe there will be any increase in access in any of the sea beach stations.

  66. Really? How many more? And even if there are increased turns at that location, that does not mean that congestion will be increased overall.

  67. The old 7th Avenue entrance to 8th Avenue is bring reopened. Plus ADA improvements at the main entrance.

  68. I have no beef with the elderly and disabled. I know several elderly and disabled (including family members and co-workers) who regularly use transit and make much longer transfers than this.

    I simply pointed out that a bus service that is designed first and foremost to maximize convenience to the elderly and disabled – with very short stop spacing and lots of extraneous turns to bring the bus just a tiny bit closer to various destinations – is a slow and unreliable service, unattractive to everybody else.

    You know what happens when a bus service is slow and unattractive? It loses ridership. You know what happens when a bus service loses ridership? Service is reduced. And pretty soon even the elderly and disabled would have been better off with the faster, more reliable service with slightly longer walks to some of the stops.

    A number of commenters here seem to like the new routing. (Note: People tend to complain about changes far more readily than commend them.) Are they stupid staycationing hipster transplant morons? Or maybe, just maybe, they’re right and you and your idol Allan Rosen are wrong.

  69. Are you claiming that the NYSDOT data at the link I provided yesterday is falsified?

    Why ask for data if you’re just going to insist it’s inaccurate when it’s provided?

  70. You are totally wrong again as usual. First of all, we have a non-engineer telling another non-engineer he has no engineering sense. What qualifies you to make that determination? Nothing whatsoever.

    Your second point is that turns lose a danger to pedestrians. That may be true. So your solution is to ban all turns? Simplistic and non-sensical. Just like DOT. Reminds me of the old joke on how to solve traffic congestion in Manhattan. Make all avenues northbound, and then it is no longer the city’s problem and becomes Albany’s problem. Your idea to ban turns even if no one has been killed just because the possibility exists that someone may be killed makes about just as much sense as making all avenues northbound to relive traffic congestion.

    The turns that were eliminated served a very clear purpose to better serve the bus passengers. You have just made an unsubstantiated claim that bus service is more reliable. Please present the data you have collected that led you to come to that conclusion? After all I cannot make a single claim without you requesting me for hard data. Anecdotes will not do. So let me offer them to you anyway. I have been out at the Avenue Z bus stop about three times for an hour each during the PM rush handing out fliers and watching the B36 bus. The intervals are still far from even. One or two minutes between buses followed by 12 minute gaps. SERVICE IS NO MORE RELIABLE THAN IT WAS BEFORE!!! So you have no right to make claims you can’t support. And please don’t come back asking how do I know it was not more unreliable before? You want data from me, then you have to do the same.

    And I certainly do care about pedestrian safety. That’s why I am taking videos of all the people who are now running across Avenue Z outside of the crosswalk running for a bus. Maybe I will even “get lucky” one day and capture a pedestrian getting struck who didn’t have to cross Avenue Z before the bus stops were moved. Would that convince you this change was bad? Or do more than one person have to get hit before you will consider that enough data for you? Of course I hope that doesn’t happen, but how else would someone as blind as you be able to see how DOT has now made this area more dangerous by adding between 3,000 to 4,000 new pedestrian crossings daily?

    And I didn’t fail to point out that elimination of the bus turn at East 17th Street reduces congestion because the exact opposite is true. A bus made a left turn there about once every ten minutes. A real big reduction in traffic. How many cars would you say used to make a left turn every minute from East 15 Street onto Avenue Z? How about a conservative two per minute? That would be 20 in ten minutes. So for every bus not making a left turn at East 17 Street, we now have 20 additional cars making left turns there. So how is the intersection less congested?

    Plus those 20 cars every ten minutes formerly using Sheepshead Bay Road are now clogging up the already congested Avenue Z westbound between East 15th Street and East 17th Street. But wait! You say drivers are now realizing it is better they use Ocean Avenue rather than Sheepshead Bay Road. If so, then those drivers are now clogging up Avenue Z between East 15 Street and Ocean Avenue westbound when the never before even used that portion of Avenue Z since the had previously made the left from East 15 Street rather than Avenue Z. So tell me again how I failed to mention the reduction in traffic congestion.

    Since you have not proven that there is faster and reliable service, it is very significant that some will now miss their connections. IT DOES NOT HAVE TO HAPPEN A MAJORITY OF THE TIME TO BE SIGNIFICANT. Even if it only happens on one in ten or twenty trips, THAT IS STILL SIGNIFICANT!!!, because no one is benefiting.

    Also, it is not “a very short block.” The extra distance is 260 feet as measured by the MTA. But that does not include the 30 additional feet to cross Sheepshead Bay Road or the 60 feet to walk to the front of the bus stop. Therefore the total distance is 350 feet, hardly insignificant to sober enough who has difficulty walking, people you’d like to believe do not exist and have no use for. The percentage of elderly and handicapped using buses are significant. In fact during normal non-rush hours (when there are no beach crowds for example) most bus passengers are either elderly, handicapped, or students. So for to believe we should ignore the needs of the elderly and handicapped when designing bus routes just shows your pure selfishness and lack of empathy for those less fortunate than you.

    You speak of a “textbook” and that precisely is the problem. You can’t plan locally by only using some textbook philosophy without considering the specific local needs like DOT is doing here. I don’t often take the MTA’s part, but I am doing that here. They are being forced into this. It was not their idea. They had no choice but to reroute the bus. They are also required to support DOT because the DOT commissioner is on the MTA’s Board, plainly a conflict of interests. I have it on good authority that the MTA is not at all happy with this bus reroute and employees have been told that anyone who says anything bad about this will put his job in jeopardy.

    The MTA went public to criticize the Times Square pedestrian plaza that it added 20 minutes to their bus schedules costing them extra money. They would never be allowed to say that today since they must now support DOT.

  71. Again no proof the streets or buses will be any safer or faster. Many believe trips will now be slower because of the greater probability of lost connections. It certainly does harm the elderly and handicapped? Have you ever tried to walk a block with sciatica? I hope you get to experience that one day. You may see things a little differently then. Thousands of extra pedestrian crossings and people now running across the street to catch a bus that they didn’t have to do before is a recipe for disaster. It makes the streets much more dangerous, not any safer at all.

  72. No it doesn’t put you on the side of correctness at all. It just shows how close-minded you are to anyone who disagrees with authority.

  73. No one owes me traffic data? An agency has no right to claim a street is so congested they must make it a one-way and change a bus route inconveniencing thousands of dail passengers if the street is not congested to begin with which it wasn’t. Having some numbers on some obscure site that is not publicized where son eons must go through hoops to find data which may not even be realities to your needs on a site that may even be down as it was when you checked, in no way qualifies as transparency.

    To claim a street is congested, traffic volumes must be presented in the report where the claim is made. You also do not make a change and then present data only when the data show you made the correct changes and refuse to show any data when the changes you made were a failure such as the B44 SBS. It is now almost 2 1/2 years since that mistake was made, and according to you DOT and the MTA have no responsibility whatsoever to show their changes were beneficial to most people. It is okay for them to merely say the plan works and we must believe them.

    And of course you find yourself in the position of disagreeing with everything I say and anyone who who agrees with me and you always agree with the MTA and DOT because you are on the side of correctness. So anyone disagreeing with you who happens to make some sense has to be wrong. When you were in school and you wrote a paper, was it alright to say I don’t have to provide you with any numbers to show I am correct because I don’t owe anyone any numbers and I have all of them in a book anyway. You just have to trust me.

    I don’t believe your teachers would have accepted that, yet you are saying we must accept that logic from DOT.

  74. The traffic volumes were not previously higher than the blocks to the west. Now they will be just as heavy as the blocks to the west so the time it will take to travel along Avenue Z westbound between Coney Island Avenue and Ocean Avenue will now increase.

    Yes and one B36 every ten minutes did block the lane for about 15 seconds as it waited for traffic to clear to make the turn so thousands of daily bus passengers could be better served. Each bus will now be replaced with 20 cars on Avenue Z now making a left turn, and forcing all cars northbound on Sheepshead Bay Road to turn right instead of having two paths reduces traffic flow and the number of vehicles that can be accommodated on a single traffic signal backing up traffic on Sheepshead Bay Road. Isn’t it funny how you failed to mention that?

  75. If we assume only two cars per minute, probably undercounting, each bus every ten minutes that would no longer turn there would be replaced by 20 cars.

  76. But the B49 was not getting stuck behind cars waiting to turn into Jerome Avenue before. The buses had no trouble getting around if only one car was waiting. Two cars waiting for Jerome was a rarity. It was the cars destined for Jerome that had the trouble getting around the bus because the bus often was at an angle. But that slight benefit is outweighed by all the other negative traffic impacts.

  77. It doesn’t matter and is a totally irrelevent comment because even if every single Board member regularly rode the B36, you would still say they only represent a small portion of the total riders so their opinions are not important and don’t matter. You would still insist without a shred of data that most riders prefer the change. The B36 also isn’t the only issue here which is another reason why your question need not be answered.

  78. Why would we assume any more cars would turn at all? There is no reason to assume those buses will be replaced by ZERO cars.

  79. Woodhaven traffic data has been public. B44 SBS ridership data is public too. Search for it yourself. It is easy to find.

  80. Good! You are finally understanding that community boards aren’t representative samples!

  81. That is just blatantly false all around. Literally every single sentence in your statement is wrong.

  82. Because there were cars previously turning left on East 15 Street who can no longer turn there. Logically, they are now making the turn at East 17 Street. The only reason why that they all would not turn at East 17 Street is that traffic on Sheepshead Bay Road is so slow now, they are turning instead on Ocean Avenue. In either case, Avenue Z traffic westbound between East 15 and Ocean Avenue which was heavy before, is heavier now.

  83. No, they are not. They are not anything close to the best we’ve got. They are absolutely useless for representative purposes.

  84. Except when they agree with you, then you would have no trouble quoting what a community board is in favor of.

  85. Is school still out? Is it still Passover? Because Subway Stinker’s comments are still on the ball.

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