Community leaders are concerned that a proposal to bring Select Bus Service (SBS) through Kings Highway could bring further congestion to an already cramped commercial corridor.
The MTA is considering adding SBS to the B82 route, which runs from Seaview Avenue in Canarsie to Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island. The route travels along Kings Highway, a busy business district that narrows to two lanes after Nostrand Avenue. When SBS was added to the B44 route on Nostrand Avenue, the DOT created a dedicated bus lane to speed service along the route.
Community Board 15 chairwoman Theresa Scavo said a bus lane through Kings Highway would have to go through parking lanes along the street. Losing parking spots would discourage shoppers from visiting the area, she said.
“If you put in a bus lane, where is that going to go on Kings Highway? You would have to take away parking. If I was a business merchant, you might as well kill my business right now,” she said. “This would be a disaster for Kings Highway.”
City Councilman Chaim Deutsch agreed that a dedicated bus lane on Kings Highway would be ill-advised, though he cautioned the proposal was in the early stages and plans for a bus lane have not been put forward yet.
“Nothing is set in stone at this point,” he said. “But any time you take away parking spots, it would definitely affect the businesses. People who use their cars to come to the shopping districts will have a more difficult time finding parking and they will be discouraged from coming there.”
Deutsch said he has met several times the DOT and MTA to discuss the proposal. Scavo said city officials briefly discussed the plan with the community board last year.
A spokesperson for the DOT said the agency has made no decisions about where or if the new SBS route would have a dedicated bus lane. The spokesperson said the DOT is also encouraging commuters to submit feedback about the proposal, which can be done here.
Adding SBS along the B82 route is part of a larger plan to expand transportation options in southern Brooklyn. A 2009 DOT study found that commuters in the area desired better crosstown service. The MTA is also considering bringing SBS to the B6 route, which runs through Midwood on its way from Bensonhurst to East New York. The city says the expansion will bring riders faster, more reliable service.