Yesterday we reported that State Senator Bill Perkins’ office has finally expressed satisfaction with the 125th Street bus improvement project, now that DOT has watered it down by shortening the dedicated bus lanes. Previously, Perkins had called on the city to “slow down” the plan to bring Select Bus Service to 125th Street due to what he claimed was insufficient community input, even though DOT and the MTA had been holding public workshops since last September. Streetsblog hit the streets yesterday afternoon to see what bus riders on 125th Street had to say about the situation.
None of the riders I talked to over the course of 45 minutes had heard about the plan to bring bus lanes to 125th Street, nor had they heard of Perkins’ “emergency” town hall meeting last week. They were all disappointed that, under pressure from Perkins, the city had decided to shorten the bus lanes by half, ending at Lenox Avenue instead of Morningside Avenue.
“I think they should go to Morningside,” Margaret Fernandez said while waiting for the bus at St. Nicholas Avenue.
Other bus riders agreed. “You need it all the way over,” Disney Aaron said. “It’d be better for people, man. Better for traffic, too.”
A major feature of the camera-enforced bus lanes is that they would cut down on illegal double-parking, which slows down buses stuck in traffic. Streetsblog spotted an NYPD officer ticketing a delivery truck that had parked in a bus stop on 125th Street at Frederick Douglass Boulevard. “It’s mostly double-parking. There’s plenty of it,” she said. “It causes so much traffic.”