Eyes on the Street: New Bus Lanes Arrive on Woodhaven Blvd

Photo: Toby Sheppard Bloch
Bus lanes being installed on Woodhaven Boulevard near Fleet Court. Photo: Toby Sheppard Bloch

It’s not quite Select Bus Service, but it’s a step in the right direction: A pair of long-awaited bus lanes are rolling out on Woodhaven Boulevard.

Offset bus lanes, installed to the left of curbside parking, are being added to both sides of Woodhaven between Dry Harbor Road and Metropolitan Avenue, covering about 1.3 miles [PDF]. Streetsblog reader and Queens Community Board 5 member Toby Sheppard Bloch sent in a photo of the progress. Short sections of curbside bus lanes are also being added to Woodhaven in both directions as it approaches Rockaway Boulevard.

The bus lanes, which will not affect parking regulations along Woodhaven, will be in effect Monday through Friday from 7 to 10 a.m. and from 4 to 7 p.m. Due to restrictions imposed by Albany, the bus lanes will not be camera-enforced. A bill awaiting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature would allow the city to install bus lane cameras on Woodhaven and other routes.

While these bus lanes overlap with the route of Select Bus Service planned for Woodhaven Boulevard and Cross Bay Boulevard, they’re really a separate project that arose from DOT’s 2008 “Congested Corridors” study. They were originally scheduled to be installed last fall; DOT blamed poor weather and a lack of available resources for the delay. Work began in mid-July, and the agency expects to wrap the project by installing overhead bus lane signage in the next couple weeks.

The full redesign of Woodhaven Boulevard for Select Bus Service will come later. That project will add pedestrian safety improvements, limited-stop service, off-board fare collection and more substantial bus lanes. DOT selected a design for that project in March, saying that construction would wrap in 2018.

While Select Bus Service continues to face opposition from some civic associations in the area, transit advocates, led by the Riders Alliance and Transportation Alternatives, have been building support for SBS with their #FixWoodhaven social media campaign.

  • JBS

    Woodhaven is the Q52/53SBS not Q44SBS: Q44 is Main Street

  • Danny

    London Lennie’s! That place is great.

    And don’t forget the Q11/Q21 on Woodhaven.

  • fixed, thanks

  • JamesR

    and with a double parked car already sitting right in it. How emblematic.

  • Reader

    Isn’t the part under the “BUS” also supposed to be painted? Or did they paint “BUS” first, making it impossible to put down the base red/rust color? I’ve noticed this happening with bike lanes, too. They paint the bike symbols, but then can’t put the green paint down! What is going on with DOT’s coordination these days?

  • AnoNYC

    I agree. It looks really bad, what the heck is going on?

    Is anyone in charge?

  • BrandonWC

    I think this is intentional, the idea being that the thermoplastic markings used for the “BUS ONLY” and bike symbols adheres better to bare asphalt than it does to the green/terracotta paint. I could be wrong and it looks weird, but I’m willing to aesthetics for durablity.

  • street_user

    thermoplastic doesn’t stick to red/green paint that well, thus the reason for no longer applying symbols/messages on top of paint

  • Reader

    Great to know! Thanks.

  • Bolwerk

    They probably just need to come up with a better (drop-in/prefab?) solution than paint. This is basically what painted lanes look like after a few seasons of NYC temperature changes anyway.

  • BBnet3000

    I’m curious if they ever considered pigmented asphalt. Same goes for the “slippery when wet” painted bike lanes.

  • BrooklynBus

    Put bus lanes down in 2015 and rip them up in 2017. What a tremendous waste of funds.

  • Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr.

    Honestly, I am still skeptical about the overall implementation of SBS because it is not true BRT, just BRT creep, not modernized as much to the rapid changes of technology (from the use of contactless smart cards, to vending machines, to “subway-like” stations) for the 21st Century. ????

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