A 90-Second Appeal to Fix Woodhaven Boulevard With BRT

The BRT for NYC coalition recently released this short video that succinctly makes the case for change on Woodhaven Boulevard in southeast Queens. If you haven’t personally experienced Woodhaven as a pedestrian or bus rider, it’s a good introduction to what’s at stake as NYC DOT and the MTA move forward with a project to improve transit service and street safety along more than 14 miles of this major corridor.

Improving travel times and reliability for the tens of thousands of people who ride the bus on Woodhaven every day will have to go hand in hand with improvements to the pedestrian environment. As you can see in the video, Woodhaven is so wide that people have to run to reach the other side of the street. All of the design options that NYC DOT has shown add more space for walking.

With Donovan Richards, Eric Ulrich, and every other City Council member whose district touches the project on the record supporting major changes, there’s a chance to do something bold and great on Woodhaven. The next round of design work for the project may be released early next year.

  • Andres Dee

    What’s wrong with you people? If riderers don’t wait forever for buses in the dark, cold and rain, then trudge through the front door one-by-one dropping their coins, then they’ll never aspire to make enough money to buy cars, like real, grown-up Americans. And what’s with the pededestrians crossing the street before the cars make their turns? Can’t these people look and wait? Cars are progress, man! (/sarcasm)

    Nice vid! (but perhaps some footage demonstrating what BRT looks like.)

  • Bolwerk

    It looks like a bus in a bus lane. Most New Yorkers have seen that.

  • Andres Dee

    I meant the “user experience”, Bolwerk. A clip showing a bus boarding through all doors and off within 15 seconds.

  • Ben_Kintisch

    Nice video!

  • Bus Rapid Transit oxymoron

    A left, bus-only lane on Woodhaven–great. Multi-door, pre-paid boarding–great. But it’s still just bus improvements. Saying it will combine the “permanence, speed and reliability of rail” is a demonstrably false statement. This invention of “BRT” is just the latest incarnation of the same “big lie” used by the oil, car and asphalt lobby to kill rail systems in the postwar period. Beware of anyone who says BRT is just as good as rail. They are either directly on the payroll of oil interests, or they got their information from one of the many university transportation centers and studies which they fund.

  • I’m guessing you’ve never seen Gold Standard BRT as implemented in Mexico City, Bogota, or numerous European iterations.

  • Bolwerk

    We should all hope we don’t. To be cost-effective, those kinds of services need third world labor costs. Even then they probably can’t be built cost-effectively without Champs-Elysee-style urban boulevards to appropriate. ITDP has its head up its ass.

    Nearly any reliability difference between NYC’s BRT implementations and ITDP’s criteria could be fixed with traffic enforcement and light preemption. (NYC needs surface rail desperately, but Woodhaven is probably the wrong place to start.)

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