NY1 Teams Up With Joe Addabbo to Bash Better Bus Service for Tens of Thousands of New Yorkers

Neglecting to talk to bus riders, NY1 reporter Ruschell Boone gives Woodhaven Boulevard SBS the driver gripefest treatment.

Joe Addabbo wants DOT to downgrade Woodhaven Boulevard SBS by increasing the hours drivers are allowed to park in bus lanes. Video still: NY1
Joe Addabbo wants DOT to downgrade Woodhaven Boulevard SBS by increasing the hours drivers are allowed to park in bus lanes. Video still: NY1

Shame on NY1 reporter Ruschell Boone for carrying water for State Senator Joseph Addabbo and his campaign against better bus service on Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards.

The Q52 and Q53 handle 30,000 trips a day between the Rockaways and Woodside. Newly added Select Bus Service features, including dedicated bus lanes and off-board fare collection, mean that Queens residents who use the lines will reach their destinations faster, free from some of the headaches that have led New Yorkers to give up on city buses.

But Boone characterizes improvements for tens of thousands of bus riders, which were accompanied by pedestrian safety upgrades, as a “traffic nightmare.” The premise of the piece is that motorists who resent the sight of dedicated street space for bus riders should get to call all the shots.

Watch as Boone offers the mic to drivers who yell complaints as they pass (none seemed to be stopped for long). She also talks to a couple of business owners whose customers have to adjust to new rush hour parking restrictions.

An expert weighs in on Woodhaven Boulevard bus improvements, via NY1.
An expert weighs in.

After he fought to maintain the status quo on Woodhaven, Addabbo tells Boone he wants DOT to weaken the improvements by curtailing the hours when bus lanes are in effect. Robert Holden, who earlier this month unseated local City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, thinks a “task force” of some sort should “really look at this whole stretch,” though years of public meetings preceded the project.

Boone gives a few seconds of airtime toward the end of the story to Riders Alliance organizer Stephanie Burgos-Veras, who explains that Woodhaven SBS will speed trips to work and school and give people back a lot of time they would otherwise spend waiting for the bus.

It’s expected that a project of this scope would have a breaking-in period. But with all the griping, Boone didn’t talk to a single bus rider. As if the thousands of New Yorkers Woodhaven SBS was built for don’t count.

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