Plans to expand Select Bus Service in one section of Queens isn't sitting well with some residents: they say the ongoing construction is creating a traffic nightmare. NY1's Gene Apodaca filed the following report.
Joseph Cerbone told NY1 that ever since the construction along Woodhaven Boulevard in Ozone Park began, his commute from Howard Beach had only gotten worse.
He said the addition of wider medians in the roadway had made it difficult for drivers to navigate, creating traffic headaches, especially during rush hour.
“They’re not designing infrastructure well enough to carry the people, and that’s why the traffic is horrendous,” said Cerbone. “It’s just nuts what they’re doing."
The construction is part of a plan to add Select Bus Service along the boulevard.
The NYC Department of Transportation is adding “bus only” lanes and widening medians to allow pedestrians a safer place wait for the buses.
The goal was to improve bus travel times. However, some residents told NY1 it only made matters worse.
“It’s had its moments, but at least it was moving traffic. Now, between the 25 miles per hour speed limit and all these clusters of traffic everywhere, nobody can get anywhere,” said resident Patty Schaefer.
Residents said with all the congestion and the bottle-necking, they worry about emergency vehicles and their ability to get through the traffic.
DOT officials said that although motorists are currently experiencing congestion due to construction, the long-term benefits would be well worth it.
They told NY1 the median bus stops will facilitate traffic flow and provide safety for pedestrians.
City Councilman Donovan Richards, who supports the project, said it’s important not to forget the 30,000 people a day who take the bus on Woodhaven Boulevard.
“This is more about ensuring that we give everyday New Yorkers -- especially residents of Queens who have some of the longest commuting times in the country -- an opportunity to actually get to and from where they’re going as well in a more effective manner,“ said Richards.
He said drivers should wait until the project is finished to see if it would create more congestion.
The new Select Bus Service is scheduled to be launched Nov. 12.