Bus, stop! DUMBO residents protest B25 route

Not everyone in DUMBO wants more bus service! Residents Doreen Gallo, Pam Crandall, and Ethan Goldman are demanding that the MTA re-route the B25 — saying it’s bringing noisy traffic jams to the already cramped Main Street.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

They might be the only people in the borough who wish they lived further from a bus stop.

Residents on Main Street in DUMBO are demanding that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority re-route a bus that they claim causes traffic jams and road rage on their already cramped street — saying it’s only a matter of time before someone gets run over by the B25.

“We’ve been petitioning the MTA for years,” said Ethan Goldman, a vocal opponent of the B25 bus route. “This is a huge problem that could easily be fixed, but they refuse to listen.”

For decades, the B25 bus has run from Downtown to DUMBO via Cadman Plaza West before heading east on Front Street to Main Street.

But that was before the neighborhood became a hotspot for families and art houses including Galapagos Art Space and powerHouse Arena.

Now during the morning rush, DUMBO residents complain that one or more buses get stuck between illegally parked delivery trucks and cars — creating a din of perpetual honking and screeching tires in a neighborhood that is already among the noisiest in the city.

Off peak, the bus careens dangerously down the block before dropping off riders at Water Street, critics of the route allege.

Most Brooklynites would love 24-7 bus service in front of their homes, but Goldman and his Main Street neighbors say it would be safer to have the bus loop at Prospect, Washington and York streets instead.

“It’s frightening just trying to get across the street,” said Jennifer Rapaport, a Main Street mom to 2-month-old and 3-year-old boys. “We need public transportation — just not here.”

Goldman said the problem will only get worse after that the Department of Transportation creates a pedestrian plaza near Pier 1 — preventing buses from doing U-turns on Old Fulton Street on weekends.

The DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance devised alternative routes, but an MTA spokeswoman said the changes would leave bus riders further from the neighborhood’s main attractions and slow service.

“We feel that it is important that the route continues to serve the destinations closer to the water,” said spokeswoman Deirdre Parker. “The alternative streets that have been suggested would cause even more congestion.”

By the MTA’s last count, the bus picked up 41 riders and dropped off 166 at Main and Water streets on average weekdays in 2008.

Rob Perris, district manager for Community Board 2, said that the Department of Transportation tightened parking restrictions on the street and cops amped up enforcement for a spell last fall, but it still didn’t solve the problem.

“If the enforcement is only way that this bus route is going to work, that’s a sign that this isn’t a good plan,” he said.

Reach Kate Briquelet at kbriquelet@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-2511.

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