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MTA buses busted: CB15 rejects changes to B44 • Brooklyn Paper

MTA buses busted: CB15 rejects changes to B44

The MTA is a bunch of liars, according to a local panel.

Community Board 15 overwhelmingly rejected a plan to bring potentially speedier buses to Nostrand Avenue, claiming the state agency is fibbing about the amount of parking spaces the service would eat up — and the community would lose.

“If you are extending these bus stops, you have to take out parking,” said CB15 Chairwoman Theresa Scavo.

According to Scavo, neighborhood watchdogs just don’t believe MTA officials when they say Select Bus Service — or Bus Rapid Transit as it’s also known — won’t cost the neighborhood precious on-street parking spaces.

“We didn’t get direct answers from the MTA,” Scavo said. “Many people believe they’re omitting a lot.”

According to the MTA, new, longer articulated buses — which are 60-feet long as opposed to a normal bus, which is 40-feet long,are slated to run from Emmons Avenue to the Williamsburg Bridge on the B44 route. The longer buses would require longer bus stops.The MTA does not have a standard length for bus stops, but says it aims to make them 130 feet long.

But the concept of longer bus stops has critics fearing a cut into the limited space available for on-street parking.

Even after four years of planning, the MTA and the Department of Transportation won’t say how many parking spaces will be lost.

Still, the DOT claims the impact will be minimal.

Insufficient parking has been a perennial gripe in Sheepshead Bay for years and many feel the trade off of spaces for potential speed isn’t a good one.

“It’s not worth the expenditure or the inconvenience to our community,” said Gene Berardelli of the Sheepshead Bay-Plumb Beach Civic Association.

Even recent switchers to bus service are leery of the plan — even if it promises to make their commute easier.

“I might start riding the bus more often,” said senior Tom Bowers, who no longer drives. “But most of the time, things like this hurt the little guy.”

Still, Transit officials insist that the MTA is going your way.

“The BRT will better define locations where trucks can make deliveries and it will increase the amount of pedestrian space at bus stops north of Brooklyn College,” MTA spokesman Mark Groce said.

Even though Community Board 15’s vote is only advisory, neighborhood opposition has forced the MTA to scrap its Select Bus Service plans before.

Residents in Queens put the brakes on a similar project proposed for Merrick Boulevard in 2004, shortly after it was designated.

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