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Straphangers demand city move bus stop from dark underpass

Wheely bad idea! New bus stop under creepy overpass will lead to rape, riders say

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They want a bus transfer.

The city must move a Sheepshead Bay bus stop from under a dark and isolated train trestle before someone gets raped, straphangers are demanding. The city recently placed the bus stop to improve safety, but totally missed the point, one frustrated B36 rider told transportation officials at a May 3 Plumb Beach Civic meeting.

“You will have robberies and rapes,” said Sheepshead Bay resident Pam Glantzman. “There’s no reason why a woman coming home from work should wait under a dark, unlit train trestle for a bus here in Brooklyn. That was a very poor choice. Why didn’t you take a look at that before? No, you’re up in your high buildings not giving a wit about the people whose lives you’re changing, and you should be ashamed of yourselves.”

The city transferred the B36 bus stop from outside the Sheepshead Bay Road subway station to Avenue Z and E. 15th Street two weeks ago — part of a larger, controversial traffic re-jiggering under the Mayor’s Vision Zero traffic-safety plan — claiming the change will make area side streets more pedestrian-friendly. The Department of Transportation and Metropolitan Transportation Authority collaborated on the move, and lowering walker injuries is the department’s highest goal, a spokesman said.

“Safety is DOT’s No. 1 priority,” he said, citing a B36 bus that hit and killed a woman on E. 17th Street last year.

The new stop may reduce walker-driver friction, but it introduces a more sinister danger, another rider said.

“I come home late at night,” said Ellyn Rothstein, who takes the bus from the subway to her Sheepshead Bay home. “And now I stand under this dark area and it makes me very nervous. There are no lights under the trestle, it’s just totally dark. It’s isolating.”

Lights would help, but Rothstein would prefer the bus bay shifted somewhere safer, she said.

“Either put it back or maybe put some lights there,” she said. “They need to find something to make it safer. Or just put it back.”

The changes are set in stone, but the city is considering additional lighting, the transportation department spokesman said.

“We are aware of the community concern at this location and are currently re-evaluating the lighting at this location,” he said.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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