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MTA moved bus stops without warning: CB18

Out with the old, in with the new: While Macerich is redeveloping Kings Plaza, replacing the shuttered Sears with a Primark and other stores, the MTA moved bus stops from outside the shopping center to across the street.
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Talk about missed connections.

A straphanger nearly missed his bus after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority abruptly moved two bus stops — the Kings Highway-bound B2 and Bay Ridge-bound B9 — from outside the now-shuttered Sears building at Kings Plaza to the other side of the notoriously dangerous Avenue U in early April without warning riders, according to an enraged voicemail the commuter left this paper on April 7.

“I went to catch the bus a little while ago and overnight the MTA changed the B2, B9 bus pick up,” said Marine Parker Joel Harris, who didn’t know where to catch his ride. “This is going to get somebody killed, I went and crossed Flatbush Avenue in front of where Sears used to be, at the risk of life and limbs.”

Workers are busy redeveloping the Mill Basin shopping center to replace the former Sears building with high-end European clothing stores Primark and Zara. The mall entrance, which used to host a number of bus stops, including the two now moved, is closed for construction and not suitable for waiting straphangers — so transportation authority officials moved the B2 and B9 to Flatbush Avenue between Avenue U and E. 53rd Street, near the Vitamin Shoppe and current stop for the Q35, an authority spokeswoman said.

But the transit agency never warned the local community of the change, said Community Board 18 district manager Dottie Turano.

“No, MTA never notified us,” said Turano.

The authority had placed signs announcing the change, but apparently they were removed, according to the spokeswoman.

But the authority has replaced the signs and will continue to monitor them, she said.

“Notices were posted informing customers about the change but apparently they were vandalized and ripped off,” said authority spokeswoman Amanda Kwan. “We are monitoring and will replace the signs as needed.”

Kings Plaza honchos expect the new stores to open by spring 2018, said Steve DeClara, a property manager with Macerich, the company that owns the mall.

The B2 and B9 will be moved back to their original stops once construction wraps, said Kwan, and the B41, B46, B46 SBS, B47, and B3, which all have stops near the shopping center, remain unchanged.

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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