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Idle threat: Downtowners upset at Ikea shuttle

The Brooklyn Paper
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It’s become a bus-aster at Borough Hall.

Residents of Downtown and Brooklyn Heights are enraged that the IKEA shuttle buses, once promised to load and unload passengers on Joralemon Street near Court Street every 15 minutes from 10 am to 10 pm, are instead idling three-deep and blowing thick plumes of diesel exhaust into the air.

“IKEA was told [they] can use this as a shuttle stop — but a stop, not a layover,” said Community Board 2 District Manager Rob Perris. “If it’s a layover, shut your engine off. These guys are just letting their engines run. It’s not good.”

When the IKEA in Red Hook opened in June, the city allowed its shuttle buses to pick-up and drop-off passengers at three spots in Brooklyn with the strict caveat that there would be no layovers.

Instead, just the opposite has happened on Joralemon Street, a narrow sluice for busses moving between Fulton Mall and Court Street.

At the stop, which is between Borough Hall and the Municipal Building, multiple buses sit in a designated bus lane and wait for more passeng () ers to arrive instead of moving along. As a result, city buses cannot unload passengers in those bus lanes and are forced to stop in the middle of the street, creating even more traffic jams behind them.

The problem of the IKEA busses has become exacerbated by the unrelated elimination of left turns from Adams Street onto Tillary Street. Drivers wanting to make those lefts now must turn onto Joralemon Street, which is seeing more congestion as a result.

IKEA’s Red Hook store manager Mike Baker said the company has only recently become aware of the situation.

“We have since been in contact with the company that operates the service for IKEA and have made it clear that this was designed to be a pick-up and drop-off point only and that no buses should be idling at Borough Hall,” he said.

Prompted by residents’ heath, safety, and traffic concerns, the Community Board has written a letter to the Department of Transportation, and the parties are now discussing solutions for the problem, Perris said.

“We’re all going to be monitoring it,” Perris said. “Since I think IKEA is doing a good thing by offering these shuttles, I think they can clean up their act before someone has to raise the hammer.”

IKEA also has shuttle stops at Smith and Ninth streets in Carroll Gardens and Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street in Park Slope.

Updated 5:07 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

bob from bath beach says:
Who*s pockets are getting lined with this new discovery? This could not have happened oveernight! But who cares the city is getting it*s taxes!
July 24, 2008, 11:30 am
JA from Red Hook says:
Folks, you're a little late in doing your homework on IKEA. We should all be so smart but who can resist the allure of those meatballs...

IKEA is a retail business that depends on customers to purchase its goods to survive. The IKEA built in Brooklyn is the largest IKEA constructed in the USA. How are the customers going to get to IKEA? Can't they just stay in Red Hook? Get real, the original (or first) proposed siting for IKEA was at the current Lowes location but that site was rejected by the community for concerns over traffic. The one we have now is even bigger. But don't worry, the free shuttle will end, as will the free ferry - just check IKEA's history in other parts of the country. Pretty soon we only have to deal car traffic but that's not a problem right? I wish I could just resist those meatballs.....
July 25, 2008, 12:55 pm
Danette from midwood says:
I would like to get a list of good schools in the neighbour.Pre-K to 8 grade
July 25, 2008, 7:04 pm
Michael from Bay Ridge says:
Buses or cars, both are a real problem. Why isn't there any effort being made to extend a subway line to red hook, or even a tram line (the tracks still exist in redhook). There are other people who need/want acess to the neighborhood besides ikea shoppers.

And Danette, I don't see how your comment relates at all to the article or the precious comments.
July 28, 2008, 9:14 am

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