Wheels in motion: MTA plans two new bus routes for W’burg

Williamsburg residents will soon see this bus on their roads.
Photo by Bess Adler

Two new bus lines will make it easier to get around Williamsburg, according to planners — but some neighbors fear the new routes do exactly the opposite.

Starting in September, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority launch a B32 bus running from Broadway at the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza to Long Island City daily, and extend the B67 bus — which currently runs between Kensington and Downtown — all the way to Division Avenue on weekdays.

Officials at the MTA said the new bus routes will lessen the load on the booming neighborhood’s overburdened transit lines, which are crammed with new residents as well as straphangers who lost bus service after budget cuts in 2010.

“We had this opportunity to provide service to areas in Brooklyn that have grown a great deal,” said Sarah Wyss, director of short-range bus service planning at the MTA.

But that growth has caused traffic, and big buses will only cause more blockage to the neighborhood’s jam-packed roadways, said Williamsburg activist Stephanie Eisenberg.

“Wythe Avenue is already bumper-to-bumper,” Eisenberg said at a meeting with the agency last week, before asking MTA officials to move the planned B32 line to a different street.

The agency declined.

“We believe that by offering people reliable transportation, that will relieve the need for people to drive cars,” said Wyss.

Others worried that the planned lines might bring older, less environmentally friendly bus models to North Brooklyn, but MTA spokeswoman Deidre Parker insists that all of the buses currently on the road are natural gas hybrids with low emission rates.

She also said the agency careful considers where it routes its new lines.

“It’s not really something that the community should be concerned about,” she said.

Under the MTA’s current plan, the B32 will round-trip from the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza near the Marcy Avenue J and M train station, along Broadway to Kent Avenue, then onto Franklin Street and McGuiness Boulevard over the Pulaski Bridge to Court Square in Long Island City.

The B67 extension will start on Jay Street Downtown, run to Front Street in DUMBO, and then onto York Street, Gold Street, and Sands Street, before skirting the Brooklyn Navy Yard and taking Kent Avenue up to Division Avenue.

The MTA planned to extend the B67 service only as far as Vinegar Hill, but by nixing proposed Saturday and Sunday service it freed up enough cash to run the line to Williamsburg.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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