Silver, Squadron, Chin Urge City to Rescind Essex Street Bus Stop Permit

The following letter was sent today by State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senator Daniel Squadron and City Council member Margaret Chin to Transportation Department Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Greyhound President Dave Leach:

We are writing to express our disappointment at the approval of a temporary bus stop in front of 3 Essex Street, and to urge that the Department of Transportation (DOT) find another location. As you know, earlier this year, working with DOT, we passed legislation that will bring oversight to the growing and important low-cost bus industry. This legislation will help give stability to an important industry that caused a “Wild West” atmosphere in Chinatown, the Lower East Side, and around the city, while also greatly strengthening community consultation in the process of locating bus stops. The law was signed by Governor Cuomo on August 17, and will not become effective until ninety days after that. As such, this proposed location does not emerge from the process outlined in the bill. Though we appreciate that DOT voluntarily asked for the Community Board’s input, we also believe that for a high- volume and controversial stop, the process outlined in the bill is preferable. Second, the proposed location was strongly opposed at the Community Board 3 (CB3) meeting on September 11, 2012 and a resolution in opposition passed unanimously. In addition, a petition against this bus stop that was created by local residents has already gathered more than 1,300 signatures. The bus stop is on a relatively narrow street and the crowds that will gather on the sidewalk, as well as the exhaust from idling buses, will negatively impact many children and their families who use Seward Park and the adjacent library. We believe there are more suitable places for this stop, such as near parking lots, on wider streets that are less residential and not close to schools, parks or other facilities frequented by children.  When a community board speaks with a unanimous voice against an application, we believe that DOT must seriously consider such a resolution. I look forward to working with you, the community, bus operators, and our partners on the federal and local levels to implement the bus permit system later this year and continue to improve both safety and quality of life downtown and around the City.

 As we first reported yesterday morning, the DOT decided to approve a six-month permit for “YO! Bus on Essex Street, just days after Community Board 3 forwarded a resolution to the agency urging it to find another spot for the new bus service.   We’re checking with the Transportation Department for a response.  The new route is scheduled to debut next Thursday.

 

  • ARobinson

    Thank you to Senator Silver, Senator Squadron and Council Person Chin for standing with the neighborhood. This letter is a wonderful turn of events and hopefully will have the necessary result.

  • Rima Finzi-Strauss

    Yes, this letter is so incredibly important and so needed at this time! Thanks to Senator Silver, Senator Squadron and Councilwoman Chin!

  • BelowGrand

    This sort of support from our local electeds is very heartening. However, we cannot let up until this terrible choice for a bus stop is changed.

    DOT are you listening?

  • Bowerygals

    “the exhaust from idling buses, will negatively impact many children and their families who use [... ] Park”
    SDR Park also has children and families across from an already approved bus stop on Chrystie. If this is reason not to have a bus stop then the same rationale has to apply. Yes?

  • Rima Finzi-Strauss

    Here’s hoping that Commissioner Sadik-Kahn will rescind Greyhound Bus’ permit before they start operations up this Thursday, Sept.27th.

    No matter what happens, this neighborhood will continue to fight this bus stop. Thousands of local residents remain outraged!

  • Micah

    It’s a little different in that the Essex Street bus stop is proposed for a location directly on the other side of the fence from the swings in Seward Park. The Chrystie Street stop is across the street from SDR. Still close, but not quite as close.