Our man Randy Rojas hit Nostrand Avenue to bring you yesterday’s story about local businesses outraged that the government failed to do any outreach in the two years of planning for Select Bus Service on the commercial strip. Now another of Nostrand Avenue’s largest and oldest businesses speaks out, blasting the non-existent outreach and warning that some of the changes could hurt business.
Silver Star Meat Market at 3838 Nostrand Avenue has served grocery and deli items for decades, and, following the fall of Pathmark is the closest market for many residents. The owner, Pat Basile, called up after our previous article to express his concerns about SBS implementation slated to begin next spring.
“It’ll definitely affect the businesses,” Basile said of the DOT’s plans to implement SBS service – which includes a dedicated bus lane during rush hours – on Nostrand Avenue. “They’re taking a car lane!”
Like other business owners, Basile said he was never contact by the city’s DOT or the state MTA, the two partners in the plan, about how it could affect his business and what accommodations would be made for concerned mom-and-pop owners. The DOT told Sheepshead Bites that they focused their outreach to businesses along the Northern Brooklyn section of the corridor, but defended their decision by saying the public hearings they held locally were sufficient outreach. But many local businesses along Nostrand were never informed of the local hearings.
Basile finds the burden put on store owners contradictory to the city’s agenda of shoring up business during the recession.
“They don’t let us know about these things, they just tax us up our you know what,” Basile said. “The mayor’s main concern is the business and all he does is make it harder for us.”
Worst of all, Basile is unsure that all the hubbub over SBS service on Nostrand Avenue is even worth it.
“This mayor wants us to get rid of cars and use public transportation, but it’s unreliable,” he said. “We’re supposed to make room for a bus that will only pass every 15 to 20 minutes?”
— Additional reporting by Randy Rojas