Archive for the tag 'sheepshead bay transit town hall'

A look back in transportation on the year that was. Photo by Brian Hoo

THE COMMUTE: It is difficult to believe that I have been writing “The Commute” for two years. In my reflections for 2011, which seem like yesterday, I explained what I hope to accomplish in this column. I stated that my primary goal is to make a positive difference by getting people more involved in transportation issues. I think we have partially succeeded in that goal. Many of you attended Sheepshead Bay’s transit town hall last summer, which resulted in the full restoration of the B4, effective January 6, 2013. Still, much work remains to be done before Sheepshead Bay residents and those in adjacent neighborhoods have the reliable and affordable service we deserve, which takes us as quickly as possible to our destinations.

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THE COMMUTE: Ned heard my name for the first time when I emailed him in March 2010 with my testimony opposing the Brooklyn bus service cuts at the public hearing held in the Brooklyn Museum of Art. That was shortly after I discovered Sheepshead Bites. He quoted a significant portion of my testimony for a story and ultimately asked me to become a regular contributor. At that hearing, I was the only person who spoke out against the B4’s proposed elimination, at all times, east of Coney Island Hospital.

Find out what we can learn from our fight for the B4.

It's (going to be) back! Victory! (Photo by Allan Rosen)

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: After petitions, public workshops and letters from local officials, the MTA will announce today that the B4 bus line will be fully restored by January 2013.

The fate of the line, which had weekend and off-peak service axed in 2010 east of Ocean Parkway, was unclear earlier this week, when Sheepshead Bites reported that the agency was considering major improvements across the borough. But local leaders told Sheepshead Bites that MTA officials informed them this morning that the agencies plan to announce that the B4, as well as other diminished lines across Southern Brooklyn, will see full or partial restorations.

The B4′s restoration already has locals elated, including members of the Sheepshead Bay – Plumb Beach Civic Association, which collected more than 2,000 signatures to a petition demanding the agency bring back the line to Emmons Avenue, Shore Parkway and Knapp Street.

“I am just so glad. Everybody is going to be so thrilled,” said Kathy Flynn, president of the SBPB Civic, upon hearing the news. “This is going to help everyone who has to go to the hospital, the clinic, the businesses, anyone who has to visit, as well as the disabled in the area. People who commute to Manhattan every day, they only have to take one bus to the station. It’s going to save a lot of people a lot of time and a lot of stress.”

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Local elected officials pledged support to bringing back full B4 bus service and other public transportation improvements to the area at last night’s Sheepshead Bay Transit Town Hall, organized by Sheepshead Bites, Transportation Alternatives, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz and the Sheepshead Bay – Plumb Beach Civic Association.

More than 50 people turned out for the event to share their experiences with mass transportation in the area, emphatically expressing the community’s desire to restore the B4 to a 24/7 bus line after service cuts in 2010 eliminated the line east of Ocean Parkway on weekends and off-peak hours on weekdays. The Sheepshead Bay – Plumb Beach Civic Association presented elected officials with a petition signed by more than 1,000 people, and when a representative from Transportation Alternatives asked the crowd how many of them were affected by the B4 cuts, every hand in the room went up.

“Over 90 percent of our residents in this community rely on mass transit regularly,” Cymbrowitz said in his opening statements. “Ideas that appear brilliant on paper often fail to deliver in practice. One example? The decision to provide B4 bus service to Knapp Street and Voorhies Avenue during peak periods Monday to Friday, leaving thousands of potential riders without viable mass transit services.”

Keep reading to find out what other concerns and proposals came out of the meeting, and what the next steps will be.

Don’t forget: Sheepshead Bites is hosting a Transit Town Hall to push for the restoration of the B4 service, as well as to convey to our elected officials how important public transportation is to our community.

The event, held in conjunction with Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, Sheepshead Bay – Plumb Beach Civic Association and Transportation Alternatives’ Rider Rebellion Campaign, will kick off at 7:00 p.m. at Baron DeKalb – Knights of Columbus (3000 Emmons Avenue).

This is not an MTA gripe session. We’re not looking for generic complaints about the system, but proposals to fix the problems plaguing commuters. Among the issues to be discussed are:

  • Restoring full B4 service from Coney Island Hospital to Knapp Street (and perhaps tweaking the route to better serve residents)
  • Propose alterations to the B44 SBS route, which will replace the B44 Limited
  • Suggestions for better riding conditions on other bus and subway lines in the neighborhood

More information can be found on our previous post.

We live here. We shop here. Some of us even work here. So when it comes to mass transit, we know what we want, what we need, and what we ain’t getting.

That’s why Sheepshead Bites is proud to announce the Sheepshead Bay Transit Town Hall, an evening workshop for brainstorming and proposing key fixes to mass transit in our area.

The event, held in conjunction with Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, Sheepshead Bay – Plumb Beach Civic Association and Transportation Alternatives’ Rider Rebellion Campaign, will kick off at 7:00 p.m. at Baron DeKalb – Knights of Columbus (3000 Emmons Avenue).

(TAKE OUR 3-MINUTE SURVEY AND LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON SHEEPSHEAD BAY MASS TRANSIT!)

We know what it’s like out there. If you live in Plumb Beach and want to get anywhere – good luck. Since the B4 was all but abolished (no weekend service, only certain brief hours during weekdays), the tens of thousands of residents south of the Belt Parkway and east of Bedford Avenue have no easy way to get around. If you get off the train at Sheepshead Bay train station, your only destination by bus is Nostrand Avenue or Ocean Avenue, unless you’re heading to Manhattan Beach or Coney Island. And, speaking of getting to other neighborhoods, there isn’t a single good bus option to get to Bensonhurst or Bay Ridge (or for them to get here!)

That’s why we’re asking you to come down next Thursday for the Town Hall, and help us put together a plan – by residents and for residents – to tweak the system to serve us better.

This is not an MTA gripe session. We’re not looking for generic complaints about the system, but proposals to fix the problems plaguing commuters. Among the issues to be discussed are:

  • Restoring full B4 service from Coney Island Hospital to Knapp Street (and perhaps tweaking the route to better serve residents)
  • Propose alterations to the B44 SBS route, which will replace the B44 Limited
  • Suggestions for better riding conditions on other bus and subway lines in the neighborhood

Better service not only means it’s easier for us to get around, but that it’s easier for residents from other Brooklyn neighborhoods to come here, shop here, eat here, sail here and support our local institutions. Better business for the Bay means better living conditions for its residents.

But we need your help. We need your ideas, and we need your presence. Once we as a neighborhood have developed a plan, our elected officials will take it to Albany and to the MTA. And, here at Sheepshead Bites, we’ll keep the pressure on with ongoing coverage.

So join us on May 17, and improve mass transit for all of Sheepshead Bay! (Don’t forget to take our survey, as we’ll be using the results at the Town Hall.)

WHEN: May 17, 2012 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Baron DeKalb – Knights of Columbus (3000 Emmons Avenue)
Refreshments will be served.