THE COMMUTE: This week we are taking another look at the B44 Select Bus Service (SBS). On Monday we discussed major problems thus far: confusion, not enough SBS stops, and inadequate service on New York Avenue. We discussed actions taken by some local elected officials. Yesterday we shared some rider and operator reviews gathered from an email, the media, and transit discussion groups on the internet. Today we will share a few more reviews and draw some conclusions.
Archive for the tag 'shore pkwy'
THE COMMUTE: Yesterday, in Part 1, we provided some media coverage from NewsChannel 12 and NY 1 showing rider frustrations with the new B44 Select Bus Service (SBS). That is not to say that everyone is unhappy about it. As I predicted, those traveling long distances who can make use of the SBS stops will save time and be pleased. You can never please everybody. The question remains: Will more riders be helped or hurt by this new service?
THE COMMUTE: Select Bus Service (SBS) on the first route in Brooklyn, the B44, is now one week old. I have not yet had a chance to observe or ride the SBS or the B44 local, so at this time I can only offer second-hand information.
As to be expected, there was much confusion resulting from the elimination of the Limited service, which has been replaced with SBS; removal of some Limited stops, which became local stops only, and the rerouting of half of the buses from New York Avenue to Rogers Avenue. Bus riders were informed of the start date through automated announcements on the buses during the week prior to implementation. Not enough information was given to avoid confusion.
THE COMMUTE: After two years of delay, and five years of planning, the B44 Select Bus Service (SBS) finally made its debut yesterday along Nostrand Avenue. Limited stops at Avenues L, R, S, V, W, Y and Z are no longer in effect since the Limited has been discontinued, so do not wait for one. You now either have to take the local or walk to the closest SBS stop.
Underneath the Belt Parkway overpass located on Sheepshead Bay Road and Shore Parkway, you can now come face to face with the most famous anchorman in all of pop culture, Mr. Ron Burgundy.
Next to him the caption reads, “ART IS NOT A CRIME,” accompanied by an image of a mind-controlling television.
Though it bears a passing resemblance, it appears this creation wasn’t done by Banksy; after finishing his month-long residency, he’s high-tailed it out of New York.
So who’s the mysterious man to bring the famous San Diegan – er, San Diego-ite? San Diego-in? San Diego-un? - anchor to Sheepshead Bay? A small tag next to the anchorman says AINAC, and a quick Google search suggests he’s hit a few spots in our area over the last week or two.
While we know our readers aren’t fond of graffiti done without the permission of the property owner, I’d say the Department of Transportation’s neglect of that crap-filled passageway borders on vandalism of our quality of life. It would be nice if they responded to Sheepshead Bites’ multiple inquiries over the years to commission a mural there.
Regardless, stay classy, Sheepshead Bay.
– Daniel Gokstein
Correction: The original headline of this article misspelled Ron Burgundy’s name as Burgandy. Our deepest, sincerest apologies to the fictional newsman. We will aspire to match his quality of reporting in the future.
Select Bus Service payment machines have started popping up on Nostrand Avenue, Emmons Avenue and Knapp Street ahead of the kickoff for new express service that will replace the B44 Limited.
The machines are a key feature to the new service, allowing for off-board fare collection that MTA officials say save time on the bus. Riders are expected to pay their fares at the machine before boarding, and are given a receipt. The system is largely an honor system, with occasional inspectors serving hefty fines to fare dodgers if caught.
The new service will replace the B44 Limited, offering service from Sheepshead Bay to Williamsburg via Nostrand Avenue and Rogers Avenue. The buses are extra long, and will have separate bus stops from the existing B44 stops, as well as dedicated bus lanes for a portion of the route (in Sheepshead Bay, there will be a dedicated bus lane south of Avenue X). The stops will have sidewalk bulbs to allow for safer boarding.
Much like the B44, the new B44 SBS will make a loop from Nostrand to Shore Parkway to Knapp to Emmons and back as its southern terminus.
According to the MTA, as reported by Streetsblog, the service is set to begin on November 17. The MTA is eyeing a second route in the area, running from Bay Ridge to East New York, via an avenue in Homecrest.
Kings Bay Little League, one of Sheepshead Bay’s only Little League organizations, took a beating during Superstorm Sandy, when water tumbled past the Belt Parkway and submerged its below-street-level fields.
Now, they’re receiving some relief, scoring a home run of $15,200 in grant funding from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund and the New York Mets.
The grant went to restoring the fields at Coyle Street, between Voorhies Avenue and Shore Parkway, which sat under four feet of water for more than a week after the storm. Money also went to funding a new scoreboard, pitching machine, storage lockers and utility vehicle – all lost during Superstorm Sandy.
Baseball Tomorrow Fund and the New York Mets announced in May that they would donate up to $1 million to youth baseball and softball organizations impacted by Sandy, and soon after chose Kings Bay as a recipient. The new scoreboard was unveiled in August, and celebrated during a barbecue outing at the fields earlier this month.
“Thanks to the Baseball Tomorrow we were able to replace most of the items lost or damaged due to Sandy. Our facility is fully operational now and is hosting numerous little league games,” said Kings Bay leadership in a press release.
The NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit and Bomb Squad were called to a residential property on Bedford Avenue and Voorhies Avenue more than an hour ago, shutting down nearby streets to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic as they search for explosives in a home.
An officer at the scene told a neighbor that grenades had been found in a home, and they continue to search for “additional incendiary devices,” although we have not received confirmation from the NYPD.
Residents of Bedford Avenue trying to get home were initially restricted from accessing the block, although we’ve now heard conflicting reports about access being granted. Bedford Avenue is shut down between Shore Parkway and Avenue Z to automobile traffic. Shore Parkway is also closed to traffic, as is, presumably, Voorhies Avenue and Avenue Z.
The above video was sent in by another reader who lives on the block. Residents are being told to stay in their homes.
This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.
They’ve done it again!
Students from the after-school karate program at Brooklyn Amity School (3867 Shore Parkway) traversed the nation to compete in America’s largest karate championship, and returned with 21 medals – nearly double the amount they brought home last year.
The team racked up eight gold medals, four silver and nine bronze at the 2013 USA National Karate Championships and U.S. Team Trials, held in Greenville, South Carolina from July 10 to July 14. It’s the biggest organized championship in the country, with more than 1,200 competitors from more than 40 states competing.
“The number of medals earned in this national championship is two times more in comparison to total medals that were earned in the last year’s national championship. As a very young karate school, the success is extraordinary and huge,” said the students’ teacher, Sensei Meral Olmez, a two-time world champion. “I developed a very demanding program and literally pushed athletes throughout the whole duration of the one month-long training camp, which was in addition to the training that they got throughout the year.”
Last year was the first time the school competed at the tournament, and they racked up an impressive 13 medals.
The students are beaming with pride over their victory, but acknowledged the hard work it took to get there.
“It was tough but at the end it all paid off because we won medals … It was very nerve wrecking but [during the competition] you have to keep your composure and act as if you perform everything great and show the judges that you won. You have to concentrate on what you have to accomplish,” said Farzana Ruzehaji, a senior at Brooklyn Amity School who earned two gold medals this year. “When you walk in and you see this giant arena filled with people and they are all looking at you. It feels like you are a celebrity.”
Legend has it that when Robert Moses designed the Belt Parkway, he made the overpasses low in order to ensure buses couldn’t travel on it, so that the lower-class masses, dependent on mass transit, couldn’t access the fancy-shmancy beaches of Long Island. And while it seems to have been successful in keeping buses off, it appears truck drivers never got the memo.
Of course, as residents we all know commercial vehicles are not permitted on the Belt Parkway. But when ill-informed truck drivers try to skirt the rules, it turns into a spectacular failure. Last time we reported on one, in June 2012, it turned into a multi-agency removal effort, and caused an SUV to be crushed in the impact. Almost exactly two years before that, in June 2010, another tractor-trailer tried sneaking on in the middle of the night, and ended up turning the area around the B/Q overpass at East 14th Street into a wasteland of debris.
There must be something about June, because it happened again last night. At around 9:20 p.m., an 18-wheeler illegally traveling eastbound on the Belt Parkway again slammed into the B/Q overpass, snarling traffic for hours.
Making matters worse, as it was being removed by the Queens-based Runway Towing Corporation, the truck was dragged along and then – wham! – right into the Knapp Street, Exit 9 sign, destroying that as well.
Sheepshead Bay’s subway and pedestrian overpasses outside the Belt Parkway are also no strangers to the occasional daring truck driver trying to squeeze through – and failing. For just a few examples, see here, here, here, here and here.
For this one, readers Butch Moran and Ed Ioffe happened to be on-hand to catch some photos of the damaged truck.