Residents Fear Buses Turning Chelsea into Parking Lot

By Mathew Katz on September 28, 2011 10:57am 

A Megabus bus parked at 27th Street and 8th Avenue on Sept. 26, 2011
A Megabus bus parked at 27th Street and 8th Avenue on Sept. 26, 2011
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DNAinfo/Mathew Katz

CHELSEA — A bunch of buses that have taken to parking on Eighth Avenue in Chelsea have some worried that the neighborhood is becoming Port Authority South.

"The buses are in the neighborhood continually," said Walter Mankoff, a member of Community Board 4. "The don't usually get legal parking spots."

Mankoff's neighbors spotted two buses parked on Eighth Avenue over the weekend, in metered parking areas on the street, and posted videos of the Bolt and DATTCO buses to YouTube.

Mankoff also complained the buses' exhaust harms the air quality in the area, which has a lot of seniors housing, and also that each bus takes up valuable parking space.

"Let’s get them out of the residential areas where they don’t belong," he said. "It’s been a terrible thing in the neighborhood."

The abundance of buses come at a time when Chelsea is extra vigilant about their neighborhood being used as a bus stop. Department of Transportation officials infuriated residents and business owners last month by attempting to move a BoltBus stop from the corner of West 33rd Street and Seventh Avenue to Eighth Avenue between West 24th and 25th Streets. Residents said that they weren't consulted on the move, and it was canceled a day before it was supposed to go into effect.

A Megabus hub at 33rd Street and Ninth Avenue was also target of complaints from locals. The hub will soon move because of nearby construction.

"I just can't believe they keep coming. We're not a bus stop," said Chris Owings, 29, who lives nearby. "They need to go back up to Midtown."

At around 1 p.m. on Monday, a Megabus bus was parked on the corner of 27th Street and Eighth Avenue. It was unclear if the bus was legally parked — the street allowed metered parking for commercial vehicles, but there was no payment receipt on the vehicle's dashboard. Megabus did not respond to phone calls for comment.

The bus was parked directly outside of Tristate Camera, Video, and Computers at 338 Eighth Ave, where Steve Hill was working.

"They do park here, but we don't have a problem with it," he said with a shrug.

"They're not here that long, the drivers mostly just eat and go."

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