New Inwood Bus Stop Forcing Passengers to Exit Into Traffic Lane

By Lindsay Armstrong on August 4, 2014 4:14pm 

 The M100 bus lets passengers out in the middle lane at 207th Street and Tenth Avenue. There is no sign to let riders know of the official stop at the intersection.
The M100 bus lets passengers out in the middle lane at 207th Street and Tenth Avenue. There is no sign to let riders know of the official stop at the intersection.
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DNAinfo/Lindsay Armstrong

INWOOD — A new bus stop on 10th Avenue is forcing passengers to exit directly into a lane of car traffic due to its placement in the middle of the thoroughfare — leading locals to call the location an accident waiting to happen while city agencies point fingers over which is reponsible for the stop.

At 207th Street and 10th Avenue, the northbound M100 bus stops in the middle lane along the busy avenue to avoid columns supporting the elevated train above, forcing riders to cross through a lane of right-turning traffic in order to reach the sidewalk.

“Anyone could just come speeding around when you’re getting off the bus and cause a major accident,” said Waleska Garcia, 29, who has lived in the area her whole life. “It’s especially bad near the back door because that’s where the cars come into the lane.”

The M100 bus route was changed last month to better serve residents on the eastern side of Inwood. It runs from First Avenue and 125th Street to Ninth Avenue and 219th Street, turning onto Broadway at 168th Street.

It used to continue on Broadway until reaching its last stop, but in July the bus began turning onto Dyckman Street to make several stops there and along Tenth Avenue.

Both the MTA  and Department of Transportation approved of the new route, according to the MTA. The MTA noted the Department of Transportation is responsible for safety measures at the site, while the DOT said that the MTA determines where stops are placed on the route.

However, the MTA said both agencies were involved in stop selection.

While locals appreciate the increased transit options, they are concerned about the safety of the stop, which is also not marked by any signage.

Laurel Parrish, a 48-year-old costume designer, said a woman recently getting off a bus in front of her nearly got hit by a car.

“She had to jump back because a car went through the light when we were getting out in the middle lane,” she said. “I just don’t get it. It’s not acceptable or safe to stop there.”

Parrish said she wouldn’t be surprised if there is an accident there in the future.

“You almost couldn’t blame the driver. If you’re driving and there’s a green light, you’re not going to be looking for pedestrians getting off of the bus in the middle of the road,” she said.

The change was intended to provide more transportation options to an underserved section of the neighborhood. Although 207th Street and 10th Avenue is listed as an official M100 stop on the MTA’s website, there is no bus sign indicating the presence of a stop at the site.

An MTA spokeswoman said that the middle lane stop is the result of the bus running under the 1 train's elevated tracks along that portion of the route.

“As the route runs under the elevated structure, it is difficult for buses to maneuver around the pillars,” the spokeswoman said in an email. “Such stops are common under all of our elevated tracks.”

But riders said that is not acceptable.

“I don’t think it’s safe at all,” said Maria Torres, 23, a child-care worker who takes the bus five days a week. “It should pull all the way over to the sidewalk.”

Torres pointed out that on routes where the bus does stop in the middle lane — such as the Bx9, which also runs under the elevated 1 train tracks in The Bronx — there are small pedestrian islands where riders can disembark and wait to cross the street.

“I would feel safer if they had that,” she said.

A DOT spokeswoman said that the agency would review whether or not a pedestrian island or other safety measures would address riders’ concerns. When asked what other safety measures could be implemented at the site, the DOT referred questions back to the MTA.

Additionally, the MTA said plans to ask the DOT to relocate the stop to the far side of the intersection because of ongoing construction that has sometimes blocked the right lane.

The right lane reverts to parking rather than a traffic lane once the bus crosses 207th Street.

No construction in the right lane was observed on any of the four visits made to the site.

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