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Plan to Use Longer Q10 Buses Irks Kew Gardens Residents

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | March 21, 2014 10:17am

QUEENS — The Q10 line, which runs from Kew Gardens to JFK Airport, will soon be served exclusively by long, articulated buses, according to the MTA — irking some residents who say that the new vehicles will clog the neighborhood's narrow streets.

The transit agency says the larger buses are necessary to handle the busy route. But some Kew Gardens residents say the new buses will create additional traffic problems where even the main thoroughfare — Lefferts Boulevard — has only one lane in each direction.

Moreover, the bus stops had to be adjusted to accommodate articulated buses, which were introduced last year, leading to the elimination of several parking spaces, residents said.

“The articulated Q10s are a disaster,” said Andrea Crawford, Community Board 9’s Transportation Committee chairwoman, who lives in Kew Gardens. “They have taken our parking spots and the [bus] drivers have problems making turns.”

Business owners said that the changes have affected them, too.

Pincus Rosenblum of Rosenblums’s Grocery said that he lost two parking spaces in front of his store, which has been a “tremendous strain” on his business.

He said fewer customers are able to shop there, and it's harder for delivery vans to unload their products.

MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said in an email that “the Q10 is the highest volume local route MTA Bus operates with an average weekday ridership of 25,000.”

He added that, “The average weekday ridership on NYC routes is approximately 12,000, so there is heavy demand on the Q10 and we have added the articulated buses to meet that demand."

The route connects the E and F subway lines in Kew Gardens and the A line in Ozone Park, and according to the MTA, the Q10 line is often used by "an increasing number of customers going to the airport."

Ortiz also said the fact that Lefferts Boulevard has only one lane in each direction is irrelevant.

“Articulated buses are no wider than a traditional 40-foot bus, and while articulated buses are longer (to accommodate more customers), they are actually easier to maneuver than a 40-foot bus,” he said.

But residents said additional articulated buses on the Q10 line will bring new problems, including taking more space along Kew Gardens Road, where bus drivers stop and wait before beginning their next route.

“We are not a bus terminus and we are not 2nd Avenue,” Crawford said. “It will create traffic jams on Kew Gardens Road.”

Grace Anker, a resident and the owner of a local pottery studio, said long buses lining up along Kew Gardens Road could also affect the parents who drop their kids off at nearby P.S. 99.

“It seems like they are only thinking about” other neighborhoods, Anker said. “But what about us?”

But some commuters said they like the longer buses.

"There is more room and they fit more people," said Zaleena Mohamed, who takes the Q10 every day from Kew Gardens to 109th Street in South Ozone Park. "My concern is rather that more buses should be making local stops."