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Relocation of Hampton Jitney Stop Clogs Busy UES Corner, Residents Say

By Shaye Weaver | July 29, 2015 6:03pm
 The DOT is working on where to put a Hampton Jitney stop around 86th Street and Lexington Avenue.
Hampton Jitney Stop Adds To Congestion
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UPPER EAST SIDE — A new temporary Hampton Jitney stop at East 86th Street and Lexington Avenue is clogging the busy intersection with luggage and passengers waiting to get on the bus, residents and businesses said.

The new stop, which was moved two weeks ago from around the corner on 86th Street between Lexington and Third avenues, is causing more congestion on the 12-foot-wide sidewalk that's already often flooded with shoppers and commuters coming in and out of the 4,5,6 station, residents said.

"The people waiting against the wall have luggage, which means they effectively occupy almost 5 feet," said Jordan Wouk, a public member of Community Board 8.

In addition to being located near a heavily trafficked subway station, the area's also home to a host of big box stores including H&M, Best Buy and Sephora.

The Department of Transportation designated the spot as a pick-up location for both the Hampton Jitney and Hampton Ambassador, after the agency banned left turns onto Lexington Avenue from 86th Street in April and made it difficult for the bus to get to their former spot, according to Wouk.

The move has impacted residents, pedestrians and businesses alike, including Hot & Krusty, which recently put up a sign on its door asking people not to crowd at the entrance and reminding them that its restroom is for customers only.

"Business has picked up a little bit, but it gets stressful because it gets congested and people come running into the bathroom," the store's manager Vinny Hughes said. "It would be OK if it was a little more structured."

The DOT has told CB8 that the move is temporary and is working with the community to find a permanent location, Wouk said.

The DOT did not respond to requests for comment.

The relocation of the 86th Street stop was in response to a request from Hampton Jitney, which asked the DOT to move it because of inconveniences caused by the left turn ban, according to Hampton Jitney's president Geoff Lynch. 

Before the stop was moved, the Jitney buses would've normally picked up passengers at 86th Street and headed down Lexington Avenue to their next stop located between 68th and 69th streets.

But with the ban, the buses would stop at 86th Street and then have to take it to Fifth Avenue, down to 72nd Street and across to get back onto Lexington Avenue, Lynch explained.

Jitney presented the proposal for the temporary location and for a possible permanent location on Lexington Avenue between 88th and 89th streets to CB8 in June.

The board voted to reject both, opposing the permanent location because of the narrow sidewalk there and its proximity to Annie's Fruits and Vegetables, a busy grocery store.

Upper East Side resident Nancy, who declined to give her last name, was waiting for the Hampton Ambassador on Wednesday in front of Tasti D-lite, and said she preferred where the stop was originally.

“The old stop was nice because it was at a wider sidewalk with plenty of room to wait,” she said.