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MTA Bus Stop SNAFU Has Commuters 'Walking Around in Circles,' Locals Say

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | September 19, 2017 2:17pm
 The city changed the Q23 bus route along Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills more than two weeks ago.
The city changed the Q23 bus route along Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills more than two weeks ago.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

QUEENS — An MTA screw up over a Forest Hills bus stop has "elderly people walking around in circles" trying to catch the Q23, locals said.

The transit agency has been directing commuters to a new stop that was denied by the city Department of Transportation, so now, two weeks after the city changed the route, riders have to catch the bus in a No Parking zone in front of a nearby bank.

As part of the change, the one-way loop at the end of the route was reversed and currently, the Forest Hills-bound buses head towards Union Turnpike, where they have their layover point, instead of turning right to Metropolitan Avenue.

The plan presented by the MTA in June, called to replace the first stop on Metropolitan Avenue, near the post office, with a new one on 71st Avenue, near TD Bank.

 

Source: MTA

The signs posted by the MTA at all “old” bus stops along Metropolitan Avenue — a popular street where many locals come to shop and dine — inform residents who need the “southbound service,” that “Q23 will not stop here.”

Photos: DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

Instead, they have to "walk to the new stop on 71st Avenue at Metropolitan Avenue (by TD bank)," the posters say.

But there are no signs indicating the new bus stop. Instead, buses stop in the No Parking zone near the bank. 

“They tell you to go to 71st Avenue and Metropolitan and there is nothing telling you where to stand," said Barbara Stuchinski, former president of the Forest Hills Community & Civic Association.

“We finally figured out that the No Parking signs at TD bank probably mean the bus would stop there, but there is still no signs for bus stop.”

Amanda Kwan, a spokeswoman for the MTA said Monday that the agency was “informed today by DOT that they have concerns about the placement of this bus stop, and we are currently working with DOT to resolve the issue as soon as possible.” 

The DOT said that the proposed bus stop location was denied by the agency due to multiple driveways near TD Bank. It was not immediately clear when the location was denied.

The agency also said that it’s working with the MTA to make sure passengers are provided correct information. 

“It’s a mess,” Stuchinski added. “You got elderly people walking around in circles.”  

The route change was carried out after the DOT opted to ban the left turn from southbound Woodhaven Boulevard to eastbound Union Turnpike as part of its plan to implement Select Bus Service along Woodhaven Boulevard this fall, the MTA said.

Community Board 6 has expressed numerous concerns about the changes, pointing out that now, shoppers taking the bus to stores along Metropolitan Avenue, including Trader Joe's, have to include the layover period in their travel time. 

The DOT said at the time that banning the left turn from Woodhaven Boulevard to Union Turnpike is necessary at the intersection, which saw about 150 traffic-related injuries and one fatality since 2009, according to city's Vision Zero map.