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Whitestone residents decry new Q34 stop

For 43 years Albert and Josephine Magliano lived on their narrow, tree-lined stretch of 25th Avenue in Whitestone across from the Flushing Fields park in relative peace. No bus routes ran past their house, and they liked that sleepy aspect of their neighborhood.

So they were shocked when they woke up one morning in July, along with many of their neighbors, to find that the city had installed bus stop signs at the corner of 149th Street and 25th Avenue.

Ever since, they say life has become a nightmare on their block because the buses have caused traffic headaches, irritating noise and a hazardous situation for the park’s visitors. “This was never a bus street,” Josephine Magliano said, standing yards from two buses which were parked without drivers at the stop for more than 15 minutes Monday evening. “This is a very active park with kids and sports teams playing. For the children here it’s very dangerous.”

The Q34 bus, which runs from Jamaica to the new terminus by the Maglianos in Whitestone, used to travel along Willets Point Boulevard, but last year former Councilman Tony Avella received a large number of complaints from the street’s residents between 146th Street and Francis Lewis Boulevard.

As a result, he contacted the MTA to ask the agency to look into the route and see if it could find a way to address the residents’ concerns.

“Residents brought the issue to my attention and I asked the MTA to look at it, and they made a determination based on the results of that survey,” said Avella, who is a candidate for state Senate. “It’s very rare for the MTA to change anything, so the fact that they made a change in the first place means they saw a reason for concern. But that doesn’t mean that actions don’t have unintended consequences.”

Avella said Tuesday morning he planned to call Samantha Dell, a concerned 25th Avenue resident who has been leading the charge to reroute the bus path once again and who has called Avella herself, in order to set up a time to hear her grievances and view the problem site in hopes of finding a workable solution for all affected parties. Later Tuesday he scheduled an appointment with her at the bus stop this Friday at 1:00 p.m.

Dell, who has collected 50 signatures for a petition on the issue and contacted the city as well as several area politicians about the issue, said Tuesday she looks forward to meeting with Avella and showing him the concerns she and her neighbors have about the buses using her two-way street, which is lined on both sides with parked cars.

“We basically want them moved out of here. ... I’ve had my mirrors replaced, twice each, and my mother’s lost hers and they’re too expensive to replace. I can’t believe they run buses through here,” she said. “The situation’s out of control, it really is.”

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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