MTA’s plans to tweak the Q10 bus route and fleet have gained little traction in Kew Gardens.
Community Board 9’s Transportation Committee invited Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials to its Tuesday meeting after lambasting the MTA’s plans to have all three Q10 bus routes — the regular, the limited and the “short trip” that ends before JFK Airport — stop on Kew Gardens Road between 80th Road and 82nd Avenue as a bid to turn the residential strip into a bus terminal.
They also railed against stocking the Q10 fleet with articulated buses — often called double or accordion buses because of their extended length — which neighbors said take away parking spots, clog traffic and struggle to turn on tight street corners.
“We’re a very small community. We’re a village. We’re not a throughway or a terminus,” said Renee Levine, who lives on 82nd Avenue near Kew Gardens Road, noting that traffic already threatens the balance of the neighborhood. “The traffic in the morning coming down my block extends from Austin Street all the way down. They’re lined up.”
Albert Lai, director of service design and operation design at MTA, came with revised plans for the Q10 route, which runs from John F. Kennedy International Airport up to the civic center of the borough on Queens Boulevard.
Lai said the MTA currently planned to have buses travel up Lefferts Boulevard, turn left onto Kew Gardens Road, drop off passengers near 80th Road, rest for up to 10 minutes between shifts and head up to Queens Boulevard, where new riders would board the bus. The Q10 would then travel along 82nd en route to Kew Gardens Road and Lefferts Boulevard. Lai said this setup would alleviate congestion concerns raised by the community while also easing the commute for riders, who would no longer have to wait for various Q10 buses on Kew Gardens Road and Queens Boulevard.
“Passengers would be waiting along the same thoroughfare so they could see which buses are coming and make a more knowledgeable decision on the bus they’re going to get on,” he said.
CB 9 Transportation Committee Chairwoman Andrea Crawford said the revisions made sense, but requested that the MTA do more research and make tweaks after residents worried about buses traveling near PS 99 or overwhelming the northern stretch of Lefferts Boulevard.
The MTA agreed to return to CB 9, but noted that it intended to alter the route as quickly as possible.
But MTA officials said transitioning to articulated buses in April remained a necessity because Q10 buses were overcrowded. Joseph Raskin, assistant director of MTA government-community relations, said the Q10 was the third most popular bus line in the city.
Crawford said she requested ridership statistics after noticing several nearly empty articulated buses, but never received them.
“There’s got to be a different solution,” she said. “Besides the fact that they’re the old, dirty, stinky buses that we got rid of ... they’re taking away parking spots and the merchants are losing business because of it.”
The MTA estimated roughly seven parking spots were lost when bus stops were enlarged to accommodate articulated buses.
Reach reporter Sarina Trangle at 718-260-4546 or by e-mail at strangle@c
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