This study, just like previous studies going back 50 years, once again documents the need for a Downtown Flushing Intermodal Bus Terminal. Today's generation of transportation planners, elected officials and transportation advocates have forgotten about construction of the Flushing Intermodal Bus Terminal.
In the early 1960s, Flushing Municipal Parking Lot 1 was considered for construction of an intermodal bus terminal. This facility would take hundreds of buses off the surrounding streets, where they discharge and pick up riders.
For over 50 years, generations of public officials on a bipartisan basis have failed to secure any funding necessary to support environmental review, design, engineering and construction of this badly needed transportation improvement.
From the 1960s to today, there has been an explosion in the number of commuters riding buses to Flushing and transferring to the subway. This has been complimented by a huge growth of commercial businesses and the demolition of homes for multi-family housing in the surrounding neighborhood.
Just walk in any direction from the corner of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue in downtown Flushing and see for yourself. Buses traveling to, from and thru downtown Flushing move at slow speeds due to excess traffic, not only during rush hour but also off-peak.
This results in a longer commute for riders and periodic bunching of buses on many routes.
Construction of a climate-controlled terminal would assist in improving traffic and pedestrian circulation around the intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue, along with the rest of downtown Flushing.
Over 60,000 rush-hour 7 train riders and thousands more off-peak would be protected from heat, cold, rain, snow and winds, and there would be a smoother transfer between the bus and subway.
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development previously announced plans to build 260 units of affordable housing on Flushing Municipal Parking Lot 3. Community Planning Board 7 rejected the proposal at its March meeting.
The lot is located just off of Main Street adjacent to the Long Island Rail Road station. It is only two short blocks away from the intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue and the 7 subway station.
While there are other locations in and around Flushing for construction of affordable housing, Municipal Lot 3 is the last opportunity for construction of any viable intermodal bus terminal that could provide reasonable bus-to-subway transfers. Why not combine this project with efforts to improve the Flushing LIRR station?
Larry Penner is a resident of Great Neck who worked in the transportation field for 31 years.