Improvements underway for Woodhaven Blvd.
by Jess Berry
May 28, 2014 | 455 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After a public workshop in late April regarding bus service along Woodhaven Boulevard, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has started work on a new bus lane along a portion of the boulevard to be implemented this summer and fall.

The improvements include offset bus lanes between Eliot and Metropolitan avenues, as well as curbside bus lanes going southbound from 101st Ave. to Rockaway Blvd. and northbound from Plattwood Ave. to Liberty Ave.

These changes are just some of the short-term bus improvements that have been discussed since DOT conducted a Woodhaven Boulevard Congested Corridors Study in 2008. At that time, DOT discovered that Woodhaven is one of the most dangerous corridors in the city for drivers and pedestrians.

The study also found that bus service along the boulevard is slow and in need of improvement.

The proposed offset bus lanes will dedicate one lane for buses and right turns from Eliot Ave. to Metropolitan Ave. These lanes are proposed to be in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will allow buses to bypass congestion.

Curbside bus lanes, on the other hand, are proposed to be in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the last block and peak periods only on other blocks. Parking will be allowed in curbside bus lanes when they are not in effect.

Short-term improvements were made to Woodhaven Boulevard from 2011 through 2013. In addition, long-term solutions have been proposed, such as roadway capital improvements and the implementation of Select Bus Service (SBS).

SBS has been shown to make bus service 15 to 20 percent faster. This would improve travel for over 30,000 people who travel by bus along the corridor every day.

There are many improved features that come with SBS, including bus only lanes, enhanced bus stations, improved fare collection and bus signal priority, which gives buses priority at stoplights by giving them a triggering mechanism to switch the lights.

While short-term improvements are currently underway, SBS is still a work in progress.

“DOT is currently at the beginning of the SBS planning process, and will continue to work closely with the community on any proposals for the corridor,” said a DOT spokesman.

Community outreach for the project is conducted both through public workshops, such as the one in April, and through a Community Advisory Committee, made up of elected officials and individuals from community boards, community groups and major area institutions.

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