NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Residents of a Queens neighborhood have demanded action following a route change that is sending buses down a street so narrow that they barely fit.
“Almost all day you’ll see a car coming, a bus coming and neither one can get past,” Whitestone resident Denise Digirolomo told CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell on Wednesday.
The Q15A bus is barely able to round the corner between Clintonville Street and 10th Avenue in Whitestone, Queens. It’s a tight squeeze on a narrow, residential street.
“You can’t get out of your car in the evenings without worrying about getting hit by the bus,” Digirolomo said.
Digirolomo and her neighbors have gone on a mission to get the route changed. During times of heavy traffic buses often get stuck, they claim. One resident shot footage on his camera phone of a bus trying to go in reverse down 10th Avenue.
When cars are parked on both sides of the street the road becomes even more narrow, making it almost impossible for a car and a bus to pass through at the same time.
“Sometimes people park out here, the bus will stand here, keep honking, until maybe, close to a half hour until somebody comes out,” Bob Babich said.
Babich’s third generation restaurant lost six parking spaces to the bus stop, and now he is losing customers.
Officials, including state Sen. Tony Avella, have asked the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to change the route, but the MTA claims that this is the best route.
“This would take many of the riders along a long, circuitous, U-shaped routing and greatly slow their commute,” the MTA said. “We believe 10th Avenue is a wide enough street on which to operate the Q15A.’
Residents told CBS 2 that it is a matter of time before the bus route causes a serious problem.
“The day is going to happen when they’re going to have an emergency and the bus and the fire truck get caught,” Digirolomo said.
The MTA created the Q15A route in 2010 to accommodate riders of the eliminated Q14 bus.
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