NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Rainy days like Thursday are a good reminder of what it’s like to wait for a bus without any shelter.
Plans to make city commuters’ lives a little bit easier are in the works, but on Madison Avenue, the work is being met with opposition.
The avenue has long been synonymous with fashion and advertising. There are plenty of high-end shops with window displays designed to entice consumers. Those views may soon change.
The Department of Transportation wants to install bus shelters with ads of their own along Madison from 57th to 78th Streets.
“Sometimes when it’s snowy or rainy, it would protect people,” Fabian Orozco said.
While many commuters say they’d appreciate a covered place to wait, local community groups are not on board.
“That will really harm the businesses that are here in our neighborhood with illuminated signs and on sidewalks that are very, very narrow,” Matthew Bauer of the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District said.
Bauer brought a measuring tape along Thursday while talking to CBS2’s Nina Kapur, to show just how much space the proposed shelters would take up.
“The bus shelters as you can see, block the entire storefront, two windows of Madison Avenue would be blocked,” Bauer demonstrated.
DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg argues they are a narrower version of what the city is used to and they would also be clear.
“We have come up with a special, very skinny design that has a glass panel in the back so you can see through the bus shelter to the storefront, we’re talking about putting a very small number, about 12 of them,” Trottenberg argued.
But those shelters would still include illuminated advertisements on the side; something Bauer says would take away from the appeal and look of Madison Avenue.
He’s hoping they can come to a compromise.
“We’re working with the city and offering to provide benches for the riding public which at the same time will provide amenities for the public, at the same time not hurt our storefronts,” Bauer added.
The proposed benches would not be covered and the city contends it would lose out on revenue from ads.
Businesses and residents can voice their opinions at a community meeting this month before a decision is made.