Request for MTA/NYC Transit to Relocate Layover Buses on 26th Street Between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue.
WHEREAS, Three years ago, there were few if any residential units bordering the north side of Madison Square Park, while today, there are 275 such units; and
WHEREAS, In 2008, the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) changed pedestrian and vehicular traffic patterns along the corridors of Broadway and Fifth Avenue from 25th Street to 22nd Street, thereby increasing the traffic flow along 26th Street, the only east-west connection street from Fifth Avenue until 23rd Street; and
WHEREAS, Constant MTA/NYC Transit bus layover congestion on 26th Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue (the north side of Madison Square Park), blocks the view of Madison Square Park's northern end and makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the New York Police Department (NYPD) and pedestrians to monitor activity there, thus inviting negative behavior, particularly at night by homeless individuals who congregate on the park's north-end benches, which in turn creates an unsafe environment for families and other users of the Park; and
WHEREAS, Children are frequent users of the north end of Madison Square Park due to the presence of a playground and free programs for children there, and the significant number of buses in close proximity constitutes a serious potential risk to a child who darts into the street; and
WHEREAS, The heavy bus congestion also increases the overall risk of traffic accidents on both 26th Street and its feeder thoroughfares, and the exhaust fumes produced from the many buses idling there greatly increases environmental concerns as well for all Madison Square Park North residents and users of the Park; and
WHEREAS, The Madison Square Park Conservancy, understanding the complexity of relocating MTA bus layover space, already has spent time scouting the surrounding area to find logical alternative locations that the Conservancy believes could be suitable for the needs of the MTA/NYC Transit, and offer minimal repercussions to current bus routes as well as easy access to Madison Avenue, while also limiting the impact on local residents, particularly children, and on traffic congestion by staging the buses on a street with four lanes of traffic, for example, instead of just three, as on 26th Street;
WHEREAS, The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, the DOT, and the 13th Precinct of the NYPD all support the relocation of the MTA/NYC Transit bus layover on 26th Street; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That Community Board Five supports moving the staging of MTA/NYC Transit buses from 26th Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue; and be it further
RESOLVED, That Community Board Five strongly urges the MTA/NYC Transit to work with the Madison Square Park Conservancy, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, DOT, the 13th Police Precinct, elected officials, and all other impacted constituencies to find an optimal new site for the MTA's 26th Street bus layover, with the understanding that no relocation will occur unless and until such a site is identified, and that Community Board Five is willing to play an active role in arranging these discussions.
The above resolution passed with a vote of 32 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstaining.