As Streetsblog pointed out in late June, the NYC Department of Transportation presented plans for expanded pedestrian areas and upgraded bike markings on Old Fulton Street, which serves as the primary gateway to the recently opened Pier 1 of Brooklyn Bridge Park. As part of the reconfiguration, the B25 will be re-routed to avoid performing a U-turn on Old Fulton on weekends, most likely by following the same circuit it takes on weekdays. That means all buses will be rerouted down Main Street in Dumbo, an already cramped street. A resident of Main Street sent us the below letter to CB2, which he says has not been responded to. With the bus schedule on Main Street as many as 9 times an hour on this now busy residential street, it would make sense to route the bus down Front Street and left on Adams Street, a less busy street, then turn left on Water Street as it does now. Makes sense to us, but are there other considerations? Read the letter to CB2 below (as originally sent but with names removed).
My name is [redacted]. I live at 30 Main St. in Dumbo, am one of the original owners in Dumbo and have lived here for 8 years. I am following up on the CB2 Transportation meeting last night at which I spoke briefly about the M25 Bus route as it relates to the proposed plan regarding the Fulton Ferry Landing changes. The M25 bus route through Main Street in Dumbo is currently an out of control community issue, safety issue, and traffic flow issue, but one that I believe can be easily solved.
For as many years as I have lived here, the M25 bus has zoomed down this tiny street incessantly – the MTA currently is and has been for years using Main Street simply as a “turn-around” point for the bus to head back into downtown Brooklyn. There are rarely any passengers on the bus as it comes into Dumbo, and rarely any passengers getting on at Water Street. It is not, in fact, actually providing any meaningful “transportation” to Dumbo.
Years ago, when Dumbo was mostly an industrial zone, using this street as a turn-around was one thing; however, Main St., one of the narrower, shortest streets in Dumbo (and possibly in all of NYC) is now the most heavily residential block in Dumbo. There are many young families with many small children on this street. It is also probably the most heavily trafficked street in all of Dumbo, with two very active loading docks as well as a very active parking garage and an active delivery alleyway. The street is crowded all day long with commercial vehicles and delivery trucks; cars and taxis; and many pedestrians.
There are very often two, sometimes even three buses on the street at the same time, completely stopped by traffic. This is occurring all day, every day. It is not out of the ordinary. In fact, it is often much worse. I strongly encourage you to look at the pictures in the body of this email. If this were occurring on your street in front of your home every day, I’m sure you would all see the necessity of correcting this dangerous and untenable situation.
I have attached a copy of the current MTA bus M25 schedule (b025cur.pdf). You can see exactly how MANY times the bus now comes down Main St. – as many as 9 times an hour.
Below is a Google earth photo of Main Street taken from the entrance at Front Street. You can see the parking garage and two loading docks to the right, and the alleyway is obscured but it is just past the yellow building on the left.
Here is an image that better shows the true length and size of the street:
The upshot is that all of this daily traffic makes the unimpeded passing of the bus (and with such frequency) a virtual impossibility. Most often, the bus will in fact not be able to pass and in response, will sit blocking all traffic for as much as 15 minutes at a time, and will sit endlessly honking its horn all the while until it can finally get by. Because of the stopped busses, traffic can and is often backed up all the way down Front St. towards Fulton St., as vehicles wait to pass and continue down Front street, or to turn onto Main Street itself.
Main Street is simply not big enough to service this sort of constant, never-ending daily bus traffic, and there is no reason that it should be used as a “turn-around” by the MTA. It is extremely dangerous, and it is a terrible and unsustainable traffic-flow situation. I have seen fist-fights and many incidences of road rage. Many times busses careen onto the street hardly braking at all as they turn down from Front Street. I am worried no one is going to take this issue seriously until a pedestrian is killed or there is a serious accident.
Here is the bus making its turn-around on Fulton Street as it does now in evenings and on weekends, which is actually the widest, simplest and most direct route for the bus to head back into downtown Brooklyn (as well as least trafficked). This is the actual bus turning point which would now be re-routed to put MORE BUSES on Main Street according to the Fulton Ferry Landing Plan.
However, if the bus must be moved from Fulton Ferry Landing, the obvious solution is this: the bus should simply go down Front Street (as it does now) and instead of turning left onto Main, it should continue a short 1 ½ blocks and make its left turn onto Adams Street (see below) which is a much wider street with virtually no commercial traffic or, in fact, any kind of traffic. Because it essentially leads nowhere, it is practically an unused street. It is also completely non-residential, bounded by an office building on one side, and the Manhattan Bridge on the other. The bus would then make the same left turn onto Water Street (as it does now) and would continue on the exactly same route it does now, down Water back to Fulton Street.
I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with all of you in more detail to see if we can resolve this issue for the good of the neighborhood. Please let me know either how we can schedule a call with the appropriate parties, set up a time to meet, or the process by which we can put this issue on the CB2 meeting agenda in the very near future. This issue should certainly be addressed along with the continuing discussions for Fulton Ferry Landing.
I look forward to hearing from you.