Kings Highway Bus-Lane Plan Delayed After Community Outcry

BROOKLYN -
Kings Highway
NYC Councilman Kalman Yeger (L) and State Sen. Simcha Felder with a young opponent of the Kings Highway bus lanes. (Amber Adler)

Transit authorities are delaying a plan to remove parking spots on Kings Highway in favor of bus lanes, following an outcry from residents.

The plan, which was to have been implemented in July, would have removed approximately 100 parking spots on Kings Highway between Bay Parkway and Ocean Avenue during peak traffic hours, in favor of express lanes for Select Bus Service on the B82 bus line.

But in a meeting last week with Metropolitan Transportation Authority and NYC Department of Transportation officials, politicians expressed opposition to the plan to eliminate parking spaces in a neighborhood already notorious for its lack of parking spots. The meeting’s participants included the elected officials, or their staffers, representing the affected portions of Kings Highway: State Sens. Simcha Felder and Marty Golden; Assemblymembers William Colton, Steve Cymbrowitz, Dov Hikind and Helene Weinstein; and Councilmembers Chaim Deutsch, Mark Treyger and Kalman Yeger.

After hearing the community’s concerns, on Friday the MTA and DOT said that they’d be delaying implementation of the plan.

But opponents want the plan killed entirely.

“Our neighborhood has a longstanding challenge with parking,” Allen Sedaghati, President of Central Sports on Kings Highway at E. 14th Street, told Hamodia. “Taking away spots will only make it worse. All businesses in the area, big or small, will be affected by this plan. Additionally, the local residents will receive an influx of cars that would have been parked on Kings Highway.”

On Sunday, hundreds of residents, business owners and politicians marched down Kings Highway, from McDonald Ave. to Ocean Parkway, to express their opposition to the bus lanes.

“There are multiple ways of trying to improve transportation along Kings Highway without permanently removing critical lanes that are important to small businesses and residents here,” Treyger told Hamodia.

“I am cautiously optimistic,” said Felder, “that, working with my colleagues and agency representatives, we will succeed in preventing any Select Bus Service lanes from Bay Parkway to Ocean Avenue.”

In a statement, the MTA noted that the B82 is among the busiest bus routes in Brooklyn.

“We want to be partners with the communities we operate in,” said the agency. “As we’ve said before, we are in discussions with local elected officials and communities on how to balance Select Bus Service in the B82 corridor with neighborhood concerns along the route.”