Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz has requested in letters to both the Department of Transportation and MTA that local elected officials, including himself, be notified when changes are made that affect service.
Two different recent issues that dealt with DOT and MTA service changes were brought to the attention of Assemblyman Dinowitz. Both changes to service were made without notice to Assemblyman Dinowitz, other elected officials, or members of the community.
One issue pertaining to DOT dealt with changes in parking regulations. In a letter to DOT Commissioner Palmieri, Assemblyman Dinowitz stated:
"I am writing about a persistent problem throughout my district. Time and time again the DOT has made changes in parking regulations with out properly notifying the community. Constituents have complained to my office about being financially penalized for illegal parking due to being unaware of various changes that were made by the DOT.
An example of this ongoing problem occurred when ‘no standing’ signs were placed on Arlington Avenue between West 232nd and 235th street on March 23. A traffic officer proceeded to hand out parking tickets to cars that were parked on Arlington Avenue. However some of the cars had been parked from the night before. If my office or the community had been properly notified the problem could have been prevented. In addition, the traffic agents should have had the good sense not to issue tickets on that first day after the signs were installed."
The other issue was in regard to the removal of the bus shelter on the Henry Hudson overpass at 239th Street. In a letter to both MTA and DOT, Assemblyman Dinowitz stated:
"I am writing in regard to the removal of the bus shelter on the Henry Hudson Parkway and 239th Street overpass. The #7 bus stops here. This is a very busy stop; many people take the bus to the subway station at 231st Street and Broadway. Constituents have complained about its removal; others are curious about what happened to it. A couple of bus drivers who drive the #7 bus have been asked the status of the bus shelter, but no one had any answers.
Upon calling the Department of Transportation, my office has been told that the bus shelter was removed due to pending construction on the overpass that will be completed August 2006. According to DOT, in the interim the bus stop is being moved 150 feet north to the West service road; a sign will be posted indicating the new bus stop. Also an inspection is scheduled for Monday, April 11, to determine the status of the bus shelter; however there is no guarantee that a bus shelter will be provided. I am requesting, if appropriate, that the bus shelter remain at this bus stop.
I am not sure if the removal of the bus shelter or the change of the bus stop is warranted at this time because I was never contacted. Any change relating to MTA service or DOT matters that affect the people of New York in a significant way should be communicated to the local elected officials, especially a change like this that impacts many people. In my district, the offices of Councilman Oliver Koppell and I are two of the first places people contact with a problem and we wish to know the status of the matter."
Assemblyman Dinowitz requested that the MTA and DOT inform himself and all local elected officials of matters that impact constituents.