My name is Assemblywoman Joan Millman and I represent downtown Brooklyn. First I wish to congratulate Joe Lhota and the MTA Board for expanding and/or returning train and bus service to all parts of our city.
Today I am here as the representative of the Columbia Street Waterfront District, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, and Park Slope neighborhoods to request that this Board consider restoring the B-71 route in Brooklyn, our cross-town bus. I can not argue that this route is overcrowded but numbers alone do not tell the whole story. The B-71 provided the only link from the Columbia Street Waterfront District, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens neighborhoods to schools, cultural attractions and doctors.
Now there is no simple way to reach the Brooklyn Museum, the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library or the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Yes, you can take the B-61 downtown, walk a few blocks to the 2 or 3 trains and then walk from there. People have switched doctors and stopped taking classes at the Museum. Children attending school in Park Slope must walk across 3rd and 4th Avenues to reach their destination and these are heavily trafficked streets. I had to arrange for school crossing guards at some but not all intersection to protect these youngsters. All these neighborhoods are growing and expanding with new housing opportunities.
Already more than 1274 people have signed our online or paper petition.
I strongly urge you as – as you prepare to extend the bus route service in Red Hook, consider a link down Columbia Street or Smith Street to Union Street. As stated earlier numbers alone do not provide a complete picture – families without cars, seniors and students have depended on the B-71. I am here today to speak for them. Thank you.