Assemblyman Colton’s Charges B 82 Buck Passed Onto DOT
July 6, 2004
Assemblyman William Colton (D-47AD) has been leading the fight to get the B 82 bus service restored to the residents beyond the 25th Avenue Terminal point where half of the buses now terminate. This past year when the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) extended the B82 to Stillwell Avenue to allow connections to the Coney Island Terminal, it terminated half the buses at 25th Avenue; leaving those seniors and residents of Contello Towers, Waterview Towers, Sons of Italy Senior Home and Harway Terrace, the option of getting off and waiting for the next bus to get home… or walk. Many of the seniors and residents have been greatly disadvantaged by the cuts in service, because it also prevented them from shopping at Pathmarks on Cropsey Avenue where the B 82 used to terminate. Pathmarks was the only local supermarket reachable by bus and they depended on shopping there. They again called to their Bensonhurst /Gravesend legislator for help. Assemblyman Colton set up a petition drive collecting thousands of signatures and wrote numerous letters to Lawrence Reuter, the President of NYCTA asking him to restore the Pathmark/Cropsey Avenue terminal to provide service beyond 25th Avenue. Last May, Assemblyman Colton received a letter from TA’s President Reuter claiming that bus service can no longer terminate at Canal and Cropsey Avenue, where the B 82 used to turn because the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) has prohibited left turn movements from Cropsey Avenue to the Belt Parkway service road, making it impossible for buses to serve the Pathmarks’ Canal Avenue terminal. "This community’s future is very much at stake if the residents are deprived of bus service to their local supermarket for essential food and pharmaceutical shopping. They have in effect been chopped off without transportation," states Assemblyman Colton. What is insulting to these residents is the way the mighty MTA has passed the buck to the Department of Transportation, claiming that "if NYCDOT reconsider our request to make the left turn from Cropsey Avenue onto the Belt Parkway Service Road "No Left Turn Except Buses" we would reconsider Canal and Cropsey Avenue as a terminal for the B 82." "Passing the hot potato to another agency will not deter us from getting whatever changes are necessary to restore the service needed," promised Colton. Assemblyman Colton has set up a meeting with the NYCDOT as well as the NYCTA to explain the necessity for the immediate changes to resolve the issue. Assemblyman Colton has already met several times with the residents who complained about the cuts in B 82 service and enlisted the group into immediate action. They gathered the petitions and are ready to organize demonstrations and a rally to get back their service. Assemblyman Colton noted that these are the same residents he successfully led in keeping the dreaded SouthWest Incinerators closed. Together they stopped the building of a Multiplex movie theater that would have clogged up traffic. They stopped the extension of the Shore Parkway service road and were successful in other community battles. The B 82 grassroots group can be contacted at Assemblyman Colton’s community office, where petitions could be obtained. For more information contact Jeanette Givant or Charlie Ragusa at 718-236-1598.