Co-op City Group Wants Bus Rapid Transit to Keep Its Distance

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Even though Bus Rapid Transit may have the support of the city's DOT, more roadblocks may await its implementation -- in the form of community groups set on protecting the status quo in their neighborhoods. A dispute over one route is brewing in the Bronx, as reported in a recent Daily News story:

The proposed new express route for the Bx12 bus would run from Broadway and 207th St. in Manhattan, along Fordham Road and Pelham Parkway, to terminate at Asch Loop in Co-op City.

But Co-op City residents say the idea of ending the route at Asch is loopy.

"This is not about improving service to Co-op City," said Arthur Taub, a Co-op City transit advocate leading the charge against the proposal. "They're not giving us anything but headaches."

The main complaint is that the articulated buses running on the MTA's Bus Rapid Transit line would clog an already tight Asch Loop, which is a two-way street forced to accommodate angle parking along one side while the sprawling complex's parking garages are closed for repairs.

"The added fumes and traffic congestion is not in the best interests of this community," said Taub, chairman of the Coalition of Concerned Residents and Merchants of Co-op City. With a firehouse on the street as well as stops for three other bus routes, the added congestion of BRT buses parked at the terminus waiting to start their scheduled runs would be a recipe for disaster, according to Taub....

Taub suspects that the MTA is just using Asch Loop as a place for the double-length buses to turn around, but the MTA counters that the new Bx12 stop will actually be closer to the residential areas of Co-op City than the current one at the Bay Plaza shopping center. "If we put a bus there, thousands of people will use it," said Orosz. "It will offer a great convenience to the people of Co-op City."

DOT and New York City Transit officials will defend the plan at an April 11 public meeting.

Photo: InfiniteJeff/Flickr