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Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by William A. Padron on Thu Sep 9 20:16:50 2021

Well, it looks like they may have started in cutting the number of bus stops in the city already, and right under the nose of unaware riders.

Case in point, stops along the #Q66 route have been eliminated every four blocks on each side in the Jackson Heights area (zip code 11372), and signs were changed at them with the new parking regulations.

For example, the stops along Northern Boulevard at 87th Street (south side), 88th Street (north side) and 91st Street (northside) have been eliminated. I had to tell waiting passengers that the buses no longer stop there, and must walk two blocks to the next one. The #Q66 buses are definitely following that edict, by passing those former stops.

The reasoning for this, ahem, change? It is a "Street Improvement Project" by the city. And so it goes...

-William A. Padron
["MTA Bus"]



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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by gbs on Thu Sep 9 21:48:17 2021, in response to Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by William A. Padron on Thu Sep 9 20:16:50 2021.


That's encouraging news. I'll gladly trade a slightly longer walk for a speedier trip, especially on a long route like the Q66.

Now, how long until they update the automated announcement program to include these changes, so they don't announce stops that are no longer there?

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Q23 on Fri Sep 10 00:18:49 2021, in response to Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by William A. Padron on Thu Sep 9 20:16:50 2021.

There are stops on the Q66 that are a bit too close to each other. The 78th and 80th Street stops EB comes to mind. However I don't think the solution is what they're doing.

They needto actively relocate some stops in order to do that, not simply eliminate every other stop or so. But we know the latter is the easier and convenient (for the agency to do) of the two options.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Osmosis Jones on Fri Sep 10 00:52:44 2021, in response to Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by William A. Padron on Thu Sep 9 20:16:50 2021.

The Q66 carries air west of Broadway because it diverts off of Northern Boulevard to connect with the (F) at Queensbridge for some reason.

It terminates just short of the largest employment center in Queens that is Court Square, even though the main artery that goes through Court Square is the same street that the Q66 travels along for the majority of its run, butÖ

Must. Eliminate. Bus stops.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Joe V on Fri Sep 10 07:12:38 2021, in response to Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by William A. Padron on Thu Sep 9 20:16:50 2021.

I went to the Corningware store along Northern Blvd from Jackson Hts a few montsh ago. I notice its traffic lights are a pain in the ass. They all turn red at once and do so all too often for the cross traffic. The slownees of the bus is that, not a stop very 2 blocks.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by BrooklynBus on Fri Sep 10 13:01:17 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Q23 on Fri Sep 10 00:18:49 2021.

Just like when they did daylighting. Instead of just eliminating the parking space closest to the stop sign to increase visibility like they should have seen doing, they removed all the parking spaces after the alternate side parking sign, because they didnít want the expense of additional stanchions. So the result was unnecessary removal of two or three parking spaces, when only one space should have been removed.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by BusMgr on Fri Sep 10 14:36:36 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Osmosis Jones on Fri Sep 10 00:52:44 2021.

The reason that route Q66 connects with the subway at 21st Street-Queensbridge is that the station, when first opened, was a dead-end, and little subway patronage was expected despite the huge investment made for the subway and East River tunnel built. So many plans were considered to have buses serve the new station, and compel ridership that would not have otherwise materialized. Some proposals, such as terminating all Queens express buses at the station, with passengers transferring to the subway for Manhattan points, were rightly rejected. But the two significant bus plans actually implemented were the establishment of a LaGuardia express bus service, route Q57 (but marketed as route "QT," or "Quick Trip," operated by Two Borough Express, Inc. (an affiliate of Triboro Coach Corp.); and the extension of Q66 local route, operated by Queens Surface Corp., from its terminus at 51st Street to serve the new station. The NYCTA used its influence to persuade the Board of Estimate (Bureau of Franchises) to authorize both new services, and to persuade the NYCDOT to subsidize the Q66 extension (initially with some limited NYCTA support). A new terminus was established at Queens Plaza South and 22nd Street. While the terminus should have been established Queens Plaza South at 28th Street, and was pursued by NYCDOT transit operations planning, the NYCDOT refused to spend any more on the service extension than what was minimally required to serve the new station, despite good transit planning practices and the greater potential for patronage in the heart of Queens Plaza. Service could be provided as far as 22nd Street, because that was part of the turn-around loop, though the operator, Queens Surface Corp., did not do a good job in managing this terminus, and many bus drivers made the intersection of 21st Street and 41st Avenue the unofficial first and last stops of the route. Eventually, under MTA Bus Company management, implemented what NYCDOT staff had proposed, and service was extended the few blocks to Queens Plaza South at 28th Street (at de minimus cost).

Further adding to the Q66 problems is that it makes no stops on 21st Street between 35th Avenue and 41st Avenue. This was done in order to protect the fare revenue of route Q19A (now designated route Q69)from encroachment by extended route Q66, and was justified publicly by promoting the "faster" trip provided to the subway at 21st Street-Queensbridge station through this "express" operation. Neither reason was good because bother the Q19A and Q66 was fully-subsidized by the city, through the NYCDOT, and all revenue shortfalls were made up from the same city funds; and with 21st Street as wide as it is, and with few substantial bus stops between 31th Avenue and 41st Avenue, the time savings by operating "express" on 21st Street was inconsequential, especially given the overall length of route Q66.

At one time streetcars did operate on Northern Boulevard (and Jackson Avenue) west of 51st Street, all the way to the 34th Street ferry terminal at the foot of Borden Avenue. In fact, the focus of the service was the western end, at the ferry terminal, and extended eastward towards Flushing. But because of the underlying ownership of the line between two distinct companies, the service was later cut at 51st Street (the location of the car house and the border of the former City of Long Island City), with passengers having to change cars at that location. Eventually, the western part of the route diminished in patronage and importance. Nonetheless, through its corporate existence (up until about fifteen years ago), Queens Surface Corp. continued to operate a single daily "franchise trip" along the western portion of Northern Boulevard and Jackson Avenue, between 51st Street and Vernon Boulevard, along what was designated as route Q100. With patronage at 21st Street-Queensbridge station no longer being critical (the subway having since been connected with the Queens Boulevard line at 41st Avenue and Northern Boulevard), there is no longer good reason for its operation along 35th Avenue, other than the more recent build-up of some commerce on that avenue between Steinway Street and 35th Street. Yet much more development has occurred at Queensborough Plaza and Court Square, such that restoration of the original route, along the length of Northern Boulevard and Jackson Avenue, to the end of Borden Avenue, is warranted. There is no need for Q66 service on 21st Street, and tho only real question to answer is whether bus service should be provided at all along 35th Avenue between 21st Street and Northern Boulevard.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Italianstallion on Fri Sep 10 16:01:54 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by BusMgr on Fri Sep 10 14:36:36 2021.

Great historical write-up, thanks!

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Italianstallion on Fri Sep 10 16:03:09 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by BusMgr on Fri Sep 10 14:36:36 2021.

I never understood why it wasnít extended along 36th Ave., to connect with the subway station there.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Osmosis Jones on Fri Sep 10 17:37:56 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by BusMgr on Fri Sep 10 14:36:36 2021.

One of the best post responses Iíve ever gotten on here, thank you for taking the time to write this, itís my first time learning about a lot of it.

Even before the 63rd Street Connector was built, I would still say that the Q66 to Queensbridge wasnít exactly necessary with the (N) and (R) trains nearby as well as the Q19A for anyone who was going to the area around 21st Street and 35th Avenue. I get where the city was coming from though, they wanted to divert people from the more crowded Astoria and Queens Boulevard line trains to Queensbridge where an empty train awaited to take them into Manhattan. Iím guessing this was all planned and implemented before Queensbridge became Queensbridge if you know what I mean.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Osmosis Jones on Fri Sep 10 18:02:38 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Italianstallion on Fri Sep 10 16:03:09 2021.

Is there even a need for a ďcrosstownĒ 35th Avenue bus in that area?

I would look into reallocating some of the resources currently allotted for running empty Q66 buses in the area into a creating a re-vamped Q104 that would run from Rego Park all the way up Broadway to Vernon Boulevard, then continue on down to Roosevelt Island and/or the Astoria Houses.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by BrooklynBus on Fri Sep 10 18:05:41 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Q23 on Fri Sep 10 00:18:49 2021.

You have just shown how they are not eliminating stops intelligently which is why we need to sign this petition.

Please share on social media. We are approaching 2,000 signatures.


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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by BusMgr on Fri Sep 10 20:15:16 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Italianstallion on Fri Sep 10 16:03:09 2021.

The path along 35th Avenue was chosen because of the presence of the American Museum of the Moving Image (since renamed the Museum of the Moving Image).

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by BusMgr on Fri Sep 10 20:24:26 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Osmosis Jones on Fri Sep 10 18:02:38 2021.

By making the turn onto 48th Street, the Q104 remains within the prior city limits of the City of Long Island City, just as all the other routes of the former Steinway Transit Corp. and its predecessors. Those city limits are, of course, no longer particularly relevant, and it does seem that better service coverage could be had with a through along the full length of Broadway, between Vernon Boulevard and Queens Boulevard. Probably best to have the turn-around at the Roosevelt Island subway station (no substantial need for more service at the Astoria Houses and ferry terminal), and the other end at 63rd Drive, using the same turn-around as now used by Q59 (rather than using, say, the old Q89 turn-around, which would miss all of the big stores in Elmnurst-Rego Park).

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by BusMgr on Fri Sep 10 20:35:58 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Osmosis Jones on Fri Sep 10 17:37:56 2021.

No, the issue was not specifically to divert people from more crowded trains, but rather to get people onto to new 63rd Street train by any means possible. That is to say, the political need was not alleviate overcrowding on Queens Boulevard, but to avoid the embarrassment of empty trains under 63rd Street. It didn't matter from where the 63rd Street passengers would originate (hence the futile attempt with the QT bus service), so as long as bodies would be put on those 63rd Street trains. Ultimately, the connection of 63rd Street with Queens Boulevard solved the political problem, because half of the overcrowded Queens Boulevard express trains could be sent via 63rd Street (the other half continuing to be sent via 53rd Street), and voila, there were was no longer an empty subway tunnel anymore. True, it was just musical chairs in shuffling the trains from one subway tunnel to another, but no longer was there a need to artificially pump passengers into the 21st Street-Queensbridge station, or to manipulate the surface transit route structure to do so.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by William A. Padron on Fri Sep 10 22:32:45 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by BusMgr on Fri Sep 10 20:15:16 2021.

As well as the Kaufman-Astoria Studios, formerly the Paramount Studios, where such stars as W.C. Fields, Gloria Swanson, Rudolph Valentino, the Marx Brothers, Burns & Allen, plus many others, had done films in that historic landmark space.

The studio complex opened on September 20, 1920, and still in use for TV and movie shoots. "Sesame Street" is one of their tenants there.

-William A. Padron
["KAS"]


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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by William A. Padron on Fri Sep 10 22:37:17 2021, in response to Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by William A. Padron on Thu Sep 9 20:16:50 2021.

Slight correction...

"...and 91st Street (southside) have been eliminated."

The one on 92nd Street (northside) is still in use.

-William A. Padron
["QSC"]


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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Snilcher on Sat Sep 11 11:41:05 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by BusMgr on Fri Sep 10 20:24:26 2021.

That proposal would leave a service gap connecting Broadway via 48th Street to Queens Blvd. near the 7 train stop at 46th St. It could be filled by breaking up the B24 into two routes (call them B24 and B29 for historical reasons) and extending one portion up 48th Street, probably the Greenpoint Avenue portion, which could easily turn northward on 47th Street and cross Queens Blvd. while southbound buses on 48th St. would need to turn eastward on 43rd Ave. and south on 50th St. to get to Roosevelt/Greenpoint avenues.



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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Spider-Pig on Sat Sep 11 12:44:49 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Snilcher on Sat Sep 11 11:41:05 2021.

Iíve always wanted to break up the B24 as it seems to me to be a ridiculous route.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Osmosis Jones on Sat Sep 11 13:56:34 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Snilcher on Sat Sep 11 11:41:05 2021.

I would actually like for the MTA to experiment and fill that gap up with a dedicated north-south route between Ridgewood Terminal and Rikers Island via Wyckoff Heights Hospital, 48th Street and Hazen Street.

I think that such a route would provide much needed coverage through that area of Queens and perform at least decently. My only concern would be the closing of Rikers Island and whether there is enough demand north of Broadway to sustain such a route once Rikers Island closes. I guess in that case though buses instead can divert east along Astoria Boulevard to the Marine Air Terminal instead.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Osmosis Jones on Sat Sep 11 14:04:41 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by BusMgr on Fri Sep 10 20:24:26 2021.

Thank you again for the information. I never knew that was the reason why the Q104 awkwardly turns down 48th Street. The Q104 is really a tale of two routes, with complete turnover pretty much always happening between Northern Boulevard and Broadway.

I also appreciate the suggestion of most definitely having it serve Roosevelt Island and not the Astoria Houses. I figured that the route could replace Q102 service to the Astoria Houses since thereís pretty much no way thatís going to survive the redesign, but the ferry, Q18, Q19, and even the Q103 should suffice there.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Osmosis Jones on Sat Sep 11 14:09:42 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by BusMgr on Fri Sep 10 20:35:58 2021.

Thank you for the historical context behind this. This also explains why Queens Surface chose to have the then Q101R run non-stop all the to Queensbridge instead of terminating at the much closer subway stations in Astoria. They created those superfluous bus routes to justify the tunnel when in the end, all they needed to do to accomplish that was build LIRR ESA.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by BusMgr on Sat Sep 11 15:10:24 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Snilcher on Sat Sep 11 11:41:05 2021.

I donít know how well used the service is along 48th Street, but given the relatively short distance and lack of frequency, I would not imagine it particularly critical. True, the terminus at Queens Boulevard is also served by other bus services that are oddly connected to form the B24 route (i.e., Greenpoint Avenue and Marcy-Meeker Avenues, the latter having previously been separate route B29), and perhaps a restructuring could be had, one that would incorporate the 48th Street segment, between Queens Boulevard and Broadway, into the Greenpoint and/or Marcy-Meeker bus services.

Such a restructuring could result in the B24 (or a revived B29) terminating on Broadway between 48th and 49th Streets, a better terminal would probably be to have the buses continue eastward, either (1) from 48th Street via Broadway, 53rd Place, and Northern Boulevard to 51st Street, and returning via 51st Street, Broadway, to 49th Street, or (2) from 48th Street via Northern Boulevard, 51st Street, Broadway, 53rd Place, Northern Boulevard to 51st Street, and returning via Northern Boulevard to 48th Street (abandoning service on 48th and 49th Streets between Northern Boulevard and Broadway). It could also be that such a restructured route could continue northward, providing entirely new service along 49th Street (and parallel streets where one-way) to 19th or 20th Avenues. That might have made more sense in prior years, when cemetery-visiting was more important than today (as such a route would pass the main entrance to St. Michaelís Cemetery), but today there really is not much in this service area to expect much passenger traffic to develop . . . parallel Steinway Street is so much stronger in that regard.

To the extent that one of the B24 bus services (be it Greenpoint or Meeker-Marcy) not be extended northward along 48th Street, it could terminate at 48th Street and Queens Boulevard, or even, possibly, at the Woodside station (61st Street) of the LIRR, at or near the Q53 terminus.

All of these ideas would cohesively with addressing the underlying Q66 route concerns, to advance the route structure beyond the streetcar foundation upon which these routes continue to rely. But the ideas would incur new costs, and the returns would, at best, be modest. Thus, I would not hold much hope for anything to be done.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by BusMgr on Sat Sep 11 15:26:23 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Osmosis Jones on Sat Sep 11 14:04:41 2021.

I think if you look at development patterns, the city of Long Island City was being developed, but beyond, with the town of Newtown, development was more sparse. So probably best, from a business perspective, keeping your transit routes within the city and not venturing out too far into farmland. It would not have been a legal requirement to not cross the city line (at most, it would involve local politics), as that is demonstrated by Queens Transit Corp., and its predecessors, in its operation of the Q67 both in Newtown and Long Island City.

The Q102 was extended to Roosevelt Island after the opening of the bridge 1955, and the concomitent closing of the Queensboro Bridge railway and Welfare Island station. It was important to keep Roosevelt Island connected with the rest of the city, and having that bus link to Queensborough Plaza was critical. But now, with both a tram to Manhattan and a subway in both directions, a bus connection between Roosevelt Island and Queensborough Plaza no longer is a critical link. Replacing Q102 bus service with Q104 bus service would, of course, sever that direct link, but without all the adverse effects that would have existed prior to the subway opening. More importantly, replacement of Q102 with Q104 would largely replace redundancy with direct access to some new service areas (not entirely, since the revamped Q104 would serve several of the same locations served by the "F" or other Queens Boulevard trains).

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by BusMgr on Sat Sep 11 16:16:21 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Osmosis Jones on Sat Sep 11 14:09:42 2021.

Actually, no, the Rikers Island service is a separate issue (although it would have some effect in adding some demand to the 21st Street-Qeensbridge station). In fact, the reasoning behind the Q101R is a bit more troubling. Some time after the bridge to Rikers Island was opened in 1966, service on the Q101 was extended over the bridge. Operationally and geographically it made sense. But demographics required a change to the route structure. Astoria was middle class and mostly white, and prior to the extension to Rikers Island, the passengers on the Q101 largely reflected those demographics. However, visitors to Rikers Island largely reflected the demographics of those individuals incarcerated on the island, which were, for the most part, other than middle class and white. Conflicts then arose between the residents of Astoria who rode the Q101 and those from outside Astoria who were making visits to Rikers Island. Astoria residents and their political representatives did not want "those" people riding on "Astoria's" buses. The political pressure was sufficient to cause Steinway Transit Corp., the operator of the Q101, to institute a policy of "separate but equal" service on route Q101. (Even during overnight periods, there was "equal" sparsely-used hourly service for both the local and Rikers Island routes.) Local service would cater to Astoria residents, without crossing the bridge to Rikers Island, while express service would bypass the local stops of Astoria and serve Rikers Island. In this manner, the middle class white residents of Astoria would not have to intermingle with those of other neighborhoods, merely passing through on their way to Rikers Island, most of whom were of different economic backgrounds and other races. It was a solution that satisfied at least the politically-powerful people of Astoria, and even if objectionable to those visiting Rikers Island, the visitors did not possess much political influence or power. MTA Bus Company continues operating this historically "separate but equal" bus service on route Q101R, though with the service having previously been cut back from Manhattan to its present operation only with Queens, and its removal from Steinway Street to 21st Street, it is no longer so "equal." Were a claim of unlawful discrimination to be brought against MTA Bus Company, it would probably defend on the ground that a separate route that provided "premium" express service does not constitute discrimination, and any differences in the demographics of Q101 and Q101R passengers is benign and not the result of intentional discrimination, notwithstanding the history of the route.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Snilcher on Sat Sep 11 18:10:51 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Osmosis Jones on Sat Sep 11 13:56:34 2021.

It's more of a problem for your proposed route if Rikers Island remains open than if it closes. Remember that the portion of the Q101 that served Rikers was broken off into the modern Q100 because regular Steinway St. riders were not comfortable sharing space with the folks heading for Rikers. (A similar issue with LaGuardia Airport travelers was cause for the Q33 service to LaGuardia to be replaced by the Q70.)


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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Snilcher on Sat Sep 11 18:23:50 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by BusMgr on Sat Sep 11 16:16:21 2021.

FWIW, the Q101R is now the Q100, not to be confused with the historical Q100 mentioned in BusMgr's Q66 history post.

Anyhow, to be charitable, it could be said that any community of residential passengers, regardless of race or economic status, would not be happy riding buses alongside, essentially, prisoners and other individuals charged with criminal activity. True, many if not most of the Rikers riders are probably just working-class folk who happen to be employed there. But at least one can understand, if not excuse, the fears and concerns of the regular ridership. Were there any documented incidents on the Q101 that led to this, or was it only political pressure?


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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Snilcher on Sat Sep 11 18:29:05 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by BusMgr on Sat Sep 11 15:10:24 2021.

Also can't help wondering: if the Q89 (under various names) failed to thrive providing service between Queens Blvd. and Jackson Heights along Broadway, how much better would a route along the full length of Broadway fare? In both cases it would be competing with existing subway service. Maybe MTA Bus can do a test case by allowing local stops on the Q53 on Broadway to see how many takers there are.

Answering my own question, I guess the idea is to provide a connection between the westernmost reaches of Astoria and the Jackson Heights / Elmhurst / Rego Park commercial centers.


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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by BusMgr on Sat Sep 11 18:41:31 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Snilcher on Sat Sep 11 18:10:51 2021.

The essence of the prior poster's proposal does not require it to go to Rikers Island, and a terminus at Hazen Street and 19th or 20th Avenues would be sufficient. In a broader perspective, however, I don't see much need for a north-south route through what is largely fairly dead industrial and cemetery space. The Q39 and Q67 wind around this area without much activity, and I don't think that there is much demand either between the suggested end points (i.e., Wyckoff Heights Hospital and Steinway). A better location for good north-south through service is along the 69th Street corridor, connecting Middle Village (Metropolitan Avenue station) with Jackson Heights, using pieces of the former Q45 (now Q47), Q18, and Q67, possibly incorporating the northern end of the Q47 route to the Marine Air Terminal (or Q33 or Q69), and/or possibly continuing to Fresh Pond Road and Ridgewood. Lots of residential and commercial areas with similar characteristics, and a paucity of reasonable transit options. The only other similar type service is the Q23, which reaches from the periphery of LaGuardia Airport to the Glendale-Forest Hills border via the 108th Street corridor, and it does fairly well in carrying both local and through passenger traffic (even with the substantial turnover at Queens Boulevard).

More generally, the above is the type of planning thought (i.e., tweaks) that MTABC and NYCTA should be engaging in their Queens bus route network re-design. That, not to throw out 150 years worth of transit history and investment built upon reliance on that history, but to give critical thought to the existing system. To expand on changes to the borough and existing system flaws, thereby adjusting the system incrementally. Large scale abandonment, as the public transit agencies have been approaching the matter, will, on the whole, cause more chaos and harm than benefit, especially when it is being planned by young persons without substantial institutional memory, history, or understanding of the communities involved. In other words, MTABC and NYCTA should not bite off more than they can chew.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by BusMgr on Sat Sep 11 18:54:48 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Snilcher on Sat Sep 11 18:29:05 2021.

I think you answered your own question well. The Q89, a remnant from Fifth Avenue Coach, merely went from the garage at Northern Boulevard to Queens Boulevard, not at a very good headway. Its unique service area, on Broadway, was too short for it to fulfill any good purpose, and it did not hit the important commercial developments on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst-Rego Park. I would hesitate to suggest adding yet more stops to route Q53 . . . it has already been slowed down so much with the stops that MTABC has added since its acquisition.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by BusMgr on Sat Sep 11 18:54:52 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Snilcher on Sat Sep 11 18:23:50 2021.

Yes, labels change, but they don't usually affect the substantive issues! That said, I do wish that both MTABC and NYCTA were more sensitive towards the re-use of labels and the confusion it can engender.

I don't think that you will find many correctional officers or prisoners themselves on the bus to Rikers Island; most passengers are visitors. And the passengers on the bus route have (at least in years past) routinely been derided by bus company employees, probably more so on the basis of their economic status and social behavior than race (notwithstanding the strong correlation between these three attributes).

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Osmosis Jones on Sun Sep 12 00:38:00 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by BusMgr on Sat Sep 11 15:10:24 2021.

Iím surprised that the idea of replacing B24 service to Greenpoint with a new Roosevelt Avenue bus between Greenpoint and Flushing has never been brought up here.

The B24 doesnít do a good job at serving Greenpoint Avenue as is. A Greenpoint Avenue bus should either divert up 39th Street and Steinway Street to serve that shopping district, or continue east to the Victor Moore Arcade.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Osmosis Jones on Sun Sep 12 01:03:12 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by BusMgr on Sat Sep 11 15:26:23 2021.

Your posts in this thread are golden! I am most definitely going to bookmark this thread for future reference since I am personally invested in the Brooklyn and Queens bus redesigns, and want to make sure that the ideas that I am going to send to the MTA are reasonable ones that would benefit system and its riders.

To get back to your point though, that explains the redundancy of the Q102 as it pertains to the current bus network, it is a route that has been stuck in the past for several decades now. If the Q102 as is were to be eliminated, it would hardly be missed.

Queens Surface (as well as the MTA) wanted to divert it to Steinway (the MTA to Rikers Island) via 31st Street and 20th Avenue, but to be honest, Iím not sure if there is demand for such a route besides from feeding Steinway riders to the subway at Ditmars Boulevard. 31st Street has a lot of residential density, but relatively little job density outside of the areas near Broadway and Ditmars Boulevard. On top of that, any real point of interest that a 31st Street bus could take you due south, the (N) and (W) can too in a much more frequent and faster manner. The Q102 is a weak performer, and I think that 31st Street will always be a weak bus market for these reasons, but I actually like the MTAís proposal for a coverage route along the street between Rikers Island and the ferry landing in Hunters Point, since Court Square is pretty much the only place the (N) and (W) canít directly take you due south that a bus can.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Osmosis Jones on Sun Sep 12 01:19:30 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by BusMgr on Sat Sep 11 16:16:21 2021.

Thanks for the correction and troubled history behind this. Between this and what they have done to block the subway to LaGuardia Airport, reading this board will surely have you hating Astoria in no time lol.

They couldnít stand Rikers Island passengers being in their area so much, that Rikers Island passengers to this day have to circuitously meander their way all the way down to Queensbridge/Queens Plaza to get to the subway, when the Steinway Street and Ditmars Boulevard stations are much closer.

If a ďcrosstownĒ route to Ridgewood would perform poorly, then I think that Rikers Island riders would instead be better served by a route to either East Harlem or The Hub in The Bronx via the Astoria Boulevard station and RFK Bridge than the Q100. Another route to the Jackson Heights Bus Terminal thatís similar in concept to the Q70 could also do well. Either way, the city wants to close it, so this will all be moot in a few years.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Osmosis Jones on Sun Sep 12 01:26:20 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by BusMgr on Sat Sep 11 18:41:31 2021.

Thank you for your insight on my idea. After reading yours and Snilcherís responses, I agree that such a route would not perform too well. I think that there would most definitely be some riders looking to go to Rikers Island, the UPS Center near 55th Avenue, and between the commercial areas in Sunnyside and Ridgewood, but I canít see those demands being strong enough to support an efficient route, especially since thereís few points of interest in Steinway.

I love your idea for a north-south route between Ridgewood and the Marine Air Terminal though. I was going to propose two different BRT-style routes to the MTA which would fulfill similar purposes. One would travel between Ridgewood Terminal and the Jackson Heights Bus Terminal, and another between The Hub and the Jackson Heights Bus Terminal.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Osmosis Jones on Sun Sep 12 01:31:51 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by BusMgr on Sat Sep 11 18:54:52 2021.

Correct, most Q100 riders are visitors to the island, with a few workers and released detainees sprinkled in. Outside of visiting hours, the Q100 is actually pretty dead to Rikers Island. I fan the Q100/Q101 hawks quite frequently and Iím often times the only one on the bus for both routes although sometimes the Q101 might pick up a passenger headed to the subway along Steinway Street.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Osmosis Jones on Sun Sep 12 01:35:23 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Snilcher on Sat Sep 11 18:29:05 2021.

The Q53 pretty much does the same thing today after repeated requests from the community to do so for many years and does really well along Broadway. I have no doubt in my mind about a Roosevelt Island-Rego Park Broadway being an instant with the community. The current Q104 terminal is dumb. Long Island City High School is only a destination for 2 hours a day on school days, and no one takes the bus to shop at Costco lol.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Osmosis Jones on Sun Sep 12 01:40:26 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Osmosis Jones on Sun Sep 12 01:26:20 2021.

To give some feedback on your proposal, I like the idea. One thing I want to change for that area though is for the 74th Street bus and 82nd Street bus to swap northern terminals, so the 74th Street bus would terminate at the LaGuardia Airport Marriott via 23rd Avenue, while the 82nd Street bus would terminate at the Marine Air Terminal. Not only would this finally give the Marine Air Terminal 24/7 bus service to the Jackson Heights Bus Terminal, it would also give Marine Air Terminal riders a faster ride straight down 82nd Street to the subway.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Osmosis Jones on Sun Sep 12 01:44:42 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by BusMgr on Sat Sep 11 18:54:48 2021.

I have the feeling that Q53 service to Woodside is going to be toast soon anyways. The MTA wants to consolidate Woodhaven Boulevard bus service so that all buses end at Queens Center, which makes a crapload of sense from an operational/dispatching standpoint, but sucks for the riders, weíll see how that plays out though. Rockaway Park was not happy about potentially losing the Q53 at all, and justifiably so, itís more popular than the Rockaway Park Shuttle down there.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Osmosis Jones on Sun Sep 12 03:11:59 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Osmosis Jones on Sun Sep 12 01:40:26 2021.

Sorry to triple-post as well, but after reading your feedback Iím going to tweak my idea a little bit.

The route would instead run between 20th Avenue and Shore Boulevard and Ridgewood Terminal. It would serve Wyckoff Heights Hospital, UPS, and the 46th Street-Bliss Street station and then continue to Astoria via Queens Boulevard, 39th Street/Steinway Street, 30th Avenue, 31st Street, and Shore Boulevard.

This would connect the commercial area of Ridgewood with the commercial areas of Astoria, and you would get some additional turnover at Ditmars Boulevard station as well with passengers looking to travel between the (N)/(W) trains and 20th Avenue.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Allen45 on Sun Sep 12 06:42:51 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by BusMgr on Sat Sep 11 16:16:21 2021.

The Q100 makes stops within Astoria now.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by New Flyer #857 on Sun Sep 12 07:34:14 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Osmosis Jones on Sun Sep 12 01:44:42 2021.

Queens Center is overrated as a terminus. Only local subway services, no 7 train, no LIRR, no direct connection to LGA (unless the Q72 gets rerouted). Just because there's a mall there and it's an enormous junction (mostly of traffic trying to get by, not stick around) doesn't mean that buses should terminate there.

At the very least, if not Woodside, let the Q53 go over to meet up with the Q72 somewhere in Rego Park or, better, meet the 7 train at Junction Blvd or go further to LGA. Difficulty of course is that the Q53 is SBS and the Q72 isn't.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Snilcher on Sun Sep 12 10:56:38 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by New Flyer #857 on Sun Sep 12 07:34:14 2021.

let the Q53 go over to meet up with the Q72 somewhere in Rego Park

In other words, restore the Q53 to its original routing via Queens Blvd. and 63rd Drive to connect with the Q72.

I heard a long time ago that the Woodhaven Blvd. / Slattery Plaza station was set up in such a way as to facilitate its conversion to an express stop. Perhaps that could be acted upon.



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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Snilcher on Sun Sep 12 10:59:23 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Osmosis Jones on Sun Sep 12 00:38:00 2021.

I'm pretty sure that a Greenpoint/Roosevelt Aves. route was part of at least one pie-in-the-sky proposal for improving the Queens bus network, by one of the BusChat posters (NOT the MTA!).



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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Snilcher on Sun Sep 12 11:07:16 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Osmosis Jones on Sun Sep 12 01:03:12 2021.

In addition to all of your well-thought-out points, 31st Street is particularly bad for bus routing because of the elevated line posts in the middle of the road, making it challenging for buses to navigate between the single lane of through traffic and the curb for stops. Given that the Q102 serves only about half of 31st St. to begin with, and the bulk of the route is now between Queens Plaza and Roosevelt Island, it makes sense to build on that portion and not bother with the rest of it.

Since the portion of the Q102 between 31st St. and Astoria Houses is already duplicated by the Q18 and Q19, there's no need to worry about the loss of that service.

An earlier proposal for Queens bus service improvements (one that was incremental and far superior to the MTA proposal disaster) included an extension of the Q31 up 31st Street, past the Ditmars Blvd. subway terminus, to 20th Avenue (and beyond). That seemed logical to me, but as BusMgr wisely points out, there's not that much demand for it.


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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Snilcher on Sun Sep 12 11:14:32 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by BusMgr on Sat Sep 11 18:41:31 2021.

BusMgr, you nailed it with that last paragraph.

Regarding 69th Street -- and you're right that a continuous route along that street to Jackson Heights and beyond would be much more sensible -- the easiest improvement that could be made now would be to extend the Q18 from its current Grand Avenue terminus to the Metropolitan Avenue M station. That seems like a no-brainer to me.

In that Queens bus proposal I alluded to in another posting, that suggestion was made, accompanied by phasing out the Q67, which had very low ridership outside of the 69th St. corridor.



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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Snilcher on Sun Sep 12 11:20:53 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Osmosis Jones on Sun Sep 12 01:40:26 2021.

Your point about providing 24/7 service to the Marine Air terminal is a good one, but the Q33 (82nd Street bus) had its LaGuardia access removed for a practical reason: airport customers were crowding out, or being crowded out by, local residential customers. Routing the Q33 to the Marine Air terminal might bring back those problems, but perhaps it wouldn't be as bad because fewer airport workers go to that destination. After all, it didn't seem to be a problem for the Q47, did it?

A better solution to providing 24/7 service would be to have the Q70 serve both the main airport and the Marine terminal, like the Q48.

Anyway, who uses the Marine Air Terminal, generally?



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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by BusMgr on Sun Sep 12 14:33:08 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Osmosis Jones on Sun Sep 12 00:38:00 2021.

The original purpose of the B24 (Greenpoint Avenue) route was, like many others in the area, to serve a cemetery. It terminated on Greenpoint Avenue at Bradley Avenue, Blissville, one block away from the main gate of Calvary Cemetery (it did not go all the way because the Q67 operated along Greenpoint Avenue between Bradley Avenue and Hunters Point Avenue). It did make sense to continue the B24 up Greenpoint Avenue to at least Queens Boulevard, especially in light of the Q67 route having its Blissville detour eliminated and remaining on Borden Avenue.

By the turn of the century, Greenpoint Avenue had been built out as far as 58th Street, but no further, and no Roosevelt Avenue at all (it had been cobbled together from other local streets, along with some new street construction, so as to provide a right-of-way for the elevated BRT-IRT trains above to Corona, and eventually to Flushing). The primary road to Flushing was Northern Boulevard, and so during this era when so much of the surface transit system was being laid out there was no need to have such a route laid out. It was only in 1917 when the subway was built, and in 1925 when Fifth Avenue began the Q32 service, that Roosevelt Avenue finally developed into a significant transportation corridor (it was not until 1928, just after the bridge across Flushing Creek had been built, that the subway arrived in Flushing . . . after the Fifth Avenue bus had already been established, which terminated at the company's new garage on Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights). So there is historic reason why the B24, at the time of its establishment, would not have had Flushing in mind as a terminus: Greenpoint Avenue, while crossing Newtown Creek, was not a major arterial street.

Should the B24 (Greenpoint Avenue) service be extended to Flushing today? Geographically, it makes sense: there is a continuous street all the way from the East River to Flushing (and beyond to its junction with Northern Boulevard at 156th Street). But with a unified transit system (in place for the past 80 years), the establishment of new surface routes that duplicate the routes of rapid transit has been avoided (at least outside of Manhattan), and in some cases parallel surface routes have been suspended. The ones that exist now were established either prior to unification or by separate companies whose services were not acquired until more recently. I think it is more likely that the Q32 will be discontinued than new bus service being instituted on Roosevelt Avenue into Flushing (other than the NYCTA proposal, in its Queens bus route study, of relocating route Q58 so as to operate along Roosevelt Avenue between Main Street and 108th Street . . . but that is only to avoid the more circuitous route via the Long Island Expressway that was established prior to the opening of the Roosevelt Avenue bridge). Instead, the B24 (Greenpoint Avenue) route will go no further than 48th Street . . . or possibly the LIRR station at 61st Street (which would be near where Greenpoint Avenue ended at 58th Street at the turn of the century).

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by BusMgr on Sun Sep 12 14:33:29 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Osmosis Jones on Sun Sep 12 01:19:30 2021.

The was a lot of racial tension at that time, with the underlying concern being that of "white flight" and reduction of the property tax base. Homeowners were scared, and much policy arose from the politics of trying to stabilize the ethnic and economic status of neighborhoods. It existed in Astoria, but also elsewhere. The Queens bypass subway proposal, which would have provided an outlet for the 63rd Street subway stub and actually increase throughput in Queens, was opposed by Maspeth, Ridgewood, and Glendale, out of feat that increased accessibility would destabilize their communities, and bring in outsiders (by race and economic status), for which there was objection just as in Astoria. They had observed changes in the Rockaways, Coney Island, and elsewhere, and they had lived through the destruction accompanying the blackout. Some real estate companies stoked the fears, telling homeowners that if they did not sell now, their property values would decline, and some neighborhoods changed very quickly (consider how fast the Canarsie neighborhoods changed in recent years). The politicians reacted. They knew that if they didn't, their constituents and power base would relocate to Nassau County. It is a difficult issue because the concerns exist but many on all sides will dance around the subject.

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Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So.

Posted by Spider-Pig on Mon Sep 13 01:00:02 2021, in response to Re: Q66 Bus Stops Discontinued Every 4 Blocks Or So., posted by Snilcher on Sun Sep 12 11:20:53 2021.

I used it last week. Itís currently the terminal for JetBlue, and flights to/from FLL on Spirit.

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