New York City Transit officials and city politicians gathered this morning in Queens to celebrate the opening of the new Ridgewood Intermodal Terminal. Located at the Myrtle/Wyckoff L/M subway stop, the new terminal is designed to simplify a complex system of bus stops while facilitating a transfer between these buses and the popular subway lines they feed.
“This facility creates a much improved transfer point, making it easier for our customers to transfer between our bus and subway services,” NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast said. “Additionally, our operating personnel will find it easier to pick up and discharge passengers on a street dedicated to bus boarding and unloading.”
The project cost $4 million with most of that provided by Assembly rep Catherine T. Nolan via the Capital Reserve Fund along with a $485,000 contribution of federal funds secured by House representative Nydia Velazquez. For the most part, the upgrades are aesthetic. Riders will benefit from new sidewalk canopies suspended from the elevated train lines that carry the M along Palmetto Street, and new benches and lighting mark the Terminal as well.
Transit operations too are simplified. No longer will the Q55, Q58, B13, B26, B52, and B54 buses stop at random spots throughout the area. Instead, Palmetto Street will be shut to all traffic except for buses and deliveries will serve as the centralized bus boarding area. “The residents of Ridgewood deserve reliable and effective transportation,” Velazquez said. “Establishing a new bus terminal and improving the station will not just enhance commuter service; it will also help rejuvenate the community by bringing more visitors to our city.”
As a regular user of that area, I say meh. Other than the transfer between the L/M and the Q55 or Q58, it is more of a O/D point than a transfer point for most passengers. This does little, if anything, to address the pedestrian flow between the Q55 and the nearest subway entrance, which is a single staircase on the north corner of Palmetto and Wyckoff. That single staircase is also the access point for the other bus stops at the terminal. There is a passageway that goes under both Palmetto and Myrtle and exits on the south side of Myrtle, but that only serves passengers transferring from the B52, B26 and Q58. People would have to cross Myrtle Avenue again to access the terminal on that side.
It doesn’t have the volume of the Main Street/Roosevelt Avenue area or Jamaica Center, but I understand how the arrangement is set up to mimic those terminals. What will be interesting to see is what happens when the L train has a shuttle that terminates here. In the past, Palmetto Street was used to layover the buses and Q55 passengers had to get off and board across Wyckoff.
Probably the only good thing to come from this is the federal funding secured by Representative Velasquez for the sprucing up of an area that does at times seem dingy. But while I do respect her, I don’t agree that this restructuring “will also help rejuvenate the community by bringing more visitors to our city.” Is this terminal really an attraction?
I will say it looks better, especially in conjunction with the Myrtle-Wyckoff station, which is really nice. But agree with above their needs to some better street work done to improve pedestrian flow. There are just too many streets and crossing traffic in that area to feel it’s safe.
Also there is a large retail space or two — unused — on the Myrtle side of the station. To make this area truly multimodel it would be fantastic if that was a bike station with indoor parking, bike repair and services. That would truly improve connectivity to the station and the area especially as MTA buses still don’t have bike racks.
If there was a subway entrance where the Duane Reade is, that would be nice. Or even on Palmetto across from the KFC to avoid the crossing of Myrtle or Wyckoff.
Or better on street markings and bulb outs could be made with better signaling. And sometimes I feel there is so little traffic on Wyckoff, especially east of Myrtle. Perhaps that should be closed off, especially with that prime open space of the Food Bazaar parking lot — which would make/should make a great location for a dense, multi-use infill development — probably not realistic and won’t hold my breath for either. But I can dream!
No, of course not, but that’s the boilerplate lingo they use to justify this stuff. It’s just meaningless blather; not meant to be taken literally. They can’t just come out and say, “this area is a dump, give me some money to pretty it up”. The important point is getting your hands on a tidy pile of money, which always looks good on your resume during the run-up to the next election.
It’s a rather non-trivial transfer point, however.
They can’t just come out and say, “this area is a dump, give me some money to pretty it up”.
Really? That’s unfortunate. Politicians in other cities I’ve lived — San Francisco, Chicago, DC — were quite comfortable calling for Main Street or streetscaping improvements. In fact they did it regularly. Considering that at some point — by the looks of the pavers used probably in the 1980s — someone did exactly that in Ridgewood, perhaps the business improvement district? Now the Myrtle Ave part in Bushwick could use some help, although part of the problem there is that over the last 15 years several anti-urban and transit oriented developments have not only been accepted but pushed by those very same politicians, including two — TWO! — fast food restaurants with large parking lots and drive-thru windows as well as a strip mall with off street parking.
So maybe the problem is they are fulling willing to say, hey this area is a dump give me money, but they have zero idea about how to improve it.
I hope that that hut is just a prop!
Nope, that really is the dispatchers’ (I suppose) shelter.
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