Hundreds of Lower East Siders breathed a sigh of relief yesterday after the NYC Department of Transportation changed their minds about the proposed Greyhound YO! Bus stop next to Seward Park and decided not to approve it. The community was in an uproar last week when the DOT announced that they would be ignoring Community Board 3’s unanimous vote in order to grant the green light for the station, but it seems the voices of the neighborhood have finally been heard. “We are very pleased that the Department of Transportation has decided not to go forward with the bus stop currently approved at 3 Essex Street,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Councilmember Margaret Chin in a collective letter. “Our community has spoken loudly and clearly. Now, we urge DOT to go back to the Community Board and work with its members, as well as the public, in a collaborative manner to come up with a solution that works for our neighborhood.”
A few days ago, local politicians State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Councilmember Margaret Chin rallied in a joint letter to the DOT stating their utter disappointment at the approval of the bus stop for the venture by Greyhound and Peter Pan bus lines. Although the approved lease would be temporary – just six months before reevaluating – the politicians, backed by local citizens and Community Board 3, felt that the DOT needed to listen to residents (who would be impacted the most), and act accordingly.
To say the community strongly opposed the bus stop is an understatement. Aside from worrying about increased traffic and emissions from idling buses, the community was concerned about how the loss of Seward Park would affect the children and elderly of the area. A petition signed by over 1,300 community members caused CB3 to unanimously vote against the bus station only to be ignored shortly thereafter by the DOT.
But it looks like community outcry and supporting media from publications like this one finally helped to sway the DOT to reevaluate and turn to the community to find an appropriate location for the bus stop. We couldn’t be happier – power to the people!