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Transportation & Environment

Request to Restore M34 Bus Stops on 34th Street at Lexington and Madison Avenues.

WHEREAS, The 34th Street Transitway is a multi-year project undertaken by the MTA, New York City Transit, and the New York City Department of Transportation to improve the speed, safety, and efficiency of all traffic -- vehicular, transit and pedestrian -- on 34th Street, from river-to-river; and

WHEREAS, A key element of the 34th Street Transitway is a bus priority system with dedicated bus lanes, as well as Select Bus Service that requires off-board fare collection for the heavily used M34 cross-town bus route; and

WHEREAS, In the current proposal, the MTA would eliminate M34 bus stops at Lexington and Madison Avenues in order to speed the time required to travel river-to-river; each of these M34 bus stops are transfer points:  at Lexington Avenue for the downtown M101, M102, M103, and M101LTD buses, and at Madison Avenue for the uptown M1, M2, M3, M4, Q32, M2LTD, and M4LTD; and

WHEREAS, Many members of the public have urged Community Board Five to convey their concerns about the elimination of these M34 bus stops, citing the long distances that would result between stops, including one stretch that is an incline and thus a challenge for elderly and handicapped travelers; and

WHEREAS, Many of the concerns came from the senior citizen community who noted that Murray Hill is a naturally occurring retirement community and relies on convenient access to the bus in order to maintain their mobility; and

WHEREAS, The elimination of these two bus stops would save less than three minutes of river-to-river transit time and since the final measure of the success of a transit system is that it effectively meets the transportation needs of its population, restoring these bus stops at popular transfer points potentially outweighs a marginal improvement in efficiency; and

WHEREAS, The MTA and NYC Transit need to finalize the M34 bus route and all its stops in order to construct the dedicated bus lanes; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Six, the Manhattan East Community Association, and the Murray Hill Neighborhood Association have all voted to urge the MTA and NYC Transit to restore the Lexington and Madison Avenues bus stops for both eastbound and westbound service on the M34 bus route; and

WHEREAS, In January 2011, Community Board Five unanimously approved the goals of the 34th Street Transitway and among the recommendations and principles detailed in its resolution, CB5 cited the need for accommodations for the elderly and physically handicapped in whatever final plans were implemented for the Transitway; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five urges the MTA and NYCT to reconsider the elimination of bus stops at Lexington and Madison Avenues for both eastbound and westbound service on the M34 bus route.  This reconsideration on the part of NYCT should also examine whether there is a potential for the removal of other stops along 34th Street in order to help advance the goals of fast and efficient bus service while recognizing the very real concerns Community Board Five has heard about the loss of these two bus stops and the impact on the surrounding community. 

The above resolution passed with a vote of 37 in favor, 2 opposed, 1 abstaining.

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