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Commuter nightmares to be shared at town hall

Rose holding transportation summit in Bath Beach

BATH BEACH — Rotten R train service, bad timing on the B16 bus, aggravating waits for Access-A-Ride and parking problems are some of the troubling topics expected to come up at a transportation summit U.S. Rep. Max Rose is holding next week.

Rose, who is calling the meeting a “Commuting Town Hall,” will host the session on Friday, Oct. 4, at Il Centro, the Italian-American community center at 8711 18th Ave., at 7 p.m. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Rose, a Democrat representing Southwest Brooklyn and Staten Island, said he is holding the town hall to hear directly from constituents about their commuting nightmares.

“The needs of Staten Island and South Brooklyn have been left out of major transit improvements for far too long, Rose said in a statement.

Rose said he has worked on several transportation issues since taking office in January, but that more needs to be done.

Representatives from New York City Transit and the New York City Department of Transportation will be at the town hall.

I’m proud of what we’ve done in just nine months to turn that tide, but there’s no one silver bullet, and no one single agency that can solve our commuting nightmare. I’m looking forward to bringing the city, the state and the federal government together in the same room so the people of Staten Island and South Brooklyn can hold all of us accountable,” Rose said.

Josephine Beckmann, district manager of Community Board 10 (Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights), said residents in her area have numerous concerns about transportation.

“The R train has the slowest service. There are also frequent closures,” she told the Home Reporter, explaining that the train is often shut down on weekends for repair work.

Beckmann, who often speaks at senior citizen centers, said many older adults have complained to her about bad bus service, particularly on the B16 line. The bus runs from Bay Ridge to Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. “We hear a lot from the seniors. They wait a long time for the bus,” she said.

In addition, Beckmann said, local buses like the B16, B37, B64 and B1 have lengthy routes, a situation that can add several minutes to the waiting time for passengers.

Another problem is the city’s Access-A-Ride program, a transportation service for the elderly and disabled. “We hear a lot of complaints about it,” Beckmann said.

But the most common complaint from local residents has to do with parking, according to Beckmann. “Illegal parking is our Number One complaint to 311,” she said, referring to the city’s 311 telephone hotline for quality of life complaints.

Marnee Elias-Pavia, district manager of Community Board 11 (Bath Beach-Bensonhurst), used one word to describe the biggest transportation problem in her area.

“Parking, parking, parking,” she told the Home Reporter.

One woman Elias-Pavia recently spoke with told her she often has to drive around her neighborhood for an hour to hunt down a parking space.

“We’re hearing from residents about the lack of parking spaces,” she said, adding that the dearth of on-street parking “is a symptom of a larger issue.”

Parking spaces are disappearing from the local landscape, she said.

Homeowners who build illegal curb cuts are removing parking spaces from the streets. Another factor is that in certain parts of Bensonhurst, developers are not required under zoning laws to build on-site parking when they construct new housing.

“This is a neighborhood with high car ownership. And we have seen an increase in our population,” Elias-Pavia said.

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