The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

SBS - Not Just For Manhattan No More

I don't know about y'all, but I'm tickled pink that the new Select Buses are coming to, or rather through, Lefferts. Rogers and Nostrand ride like ice these days, thanks to the new B44 SBS thang happening and concurrent repairs to the streets. If you haven't gotten on an SBS bus before you're in for a treat. You just hop on. No fare reader. You pay before you play. It's like, it's's like EUROPE! There are even KGB-like spies that ride the buses just to catch fare evaders. The whole wacky production looks like this:

Here's a key to the numbers:
1. Pay on the street More than a third of all bus delays can be attributed to the time it takes passengers to board. Here they will swipe their MetroCards at street kiosks before the bus arrives.
2. Enter at the back A new fleet of buses improve boarding time by being lower to the ground—and allowing rear-door entrance.
3. Hold the light green Soon after Select Bus Service launches, buses will be equipped with “signal prioritization” technology that tells upcoming traffic lights to delay turning red.
4. Own the lane A painted lane will be reserved for buses, and cameras will photograph stray cars and trucks. But some activists—and politicians—criticize the program for not including physically separated lanes.

If you've ridden an SBS in Manhattan then you know why I'm hyped. These buses are faster by quite a bit, and the experience of boarding a bus at any orifice without swiping a card is practically luxurious.

But here's the question you may be asking, which I reached around and grabbed right out of the back of your head: WHY SHOULD I GIVE A DAMN ABOUT A BUS I NEVER TAKE AND HAVE NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IN MY LIFE? Well I'll tell you why. This thing runs the length of the borough, from Cheepshead Bay (as a Chilean friend calls it) to the Williamsburg Bridge. Folks, there are times when you will WANT to go somewhere in the borough that falls along that line, or intersects with a bus or train on that line, and now you have a way to get there quickly. And check out the lines it crosses with at these always EXPRESS express stops. The A at Fulton? Hello Rockaways and JFK. The G at Lafayette? Hello Greenpoint. Hello north Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy and...drum roll. Hello Williamsburg! South Williamburg, sure, but hey there's a bunch of hip happenin' hot spots now within a slick bus ride of your home. You can go and find out just how old you are AND drop a cool Benjamin on artisanal sliders and designer brews for two. Just hop on at Clarkson or Empire on Rogers and you're golden and poorer. And they run pretty often too. Just look at the map:

Check out the bus "bulbs." Check out the service and speed. Because the SBS 44 starts this Sunday, November 17th, and a seat is waiting with YOUR name on it.

Oh, and yes, those were street painters out today, getting ready to rewrite the book on Flatbush Avenue driving lanes. Not a moment too soon...


BossyRossy said...

i have to say....I hate this concept during the 12 time span of 7am to 7pm. Rush hour is 7-10am and 4-7pm. These times would coincide with the no parking stips on the streets. rendering auto traffic to 1 lane is just plain dumb.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Suspend your disbelief for a moment and look how it works elsewhere. They're not doing this to thwart you...they're doing it because it works. Darting in and out is the primary problem with traffic snarls and slowdowns. I've seen their studies, and I'm a believer.

Patience, young Jedi.

Unknown said...

SBS is awesome! I hope the B41 is next. Then by some miracle maybe, just maybe, they'll add bus service along Ocean Ave.

BossyRossy said...

I will not be moved on this one. Not with the rogue 3 lanes of double parked cars on Nostrand and the parked police cruiser at each intersection. How is this supposed to make riding down Nostrand or Rogers faster unless you are on the bus....WHICH I AM NOT.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Wow Bossy. Nostrand has been cited as one of the most dangerous avenues for years. It moves TOO fast. And this will only ensure that it's safer. There will be much less parking during rush hours - it's becoming No Standing in most places.

Should we really worry about your ability to "gun it" over safety and public transportation? If you're unable to get where you're going, then write back here. There are always tweaks to be made, and DOT has proven it's as much about car flow as ANYTHING. There goal is ALWAYS to keep cars moving. But I'm forever blown away by car owners' selfishness. You have no right to a freeway through residential neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

I'm excited about the bus only lanes, but from what I've seen so far there seems to be zero enforcement! The speeds that people drive up Rogers Avenue are a joke.