MTA buses are causing trouble. The East Side block (East 57th Street between 3rd and Lexington Avenues) is now completely overwhelmed — on a nightly basis — by these buses just “hanging around.” They are double parking, making noise and just sitting idling around, causing total bedlam. Well, the buses may be sitting idly by, but the residents certainly aren’t. In fact, along with store owners in the hood, they are looking to take out a class action suit against the MTA. These bus drivers are, without a doubt, not acting within the law. Apart from the nuisance of it all, it’s actually pretty dangerous too, according to store owner Bob Schagrin.
Indeed there are up to 500 buses — maybe more — that every day are stopping on just the north side of the street. They are so disruptive that even Manhattan Councilman Dan Garodnick is getting fed up. He has now written to the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the city’s Department of Transportation about how this is impacting New Yorkers.
It’s becoming so dangerous that Schagrin claimed he had “actually witnessed several people getting hit from buses turning off of 3rd Avenue and onto 57th Street.” Even the MTA admitted two years ago that this area had encountered the most accidents. And this is irrespective of noise and pollution which is affecting business. One restaurant owner said he couldn’t even keep the windows open in the summer due to the noise.
Belmora Pizza isn’t having a great time either. Mark Shapin from the store said that his store can’t even be seen from the other side of the street, yet they are still paying extremely high rent for the “privilege” of the street view.
So what is the MTA doing about this? Are they just behaving like these problematic buses and just sitting idly by? Apparently, according to one MTA spokesman, it is working on the case, seeking out more space for buses so that they can wait nearby. So far however, they have yet to come up with this solution and the problematic situation remains. Idling isn’t allowed, according to the MTA, but probably a significant majority of those who are impacted by these buses feel there is too much idling going on with buses and the lack of solution. Nonetheless, the MTA has committed to issue violations to drivers who are not following the rules.