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Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park, Sheepshead to B31, B2 and B4: “Drop Dead”

B31 Early Morning

On January 24th the MTA held its very public budget hearing and guess what, not one person from Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park or Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach went to save the B31, B2 or B4.

According to various news reports more than 500 people gave a loud and clear message to the MTA board’s by showing up to testify for their respective buses. The meeting went past midnight to allow testimony.

As a community, we stand to lose the MOST if these services are to be cut. The B31 would have daily overnight service cease between 1:30 and 4:30 a.m. The B4 and B2 would not have any weekend service. Since we had not a single person at the hearing we will now lose the most.

My petition which got about 300 signatures was handed over to Marty Goldens office which Martys office had collected a total of 500 signatures (not sure if thats 500 with mine or without mine). Although petitions are good and all, when the MTA sees heads and faces protesting service cuts for specific buses, it holds more weight than a stack of petitions.

Lew Fidler stated at the last property owners meeting that he does not believe that the services will be cut. He is “very optimistic” that these service cuts will “go away” after the state adopts a payroll tax of 1/3 of 1/2. He also wants his constitutients to know that the tolling of the east river bridges has nothing to do with the planned cuts. The toll money would be designed to increase service, not to stop the cuts.

17 comments to Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park, Sheepshead to B31, B2 and B4: “Drop Dead”

  • debbie

    Sorry Net.. But there was somebody there.. ME. I was looking out for anyone else I knew from the neighborhood.. but I was the only one. The entire MTA board was there and everyone who wanted to speak had to register and they had a grand total of 3 minutes to make their point before the next person was called up. The first one at the podium was Marty Markowitz and he expressed his outrage and named a bunch of specific cuts, but not the B31. Marty Golden was next on the podium and he too went into a tirade about all of the cuts and what it was going to do to the communities-he DID mention the B31. There are transcripts of the meeting for anyone who is interested. I did register to speak, but I had to leave after 2.5 hrs (I have a young baby at home) and they were far from calling my number. According to one of the many books of proposed cuts that were being handed out the B31 is supposed to be cut from approx 1:30 to 4:30am. While this is not a very busy time, cutting off the only public transportation we have is still not ok. We’ll see what happens. There was a huge amount of more serious problems -especially doubling the prices of access-a-rides (sock it to the old and sickly.. way to go people) and totally doing away with bus lines in other neighborhoods. I encourage anyone remotely interested to check out the transcripts or try to catch the next round of meetings! There is some decent info here http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2008/11/20/2008-11-20_highlights_of_mtas_budget_cuts-2.html

    • anonymous

      If you didn’t get a chance to represent GB then NOBODY from GB was there as far as the MTA is concerned. We just like to hear ourselves talk and when it comes time to take action no one steps up.
      I also have a baby at home and when I asked everyone I saw if they were going they all had some reason not to go. I stayed home, I don’t even take the bus at nite anyway. I signed the petition because it was sooooo easy. I love this site! I can come here anonymously, bitch, moan, and complain about everyone and everything and then sit back and watch tv.

      • debbie

        Yes.. so we see.. anonymously bitch and moan- good job. The fact of the matter is, there was no 2 way discussion in that meeting. It was one person after another yelling at the board who glazed over after the first 15 minutes. Sorry I didn’t stay until the 6th hour of complaints to get my 3 minutes in, but I DID treck my ass out in the snow and sleet (yes it was in the middle of an ice storm) to downtown Brooklyn to make sure something was said about our bus line, and there was- by Marty Golden who holds a little more water than me. So continue to find your excuses and bitch about things that don’t even concern you, that seems to be what you are best at.

  • trainman

    Every time we have a slow down in the economy we always hear the old tired song coming out of Albany and City Hall. Raise taxes and cut services for the working class in the city. How come we never hear about our elected officials taking a pay cut during a recession? How come we haven’t heard a word about any reduction in the financial the city is giving to the two ball stadium being built a city? How come when good times return they don’t reinstate the service cuts and restore our taxes to its previous level? That last question was rhetorical. We’ll know when there’s excess funds in the city banks they use that money to expand the government and feed their pet projects.

  • mike

    What Lew doesn’t mention is that we could infact use east river bridge tolls to fund operating costs (and not just capital costs), and that he is partly to blame for congestion pricing’s failure and the lack of movement around East river bridge tolls. he is just trying to cover his ass. what a pathetic failure of leadership.

  • Lew from Brooklyn

    I take CREDIT and not blame for defeating congestion pricing. For the record. And when I opposed congestion pricing, I was responsilbe enough to propose an alternative. That plan included a one third of one percent regional payroll tax. In fact, I introduced a resolution in the City Council calling for its imposition at that time. Had the State taken my proposal up then instead of congestion pricing, there would be $1.3 billion dollars in the MTA coffers and we would not even be discussing increasing the fare or cutting services.

    As to the East River tolls, what I said was in fact exactly what the Ravitch report says, and what Ravitch testified to at the Committee hearing at the Council: The payroll tax supports the fare, current service levels and the capital plan. The Bridge tolls would go to INCREASE bus service through Bus Rapid Transit, a proposal that will not work for neighborhoods like ours. Any plan that is predicated upon clearing all lanes of traffic of parked cars on Nostrand Avenue during the morning rush will not work. And if it did, it would put dozens of local small businesses out of business.

    Those are the facts. You may disagree with my position, but facts are facts.

    Lew from Brooklyn

    • Although there is no way to tell if this is actually LEW FIDLER

      There are his positions to a T.

    • mike

      No Lew, you deserve blame, and you will continue to be called out until you stand up for ALL your constituents in a fair and equitable manner. Your constituents deserve to know that you have no real plan to help the MTA, and that your opposition to congestion pricing/east river bridge tolls was simply pandering to the wealthier minority of folks in your district who support you.

      Your “alternative” was bunk, and you know this. You wanted to impose an inequitable tax on folks, instead of charging the tiny amount of Manhattan-bound car commuters in your district while the poor and middle class overwhelmingly benefited.

      P.S. I appreciate your participation in forums such as these.

  • OnAnOnAnOnAnOn

    MTA has all these plans for multi-billion dollar projects and capital construction. Why don’t they work on existing problems with regular service before trying to add more to their plates?

    • mike

      Good question. We DO desperately need expansion, but yes, the MTA is paying an enormous amount of money each year on debt service. Our funding mechanisms have not kept up with the times. It’s time to make ALL parties pay their fair share.

  • Lew from Brooklyn

    Such bunk that Gene Russianoff, Transportation Alternatives, the MTA Board are now all endorsing my Payroll Tax plan openly and aggressively. That was their testimony on video tape at the city council. MY PLAN, the one that you think is “bunk” is going to save the fare, prevent service cuts and psy for the essential capital projects that will allow mass transit to adequately service riders. I repeat: if they had done that when congestion pricing was being debated and when I first proposed it, we would not now be talking about service cuts or fare increases. So, I guess “bunk” is in the eye of the beholder.

    PS Even at the time of the congestion pricing debate, MTA exdcutive staffers told me off the record that they did not understand why they didn’t adopt my plan which they preferred to congestion pricing. One reason why? In my plan, 99 cents out of every dollar collected from taxpayers went to support the plan. Under congestion pricing, it was 50 cents for collection costs out of every dollar taken from New Yorkers.

    Lew from Brooklyn

    • mike

      Lew, understand that East River bridge tolls are inevitable in some fashion, whether you like them or not.

      I predict that in a few years you will wonder why you ever thought of opposing them.

  • Lew from Brooklyn

    Mike, the only inevitables are death and taxes. Tolls are not inevitable. Once a toll is instituted its perpetual existence is inevitable.

    Not on my watch.

    Lew from Brooklyn

    • mike

      Well, then start packing.

    • Gerritsen Girl

      Congestion pricing is not the answer, just more revenue for the MTA, it won’t help anything, they will just take that revenue and still cut services and raise fares. The MTA has a monopoly on this city, the strike taught us that and they don’t give a happy rat’s ass what we say or do.

      If you really believe that going to these stupid hearings change anything just keep waiting for the Tooth Fairy, Santa oh yeah you’ll also be seeing the Easter Bunny. They are rife with corruption, I don’t hear anyone not taking a raise or pay cut to help stem the flow.

      Wasn’t there a case of cooked books a while back, you don’t hear about that much do you? It’s a joke and congestion pricing it just a joke, remember the Verrazano bridge was just supposed to be tolled until it was paid off? Well now you pay $10.00 to cross over it, don’t think that will happen with the East river bridges? Grow up.

  • robert paulson

    There are other solutions to this problem then just taxing more or cutting service. Unfortunately the media, including this website, choose to ignore them. Use google people…

  • bagels

    Thats a nice new bus they have there……