Mill Island Civic Association held its first meeting of 2023 on February 23rd at Temple Sholom, 2075 East 68th Street, where one of the main points of discussion was the proposed changes to the B2 and B100 bus lines.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), the governmental agency in charge of public transit, announced its Brooklyn Bus Network Redesign plan on December 1st. The plan will redesign bus routes across the borough to keep them up to date with current population and commuting trends, and it includes altering, shortening, lengthening and cutting various bus lines.
In this community, the B2, which connects the Kings Highway B/Q station to Kings Plaza Shopping Center by running along Avenue R, is proposed to be retired from service. Part of the B100’s route would be moved from Quentin Road onto Avenue R to replace that stretch of the B2’s route. Additionally, some stops would be cut from the B100 to make it run faster, which may also result in some riders having to walk farther between stops.
The redesign is intended to make the buses run faster and more efficiently, as well as to better match commuter patterns that have changed over the years, MTA media liaison Kayla Shults told the Canarsie Courier previously.
However, many residents are unhappy with the possible changes.
“Things work and then someone says, ‘Oh, let’s fix it,’” Community Board 18 District Manager Sue Ann Partnow said at the civic meeting.
Multiple attendees complained about the proposed changes, one even mentioning that the MTA should look at the area’s high property taxes and use that as a reason to not alter service. To be clear, property taxes, socioeconomic status or any other identifier of communities were not a factor in the redesign plan.
“This is essential, essential, and it’s discrimination, absolute discrimination toward these neighborhoods,” another attendee said. “As someone born in Marine Park and used the B2, and now living here, the B100, and has not and has never environmentally had a car, I depend on this. Even people with a car, they work in Manhattan, they use the trains.”
Community members who have thoughts on the proposal are encouraged to attend the MTA’s Zoom community workshop meeting on March 9th at 6:30 p.m. to give MTA representatives their opinions of the plan. You have to register in advance and select the option for Community Board 18. The link to register is: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdBhhVVUVULQfTCPT1D9m4GTIS3HkLBdgPdspBO-EYT1jlP7g/viewform
Partnow added other updates, including an empty building near the old Red’s toy factory on Strickland Avenue, which is currently supposed to be converted into a boy’s yeshiva school. Attendees voiced concern that if the yeshiva plan falls through, an apartment building, hotel or homeless shelter will pop up there, but Partnow assured them that would not be happening.
The district manager requested two stoplights from the city for the community. One will be on Temple Sholom’s corner at East 68th Street and Avenue U, and the other will be at the corner of East 69th Street and Veteran’s Avenue by Roy H. Mann Junior High School.
Eileen O’Brien, a representative for Assemblywoman Jaime Williams, shared some announcements. Williams’ office will be hosting two upcoming paper shredding events and is holding a Black History Month essay contest for middle schoolers in her district. A full list of programs can be found on her website.
Mill Island Civic Association First Vice Chair Dr. A. Sinesi also announced that the civic would be meeting every other month moving forward. This is partially due to low attendance but also because the meetings can be difficult for the board to arrange.