This Website use Cookies OK

Read more NEW YORK News News

Queens businesses sue city over Fresh Pond Road bus lane


Mayor de Blasio’s drive to install more bus lanes across the five boroughs hit another speed bump on Wednesday.

A collective of 38 Queens business and property owners filed a lawsuit against the city in an effort to get rid of a half-mile bus lane the Department of Transportation recently added on Fresh Pond Road in the borough’s Ridgewood neighborhood.

The suit was filed by Arthur Schwartz, the same attorney who has for months been granted court orders to block the city’s plan to restrict car traffic on 14th St. in Manhattan.

The Fresh Pond Road lane is one of two dozen bus-oriented infrastructure upgrades announced by the mayor in April. The lane, which only occupies the southbound side of the street, has kicked cars out of 70 parking spaces between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays since it was finished on Aug. 27.

The city plans to finish all 24 of the bus projects by the end of the year — Fresh Pond was one of the first to be completed.

The small stretch of Fresh Pond Road carries the Q58 bus route, the busiest in Queens. The street is often jammed with double-parked cars and out-of-services buses heading into or out of a nearby Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus depot.

DOT officials said the lane would help reduce congestion during the evening rush and would be a boon to the Q58 route’s 27,000 daily riders.

Schwartz and the business owners argued that the city violated state law by not completing an environmental impact study before installing the lane. The group’s lawsuit also stated that removing the parking spaces for a few hours a day is an “unconstitutional taking of the petitioners’ property.”