Having numerous bus stops within Suffolk County communities is a vital resource, as public transportation is a lifeline that connects residents to one another and a world of opportunity. Yet, when …
Having numerous bus stops within Suffolk County communities is a vital resource, as public transportation is a lifeline that connects residents to one another and a world of opportunity. Yet, when bus stops are placed in dangerous locations, they may cause more harm than good.
This is the dilemma facing the Brightwaters community, as Suffolk County is in the process of adding two bus stops in locations that residents deem hazardous: the corner of Richland Boulevard and Howells Road, and the corner of Union Boulevard and Windsor Avenue.
The first bus stop proposed, located at the corner of Richland Boulevard and Howells Road, is near a few small businesses in the village. Yet, this location is also where Seneca Drive and Howells Road meet, sparking concern that a bus stop in this location would block the visibility of drivers.
According to officials, this location has become a very busy cut through to Bay Shore, with drivers consistently speeding. Last year, a pedestrian was killed crossing Howells at Brooklyn Boulevard, and a high-speed car hit a motorcycle coming out of Richland Boulevard this May, killing the rider. This is the same location as the proposed bus stop.
The second bus stop proposed by Suffolk County Transit, located on the corner of Union Boulevard and Windsor Avenue, is uniquely dangerous.
“It is a pedestrian island where they want to put [the bus stop] on; it just does not make sense,” Brightwaters mayor John Valdini explained. “When the bus stops there, it will be blocking Windsor North and South. It would be letting people off basically in the middle of the road, where there is a turning lane.”
There has been a pedestrian death on this corner as well.
In light of the perceived dangerous locations of both bus stops, Valdini urged Brightwaters residents to voice their concerns by contacting Suffolk County Legis. Steven Flotteron. Flotteron represents the 11th Legislative District of Suffolk County, which includes the Village of Brightwaters.
While many residents shared Valdini’s concerns, a few village residents accused the mayor of being against bus stops in the village. Valdini clarified that he is not anti-bus stop, but rather he is pro-safety.
“We are not against bus stops in the village; we just wish that they would communicate with us and meet with us to see if maybe there is a safer place to put it,” shared Valdini. “We do not want them to waste the opportunity to put bus stops in safe places where people will actually use them.”
In response to the safety concern of Brightwaters residents, Flotteron met with the person spearheading the new bus route program, bringing the residents’ safety concerns to the attention of Suffolk County Transit.
“We discussed the concern for safety at the corner of Richland and Howells Road, due to the recent fatalities within the last six months at the same corner… They appreciate that we brought these to their attention and are reviewing the legitimacy of these locations,” said Flotteron. “Also, we discussed that there are presently two bus stops in close proximity, east and west of the proposed new bus stop. It was explained that this is a pilot program, and the proposed stops can and will be evaluated based on these concerns.”