Today Mark Levine sent an open letter to Department of Transportation Commissioner Sadik-Khan on the need for Select Bus Service (SBS) on 125th Street, from river to river. Below is Mark's letter.
Dear Commissioner Sadik-Khan:
I am writing to express my strong support of the proposed Select Bus Service (SBS) route along 125th Street in Harlem. Only about 20% of residents in Council District 7 and Community Board 9 own cars, with the overwhelming majority relying primarily on public transportation. Having SBS cross 125th Street, from river to river, would dramatically improve bus service for these residents. Traveling by bus on 125th Street is currently slower than the average walking speed. Without dedicated bus lanes for Select Bus Service, traveling crosstown (and beyond) is often a nightmare. Not implementing SBS on 125th Street will continue to negatively impact Council District 7 residents, Harlem residents, and other New Yorkers who could have used the route.
SBS service on 125th Street will have economic advantages to the communities impacted as well. Improving bus lines by using SBS has been shown to bring more people to areas where it has been implemented, which will directly benefit small businesses along the new route. 125th Street is a commercial corridor that is plagued by traffic congestion. Improving pedestrian transport to and from 125th by adding off-board fare collection, new signal technologies, and bus lanes will help existing small business owners, and make the area attractive to people considering opening a small business on and around 125th Street.
It is my hope that the Select Bus Service route can be moved forward as quickly as possible. The need is clear, as is the solution, and it is my hope that I can work with you, the residents of District 7, and mass transit riders on this issue in the coming weeks and months, and beyond.
Mark is encouraging residents of District 7, and those that whose lives could be improved by SBS on 125th to write their own letters, and send them to:
Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, New York City Department of Transportation, 55 Water Street, New York, NY 10013.