April 24, 2007

Howard Roberts
MTA NYC Transit
2 Broadway
New York, NY 10004

RE: Elimination of Fifth Avenue bus stop on the M23 Line

Dear Mr. Roberts:

First, let me congratulate you on your appointment to head Metropolitan Transit Authority New York City Transit (NYCT). I look forward to working with you to continually improve the important public transportation systems in my district and around the City.

I write to alert you to a recent problem along the M23 bus line, also known as the 23rd Street Crosstown. Since the stop at Fifth Avenue, near the Broadway bowtie intersection, was removed last year, my office has received several complaints from bus riders who must now either walk a greater distance between stops, or be forced to cross a busy, complicated intersection.

I understand that the elimination of the stop was in keeping with transit routes along other Broadway bowtie intersections, and that this change was made specifically to accelerate the service of the M23 bus. However, many of the complaints I have heard are from senior citizens-and while they appreciate the speed in service, it is hard for them to travel the greater distance or traverse the wide double intersection. While such problems may exist along every bus route in the City, I suspect it may be greater at this location, given the substantial number of seniors who live near the 23rd Street corridor in developments such as Penn South, London Terrace, and Elliot-Chelsea Houses.

This area of 23rd Street is also a hub for blind and otherwise disabled New Yorkers. Visions at Selis Manor (created by the nonprofit Associated Blind, Inc.) and United Cerebral Palsy are both located within two blocks from the bowtie intersection. Each has reported to my office that the elimination of the bus stop made it much more difficult for their clients to travel to and from their centers, since they must learn new routes, travel farther, and cross a dangerous intersection.

I urge you to reconsider the MTA's decision to eliminate the M23 Fifth Avenue bus stop, and to give particular consideration to the large number of elderly and disabled New Yorkers who use the route.

Thank you for your attention this matter. Feel free to contact me in my district office at (212) 633-8052. If I am not available, please ask for Adam Riff who is working with me on this matter.


Thomas K. Duane

New York State Senate
29th District

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