2008-08-29 / Letters

Missing Bus Sign

Dear Editor,

Let me tell you a little story of Balkanization, which has to do with bureaucracy and how sheepishly people who should know better, take a tin sign as a matter of authority. The former Green and Triboro Coach companies were made into something called the MTA Bus Company. When someone, either trying to beat a parking ticket or avoid one, ripped down the bus stop sign at Beach 106 Street - many drivers refused to stop or pick up passengers at what had obviously been a bus stop for twenty or more years. It is virtually across the street from a bus shelter on the opposite side of the street. I found, through many calls, that the signs are the responsibility of the Department of Transportation.

The people at the D.O.T. looking at their chart acknowledge this, and said the bus stop sign should be across the "T" formed by the end of the Beach 106 Street at the Surfside buildings. Right, they must have a chart of bus stops.

Unfortunately, an incompetent employee of the D.O.T. placed a no parking Friday sign where the bus stop sign should be, and placed a bus stop sign, illogically, 75 feet away.

Drivers and passengers, who assume that some higher authority willed this, believe the bus stop had been moved. It took two more weeks but the people at D.O.T. understood the error and said they were understaffed and would correct the signage as soon as possible.

I am happy to report that after a month as of August 15, the sign for the bus stop is now back where it has always been. The people at the D.O.T are great, know when the official bus stops should be, but employees of the D.O.T. and MTA bus company with no experience or sense of spacing and logic, chose to believe that a bus stop had been moved to within 100 feet of the next stop.

What this means is that the dumbest person (the sign erector) determines where the bus stop should be, using no common sense about the spacing of bus stops; and that bus drivers will, following the error of the sign erector, not accept the word of experienced passengers and only stop at a sign.

A computerized train on the Airtrain with no driver knows where to stop. What kind of test do you have to flunk to be an MTA driver? Are those people given a second opportunity as sign erectors? Sorry for the sarcasm, but this just exceeds belief. There is actually a D.O.T. map to be followed. Why do the people at the Far Rockaway Depot not give a damn and why is it impossible to get a phone call answered at the MTA Bus Company?

Thank you D.O.T. for immediately understanding the problem but being understaffed, needing several weeks to make the correction.

Attention Binder and Binder and Weitz and Luxemberg, this may be a fruitful area beyond mesothelioma.

STANLEY SCHULMAN

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