Don't use Sackett Street for the B-71 bus route!

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We have been apprised of a proposal advocated by our Councilman, Brad Lander, to reroute a restored B-71 bus down Bond Street, turning left to run along Sackett Street until Van Brunt. As homeowners and tenants of Sackett Street, we believe this is a terrible dangerous idea. Sackett is a narrow road with speed bumps; there is barely enough room to accommodate parking our cars on either side while providing a bike lane, not to mention double-parking for alternate side days. The wear and tear from daily bus route vibrations on our sidewalks, trees and house foundations, the adverse effect on our property values, the loss of parking spaces, the additional noise—all these factors, real to us, might be dismissed by others as NIMBY selfish thinking. But consider this: 1) we have a history of sinkholes on the block between Hoyt and Smith; 2) our blocks are part of the Department of Transportation Boerum Hill Neighborhood Slow Zone, put in place to reduce crashes and “enhance quality of life by reducing cut-through traffic and traffic noise in residential neighborhoods.” Bringing in the bus will necessitate removing the speed bumps, and we and our children will become subject to the dangers and noise of 50mph traffic (as we were in the past), in addition to bus noise. This would effectively remove us from the Slow Zone, and destroy all its benefits; 3) the bike lane, an essential link in the larger network, would have to go, because Sackett Street is too narrow to provide for both a bus lane and a bike lane.

All in all, a bus would negatively affect the quality of life on some of the most tranquil, pleasant residential streets in Brownstone Brooklyn, and that would, therefore, constitute a loss in urbanity for the city as well as our neighborhood. Such amenities do not arise easily, and should not be taken for granted, or casually discarded.

Fortunately, there are other possible solutions for the new B-71 route, such as Third Street, which is much wider, more commercial and more logical choice. At the very least, we who are most affected by this proposed change have a right to register our input. Let’s make our voices heard before it’s too late. If you agree, please sign this petition, and we will circulate it to Councilman Lander, our other local representatives and the MTA.