Chinatown residents are strongly opposing Greyhound and Peter Pan’s plan to build a bus stop in their community which they feel would pollute and congest the area, the World Journal reported. The article below was translated from Chinese.
Bus companies Greyhound and Peter Pan‘s plan to launch a large curbside bus stop in Manhattan’s Chinatown is raising strong opposition from residents who say the location would adversely impact the health, safety and sanitation of their neighborhood.
Recently, community members put up fliers near the site of the proposed bus stop to urge people to attend and voice their objections at a public hearing of Community Board 3 on Sept. 11.
According to sources, Greyhound and Peter Pan see great business potential in Chinatown. They want to set up a large stop on the corner of Canal and Essex Streets to service their New York to Philadelphia route. The companies were to explain their plans at the Community Board meeting. They would need approval from New York City to obtain the permit to operate in Chinatown.
Some residents started an online discussion at the website Friends of Seward Park to voice their objections to the bus stop. The petition titled “No Greyhound Bus Stop Near Seward” has been signed by more than 600 people, more than originally expected. According to the website, Greyhound and Peter Pan hope to set up the stop at Essex St. and operate 28 buses between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Their first reason to oppose the plan, according to the website, is that the nearby area is residential and if 28 buses will be going back and fourth, it will change the community. The bus stop, they say, should be set up in industrial areas. There are also other reasons. The stop is next to the park where many kids play. The emissions from the buses would affect the kids and other residents using the park. The passengers with their luggage would impact foot traffic on the sidewalk and generate large amounts of garbage.
Ms. Chen, who owns a retail business near Canal and Essex Streets, said that the nearby area has many Chinese businesses and residents of all backgrounds. The residents mostly do not like the idea of a bus stop so close. However, as a business owner, she sees advantages and disadvantages. The businesses is the area are not very busy. If the bus stop is set up, then the passengers could become customers of the nearby restaurants, convenience stores and other businesses. However, the disadvantages are the noises and garbage. There may be safety concerns also. According to Ms. Chen, there is a Chinese bus company nearby with only a few buses a day and the passengers leave behind a lot of garbage.
On Aug. 17, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law on long distance buses companies that requires all operators to apply for bus stop permits with the local Department of Transportation. Violators face fines of up to $2,500 and licenses could be revoked. The law goes into effect in November.
The president of Community Board 3, Susan Stetzer, said that after the law becomes effective, New York City is authorized to ask the bus company to provide information on passengers, stops and destinations. The Department of Transportation will make a final decision on the bus stop, assessing how it impacts the community and residents.