It’s become the norm for one Ferry Point neighborhood—bus drivers trapping residents in their own homes.
They’re known to block driveways, gossip and mouth off to locals.
“I shouldn’t have to ask permission to get out of my driveway,” griped Suzie Gonzalez, an 11-year Harding Ave. resident.
She’s spent years wrangling with drivers from the Bx42 bus, running from Morris Heights to Ferry Point.
It’s at the dead end street on Harding and Emerson avenues where operators idle for minutes before looping back to re-start their route.
Gonzalez’s latest encounter happened as she was on her way to a bridal shower when two buses pulled up alongside the curb, blocking her from leaving.
A heated back and forth argument ensued with the bus driver telling a fellow driver Gonzalez “needs to wait.”
Adding to the grief was the driver deliberately taking his time to return to his bus, even as Gonzalez blared her horn.
But the problem is not just confined to Gonzalez. Her friend and neighbor Linda Alvarado has spotted these buses numerous times.
In one instance, a driver left her bus unattended one morning, keeping Alvarado from leaving.
“You’re not supposed to abandon the bus,” said Alvarado. “And why are you blocking your driveway at 7:40 in the morning?”
Minutes passed, and the driver appeared with breakfast in her hand.
Meanwhile, she and her husband were slapped with a $200 ticket for unloading boxes outside their driveway. The curbside is part of city property, designated as a “No Standing Zone.”
Much like Alvarado, Gonzalez was at her wits end, outraged this ongoing issue showed no signs of stopping.
“I call 311, I get no answer,” she said. “I didn’t know what to do.”
Gonzalez’s friend soon stepped in on her behalf, calling Sen. Jeff Klein’s office.
“They can’t be parked in front of a house idling their engines,” said Klein. “Idling buses contribute to poor air quality.”
Several phone calls later and bus drivers have been abiding by the rules.
“For now they’ve learned their lesson,” said Gonzalez. “Something tells me they were spoken to.”
Klein intends to keep an eye on the issue along with surrounding neighborhoods. So will the MTA.
An MTA spokeswoman confirmed “Road Supervision will make visits to the location in order to make sure that our policy of being a good neighbor is being enforced.”
Anyone can call 511 to file a complaint. The MTA advises to record the bus number, date, time and location before calling.
David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383