For nearly six month, the city’s Traffic and Parking Commission has been in discussions with the public and the MBTA about the relocation of a bus stop at Cary Square in front of 158 Washington Ave.
At last week’s meeting, the commission approved a motion asking the MBTA to move the bus stop back to its original location just after Bloomingdale Street on Washington Avenue.
The Traffic Commission had also been considering a request by the MBTA to move its layover location for the 111C bus route from the current bus stop to two parking spots in front of Temple Emmanuel at Tudor Street and Cary Avenue.
However, following a public hearing in which several residents stated that taking up the parking spaces for a layover would still hurt local businesses and residents, public works director Fidel Maltez removed the request for the layover location from his original motion.
“The proposal that (was) on the table was that the bus stop in front of Khelsea’s Pizza is going to be removed, however, the MBTA requested that we reinstate the bus stop that is after Bloomingdale Street,” said Maltez. “The reason that they requested that is that they don’t want it to be too far for anyone walking.”
But moving the bus stop meant that the MBTA would not have a layover location for buses that are waiting to begin the 111C route, Maltez said. The solution that was originally on the docket was, after conferring with Temple Emanuel representatives, to allow the use of two parking spaces near the temple for the layover.
“That is not a Chelsea problem, that is an MBTA problem,” said former City Councillor Stanley Troisi. He said the layover should be on the bridge on Washington Avenue, creating less of a parking hassle and offering a closer connection to the Silver Line.
“Taking the spots away on Cary Avenue is not really helping, and losing the spot on Bloomingdale is really no gain,” said Troisi.
Maltez said the initiative was taken to move the bus stop at 158 Washington Ave. after getting a number of complaints about buses idling on Cary Avenue and about buses pulling up for passengers while another bus was idling.
“The rider had to mount that bus on the street; there were a lot of complaints, and this has been going on for four or five months,” said Maltez. “I can assure everyone that the bus stop in front of Khelsea’s Pizza is going away. The MBTA agreed, but they strongly suggested we create a long-term solution.”
Maltez said there were discussions about moving the layover location to the Washington Avenue bridge, but said it could create service gaps.
After hearing from Troisi and several other residents, Maltez offered the motion to move the bus stop and not include any language about a layover location for buses.
“I make the recommendation to stand for the residents who are here tonight and see what happens,” he said. “This has been going on for close to six months now and it is something that has caused a lot of aggravation to the residents. “Essentially, this returns the conditions to how they were (before the bus stop was in front of Khelsea’s Pizza).”
The Traffic and Parking Commission recommendation will next go before the City Council.
Maltez said because of the schedule, any changes are unlikely to occur before January.