City moves to park buses in Tribeca

The city’s plan to move 20 commuter buses from South St. to West St. in two weeks is drawing opposition in Tribeca.

The city Dept. of Transportation had to find a new place for the buses to park since work is starting on the East River Waterfront project along South St. between Maiden Ln. and Wall St. The buses will move to West St. between Harrison and Canal Sts., where they will be allowed from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

Bruce Ehrmann, a member of Community Board 1’s Tribeca Committee, was angry the D.O.T. told the board about the bus move only when it was already a fait accompli and said the buses would wreak havoc in Tribeca.

“We’ve been waiting years and years and years for our segment of Hudson River Park to be completed,” Ehrmann said after the meeting Wednesday night. “Then, boom, this city in its wisdom wants to wall it off with buses…. It’s a crime.”

Ehrmann said the buses would block loading docks and fill the neighborhood with pollution. The Tribeca Committee unanimously passed a resolution opposing the bus move, he said.

The city picked this stretch of West St. because it has few ground-floor retail stores and because much of the area does not allow daytime parking, meaning the new bus parking spots will not disrupt existing parking spots.

During the week, New Jersey and Pennsylvania buses will use West St. for roughly five-hour layovers, while tour buses will use the spaces on the weekends for shorter stretches of time.

Although the buses will be allowed to park until 7 p.m., the new parking should not interfere with Holland Tunnel traffic because commuter buses usually leave to start picking up passengers before rush hour begins, a D.O.T. spokesperson said in an e-mail. D.O.T. will monitor the traffic and make changes as necessary.

The bus move was listed as temporary on the community board’s agenda, but the D.O.T. said in the e-mail that the buses would never be able to move back to South St. because of the configuration of the new East River esplanade. Transportation officials would not say how long they expected the buses to remain on West St.

— Julie Shapiro