There were recent celebrations for wider sidewalks along Main Street, reconstruction of the Flushing Long Island Rail Road Station, and Mayor Bill de Blasio pledging $10 million for improvements to the Q44 Select Bus Service.
All of the above is nice, but many have been waiting 64 years since the old North Shore Bus Terminal at Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue closed in 1954.
Today's generation of planners, elected officials, and transportation advocates have forgotten about the Flushing Intermodal Bus Terminal.
In the early 1960s, Municipal Parking Lot 1 was considered for construction of an intermodal bus terminal. This facility would take hundreds of buses off the surrounding streets, where they discharge and pick up riders.
For 64 years, public officials have failed to secure any funding necessary to support this badly needed transportation improvement.
There has been an explosion in the number of commuters riding buses to Flushing and transferring to the subway. This has been complimented by a huge growth of businesses and residential buildings in the neighborhood.
Just walk in any direction from the corner of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue in downtown Flushing and see for yourself. Buses traveling to, from and thru Downtown Flushing move at slow speeds due to excess traffic, not only during rush hour but also off peak.
This results in a longer commute for riders and periodic bunching of buses on many routes.
Construction of a climate-controlled bus terminal could assist in improving traffic and pedestrian circulation in Downtown Flushing. Over 60,000 rush-hour subway riders would be protected from heat, cold, rain, snow and winds.
A short term improvement could be construction of bus holding lights at bus stops. This would assist riders transferring from subway to bus when a train arrives several minutes after scheduled bus departures.
Missing a bus by a minute or two during off peak hours, when buses operate with longer intervals, is frustrating to riders.
The city is currently building 260 units of affordable housing at the Municipal Parking Lot 3 adjacent to the LIRR station.
Municipal Lot 3 may have been the last lost opportunity for construction of any viable intermodal bus terminal that could provide reasonable bus to subway transfers.
Larry Penner is a resident of Great Neck.