Congregation Ohel Chabad Lubavitch has filed a request with the city to place a charter bus stop near the cemetery in Cambria Heights where the Orthodox sect’s beloved leader is interred. The goal is to more easily accommodate the hundreds of pilgrims who visit the site each day and the thousands who stop by on special religious occasions.
Rabbi Abba Refson, the head of the congregation, said the stop, known as a layover zone, would accommodate three buses and would be located somewhere along the cemetery. He said the DOT is considering a spot somewhere along Francis Lewis Boulevard, but has not made a final decision.
“Oftentimes it is not feasible to park in the front, so we wanted to create a designated area for them to make it more streamlined,” and less disruptive to the community, Refson said. “Very often they’ll pull up and they’ll double park, so we wanted to come up with a practical solution.”
He added that the buses would not idle at the stop, even in extreme cold or heat. They would park and the drivers would come into the congregation’s building, located at 226-20 Francis Lewis Blvd., to keep cool or stay warm until the passengers are ready to leave.
Tanya Cruz, the head of Community Board 13’s Transportation Committee, had some concerns about the bus proposal after being notified by the DOT. She said residents are worried about noise from idling buses, how many vehicles would be allowed to be positioned at the stop, where it would be located and if it would interfere with traffic flow.
When questioned about the proposal, DOT spokesman Scott Gastel would only say in an email that a request for a layover zone has been made. When asked for more details, Gastel referred all inquires to the community board. But Cruz said the agency had given the members no further information. continue...