Business owners feeling the burn of new bus lane on Church Avenue

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Business owners say they are feeling the burn from a new bus lane on Church Avenue.

Last week, Department of Transportation crews started work on the traffic change in Prospect Park South. The bus lanes are now taking away more than 100 parking spaces.

The Church Avenue Business Improvement District says this has hurt the bottom line for local shops. Back in July when News 12 first reported on the issue, the block was lined with cars.

Resident Samantha Chan says the new bus lanes are problematic. "It's just easier when it wasn't here because there was parking there and I could just pull up, no need to worry about the meter at the moment. Take my time, and take him out of the car," said Chan.

However, Monday no cars were parked on either side. The DOT tells News 12 that adding the bus lane will improve bus service as part of the city's "Better Buses Action" plan.

The plan stretches from Flatbush Avenue to East 7th Street.

DOT conducted a survey that found most people walk or take the bus to do shopping in the area. However, the head of the Church Avenue BID says it is difficult for parents to pick up and drop off their children at a local day care.

They also say deliveries are a problem, with trucks having to go around the block. They say they were receiving complaints from local businesses even before the change. Many say there was not proper community input.

"No delivery truck doing a lot of deliveries is going to park around the corner and then cart something up the street and then go back for the second batch," said Church Avenue BID Lauren Elvers.

Some merchants think having the lane designated for buses only from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. is excessive.

The BID is still pushing the DOT to make modifications to the plan. It is asking the public to offer any feedback on the bus lanes.

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