Northport bus route changes after residents complain
Buses on the Huntington Town-operated route in Northport that sparked protest from village residents after it was changed last winter will no longer travel down Scudder Avenue, officials said Thursday.
Effective Sept. 30, the Huntington Area Rapid Transit buses will travel on Main Street in downtown Northport, turn around at the harbor and return the same way -- instead of traveling on Scudder.
Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone said Thursday that the route, between the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station, is similar to what it was before being changed about eight months ago. That change was opposed by dozens of Northport residents.
"We want people to use the bus and we want to make it the most convenient for them; at the same time, we want to make sure that we mitigate any traffic or safety concerns," Petrone said.
New bus routes went into effect throughout the town on Jan. 2, after a town-hired consultant finished a three-year study. For Northport, town officials decided to have the buses travel on Scudder, instead of turning around at the harbor.
This change sparked much debate and a petition signed by about 80 people, including resident Christina Adams, who lives on the route.
"It is a decision that had to be made considering the safety issues we were facing on Scudder Avenue," Adams said Thursday.
She said her children's bus stop is on Scudder, and that the road there is "very narrow and curved" and has limited space for them to stand.
Northport Mayor George Doll had some concerns with the new route when it first changed last winter.
"We're happy and hopefully the people are happy," Doll said, about the town's recent decision.