April 15, 2007
Casino-Bound, Complaints in Their Wake
By CASSI FELDMAN
Around 8:30 p.m., a fat gray bus bound for Atlantic City pulls up on Division Street in Chinatown. Its doors wheeze open, and a line of riders shuffle into formation, clutching pink tickets and plastic shopping bags, and sucking a few final drags from their cigarettes before flicking them away.
The ritual takes no more than 15 minutes, but it happens dozens of times a day as buses headed to Trump Plaza, Foxwoods or other casinos load and unload passengers in the V formed by the Bowery and Division Street.
Now, citing pollution and noise, neighbors say they want the buses to find a new home.
"You can feel a toxic film in our yard," said Justin Yu, vice president of the co-op board at Confucius Plaza, a 44-story complex that overlooks the site. "It's very unhealthy."
While numerous bus companies operate out of Chinatown, Mr. Yu and his neighbors are particularly concerned about casino buses because their informal hub is a block shared by hundreds of senior citizens, an elementary school, a kindergarten and a day care center.