R.I.P. B21, Brighton Beach

by Kevin Walsh

ForgottenFan Allan Rosen checks in with a long-outdated sign in Brighton Beach.

“The B21 last ran on December 11, 1978, over 40 years ago, but this sign remained on Brighton Beach Avenue near Ocean Parkway until December of last year when DOT finally decided to remove it probably because they decided to repaint the lamppost. Perhaps it should have been landmarked since everyone just ignored it and it wasn’t causing any confusion.”

These small signs were a staple at bus stops for a few years in the 1960s and 1970s. They featured the route in large numerals in Highway Gothic, along with the route sketched out and labeled in Futura Bold. In the early 1990s, the current scheme, on a four-sided box mounted on a pole, appeared; it features the schedule and the route. A few stops now have illuminated schedules that indicate the next bus is coming in XX minutes.

You still see a few of the smaller, older signs popping up where the MTA doesn’t know they exist, but, as Allan says, when the DOT paints a lamppost they get summarily removed.

Currently the B68 works Brighton Beach Avenue, while B21 is retired, at least for the time being.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”


1 comment

Andy January 31, 2019 - 11:39 pm

Today route B-1 also covers Brighton Beach Avenue, on part of the old B21 routing. In 1978 the old B-21 routing was split between today’s B-1 and B-4 routes, as part of a larger restructuring of Brooklyn bus routes.


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