BERLIN — Shore Transit has altered two of its routes to allow continued travel through Berlin, despite prior concerns that streets were too narrow to support buses.

“Several months ago, we made the determination to stop going through downtown Berlin,” Shore Transit Director Riggin Johnson told the Berlin Mayor and Council on Monday. “There are several reasons for that and I guess probably the main one is it became too expensive to keep replacing the mirrors on the buses. As we were passing through town, it happened several times that the buses would just clip mirrors of other trucks as we went through town.”

The issues of dealing with narrow streets that were usually filled with parked vehicles persuaded Shore Transit to consider re-directing routes out of the town. However, Johnson revealed that this caused an immediate outcry from residents who depend on Shore Transit for transportation.

“So it was determined that at that time we would stop coming through town, although there were some riders that apparently would be left without a ride,” he said. “We don’t like to do that but we have to take a look at our costs and also the final ridership figures as we determine those types of decisions.”

After consideration, Shore Transit eventually decided to continue providing service through Berlin. New bus stops were added along bus Routes 431 and 451, the former of which travels from Salisbury to Ocean City to Pocomoke and the latter from Salisbury to Pocomoke to Ocean City. Both will now include stops in Berlin.

“We were able to re-route our route through town,” said Johnson.

The stops will now be on Franklin Avenue and Pitt Street. There was some concern that Pitt Street is the narrowest way in Berlin and if buses had trouble before then trying to use that road would only make things worse. However, Mayor Gee Williams pointed out that changes to parking on the street should make it an acceptable route.

“We restricted parking last year to just one side of Pitt Street,” he said.

Williams told Johnson that Shore Transit making routes available in Berlin is important for and appreciated by residents.

“I think compared to any time in the past there’s more accessibility and those stops complement each other,” said Williams.

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