Silence isn’t golden for the community that will be affected by the L Train shut down in 2019. Commuters and businesses want to hear what the MTA’s plan is so they have time for their opinions to be heard and addressed. The fear is that the MTA will communicate the plan too late to incorporate the community’s feedback.
Early in the year, the MTA held community meetings where there were open discussions and the opportunity to offer suggestions as to the best way to handle the looming commuter and economic nightmare for those who count on the L Train. The community has been waiting patiently for a preliminary plan of transit alternatives to see how or if their input was used. As of yet there has been no revelation.
Transit advocates and elected officials held a rally on July 12th at Macri Park (Metropolitan and Union Avenues) to
revisit the conversation. There they called on the MTA and the DOT to commit to: a robust bus network, additional station improvements to be made during the shutdown, and to specify commuting options for populations farther along the line.
The advocates are hopeful that the bus network includes a people’s way system that could be implemented on Grand Street in Brooklyn and 14th Street in Manhattan. This would limit car traffic to make room for express and local bus service and bike lanes.
Senator Martin Malavé Dilan called on the local and state governments to be
accountable. Assembly Member Joseph Lentol suggested that tax credits and assistance from the city and state be given to local business who would lose revenue during the shutdown. Council Member Stephen Levin offered that streets could incorporate modified carpool lanes.
It is also hoped that the community’s future growth is taken into account to optimize the L train for the recent and future surges in population. This will mean widening stairwells, adding entrances and elevators, etc.
The shutdown is still scheduled to start in April 2019 and last fifteen months. During this period the L Train will only run from Bedford Avenue to Rockaway Parkway.