Contingency for Canarsie Tunnel closing not set in stone yet
There are fourteen months before the L-train shuts down for fifteen months. So bide your time with the old L with that in mind. Meanwhile, the MTA and the Department of Transportation(DOT) rolled out their first meet cute for their mitigation plan when the L train stops traversing the East River so the Canarsie Tunnel can be repaired.
January 24th was the first of four open houses. The community is given the opportunity to check out each point of proposed alleviations for the upcoming commuting nightmare. These are each paired with DOT and MTA representatives who are there to answer questions or absorb feedback.
“The plan is not yet set in stone, which is why we’re here tonight to talk to people and listen to their feedback. We want to make sure we get this right,” said Andy Byford, President of NYC Transit.
Some visitors had a deer in headlights gaze, seeing doom in the cheerfully colored maps of their commuting future. Others had questions and vivid criticism.
On the criticism end Grand Street has some issues concerning commercial traffic. Each end of Grand will be bus only. Parking lanes are gone. In addition peak hours concern Grand and 14th Streets, but by what ruler do you measure peak hours? However cyclists benefit from having the bike lane moved near the sidewalk and a buffer lane between them and vehicle traffic. Also there was questioning as to how to enforce the HOV lanes over the Williamsburg Bridge. At this point it is undetermined whether it will be by camera or police. The fine will be $100 and 2 points.
Many commented on how they don’t see how the overall plan will adequately shuttle 225,000 daily commuters from Brooklyn to Manhattan. When asked if there would be adjustments during the shutdown if a plan wasn’t working, a DOT representative said there would be constant monitoring to see what adaption’s need to be made.
“Closing [the L Train] down for fifteen months is going to be very difficult,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. She then made a hopeful comparison to the 2nd Avenue Subway, mentioning how it was a struggle as it was getting built but now it’s the best subway in the country. “We want the L Train to be even better.”
There will be another MTA and DOT Open House on February 8th, 5 p.m.–8 p.m. at the Williamsburg Community Center (195 Graham Avenue). My advice is read up on the plan they are presenting, so you have questions and suggestions aplenty. They say they are all ears, and forty community meetings they held last year had some impact.
More photos of the MTA and DOT’s presentation: