Agencies announce May town hall meetings to discuss impending L train shutdown

Posted On Tue, May 1, 2018 By

Posted On Tue, May 1, 2018 By In Policy, Transportation

Photo of the L-train via Wiki Commons

If you’ve got some choice words to say about the impending L train shutdown, you’ll soon get a chance to make them public. The MTA and the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) have announced two town hall meetings that will be held this month to discuss the Canarsie Tunnel Reconstruction project–aka the L train shutdown–with members of the community who will be affected by the April 2019 service interruption that will knock the line out of commission for 15 months. The meetings, which will be held in Manhattan and Brooklyn, are the latest in a series of public meetings and workshops intended to quell public trepidation about the impending shutdown.

NYC Transit President Andy Byford, NYCDOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and other agency representatives will explain alternate transit options, address questions and reveal how the agency plans to help get the 225,000 daily weekday customers–50,000 in Manhattan alone–to their destinations during the service interruption that will cut all L train service between Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan for 15 months beginning in April of 2019.

NYCDOT will discuss proposed changes like HOV restrictions on the Williamsburg Bridge, the addition of Select Bus Service to 14th Street, and additional protected bike lanes and bus lanes to offset the inconvenience of the missing subway. Additional topics will likely include the recently-announced reopening of M train service in Bushwick along with increased J and M service which is expected to help move displaced North Brooklyn riders.

Transportation advocates have been increasingly critical of what they see as weak backup options for commuters, calling for more support from the city in order to avoid the twin specters of “L-pocalypse” and “carmageddon,” as AM New York reports. “The L train is a 24-hour-a-day train. The communities that rely on the L train are 24-hour-a-day communities and the plan to accommodate riders has to be 24-hours-a-day as well,” said John Raskin, executive director of the nonprofit Riders Alliance. “The L train itself has more ridership than most American cities’ entire mass transit systems. If we don’t take aggressive and ambitious action to take care of L train riders, we’re going to have a true L-pocalypse that is going to paralyze neighborhoods through lower Manhattan and in Brooklyn.

Trottenberg said of the meetings, “The outreach we are doing in these upcoming town halls is a crucial part of that process. We need riders, residents, and businesses in the affected Brooklyn and Manhattan communities to turn out and give us their input as our final plans evolve.”

The town halls will take place in Manhattan on Wednesday, May 9 from 6:30 – 8:30 P.M. (doors open at 5:30 P.M.) at The Auditorium (at The New School) at 66 West 12th Street, and in Brooklyn on Wednesday, May 16, from 6:30 – 8:30 P.M. (doors open at 5:30 P.M.) at Progress High School at 850 Grand Street at Bushwick Avenue.

More information on the project, the shutdown, and alternate service changes are available at a dedicated MTA mini-site.

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