Via Oran Viriyincy on Flickr
With the L train shutdown called off last month after years of preparing for its impact on commuters, many New Yorkers were left wondering what would happen to the mitigation efforts planned for both Manhattan and Brooklyn. According to amNY, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority no longer sees the need for a busway on 14th Street, which was intended to limit car traffic during the L train shutdown. While the MTA said it intends to run buses as often as every three minutes on 14th Street when L train service is reduced this spring, critics say buses will move at a sluggish pace.
Select Bus Service will still run on 14th Street, but there’s no plan to close the thoroughfare to cars during the day. The senior director of advocacy at Transportation Alternatives, Tom DeVito, called the plan without the busway “a direct attack on bus riders.”
“New York City is in the middle of a multi-faceted transportation crisis and rolling back bold, innovative street plans like the 14th Street busway–which would dramatically improve reliability and speed for tens of thousands of daily riders–is abhorrent,” DeVito said in a statement.
In a call with reporters Wednesday, MTA Managing Director Ronnie Hakim said there will still be “disruptive service on the L” during the line’s reconstruction work. Gov. Andrew Cuomo in January canceled the 15-month L-train shutdown, which had a start date of April 27, in favor of an alternative plan that would require repair work to be conducted on nights and weekends instead of a full closure of the damaged Carnasie Tunnel.
But even with a total shutdown avoided, the MTA is expecting L service disruptions, with trains running every 20 minutes on weeknights and weekends starting at 10 p.m. Some service disruptions will start as early as 8 p.m. during the week, amNY reported.
The plan to add service on the G, M and 7 lines is still happening, but the G train will not be made longer as originally planned. Plus, the HOV lane proposed for the Williamsburg Bridge and a plan to bring extra ferry service will also likely be scrapped.
Hakim said on Wednesday that 95 percent of L train riders will still be able to take the line during the new plan, despite the reduced L train service.
Cuomo had said repair work will take place on one tunnel at a time for up to 20 months. But the MTA has not released an official timeline for the project. Questions also remain about the cost of the project as the MTA continues to negotiate the $477 million deal with the contractors.
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