The latest fear to raise its ugly head in what will admittedly be a major inconvenience–that is, the 15-month shutdown of the L line starting in April of 2019–is the very limited number of trains that will be able to pick up the slack heading across the Williamsburg bridge. The topic surfaced at last night’s Town Hall meeting, when, according to the Village Voice, a concerned citizen by the name of Sunny Ng voiced his concerns about how many more trains could fit on the bridge.
department of transportation
Photo via NYC DOT/Flickr
May is National Bike Month and Transportation Alternatives (TransAlt) is hosting its Bike Commuter Challenge. TransAlt and the city are challenging New Yorkers to swap their normal commuting routine and cycle to work. With Citi Bikes on almost every block, over 250 miles of new bicycle lanes, and the hellacious winter behind us, there is no excuse not to “man up.” Especially since, according to NYC DOT, more than 800,000 New Yorkers ride a bike regularly, which is 140,000 more than rode five years ago and means that NYC commuters already bike to work more than any other U.S. city.
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.
Photo via Dan Phiffer’s Flickr
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority released late last year its mitigation plan for the 15-month shutdown of the L train, set to begin in April of next year, calling for an all-bus, no-car corridor on 14th Street between Third and Ninth Avenues. The city says the MTA will have to run 70 buses every hour across the Williamsburg Bridge in order to accommodate the projected 84,000 daily bus riders. According to the New York Times, this would make 14th Street the busiest bus route in the country. In response, a coalition of Lower Manhattan neighborhood groups on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the MTA and the city’s Department of Transportation in attempt to stop repairs of the L train, claiming the agencies failed to conduct an environmental review before releasing its plan.
On Tuesday, New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) officials announced a new pilot program that allows bicyclists to follow pedestrian head-start signals at 50 intersections throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, AM New York reports. The signals at those intersections have a range of 7 to 11 seconds–known as leading pedestrian intervals (LPI)–before drivers can proceed through the intersections or make turns through crosswalks. Now bike riders can follow these pedestrian signals instead of traffic lights (legally, that is), giving cyclists the safety benefits of added visibility that pedestrians have at those intersections.
Photo via Wikimedia
Crosstown protected bike lanes may finally come to Manhattan’s Midtown neighborhood, the first of its kind in New York City. The city’s Department of Transportation presented on Wednesday a series of proposals to create bike lanes that stretch from the East River to the Hudson River, traveling east to west instead of north to south. The first two protected lanes are proposed to run east on 26th Street and west on 29th Street, where an existing lane will be replaced. Officials are also looking to add a lane moving west on 55th Street and east on 52nd Street. DOT’s move to add more protected bike lanes in Midtown comes after the city experienced an increase in the number of cyclist deaths in 2017, despite it being the safest year on record for traffic fatalities.
Photo of the L-train via Wiki Commons
The MTA unveiled on Wednesday its much-anticipated plan for the 15-month shutdown of the L train, set to begin in April of 2019. Hurricane Sandy heavily damaged the 100-year-old Carnarsie Tunnel in 2012, filling it with 7 million gallons of saltwater and forcing a total reconstruction of the tunnel. The 225,000 daily L train riders that travel from Brooklyn through the tunnel to Manhattan will be given alternative travel options, as amNY reported. The MTA’s plan calls for a new bus route that would run between Brooklyn and Manhattan, a busway on 14th Street in Manhattan with a two-way bike lane on 13th Street and increase subway service on nearby lines.
Photo of the Brooklyn Bridge via pixabay
Dubbed the “Times Square in the Sky,” the Brooklyn Bridge promenade remains the borough’s most popular attraction, experiencing an increase in pedestrian volume by 275 percent between 2008 and 2015. The New York City Department of Transportation released a report on Friday that details ways to reduce the growing congestion of cyclists, pedestrians and vendors on the promenade. After hiring the consulting term AECOM over a year ago to conduct an engineering study aimed at improving safety, DOT has finally outlined steps to be taken in order to limit crowds. As the New York Times reported, the city is exploring ideas like building a separate bike-only entrance to the Manhattan side of the bridge, possibly expanding the width of the promenade and reducing the number of vendors allowed to sell goods, while restricting where they can sell them.
Photo via Lucas Klappas on Flickr
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Sunday a five-point plan designed to ease congestion in the city’s busiest neighborhoods. The program, called “Clear Lanes,” includes a series of initiatives like creating new moving lanes in Midtown, clearing curbs during rush hour and expanding NYPD enforcement of block-the-box violations. Beginning in January, in addition to the heavily congested Midtown, rush-hour deliveries will be banned during a six-month test run on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn (h/t New York Times).
Photo courtesy of Nick Harris on Flickr
Since it was first introduced to New York City in 2013, Citi Bike, a bike-share program, has grown from operating 6,000 bikes to a current total of 10,000 bikes in over 600 locations. Looking to expand even further, Citi Bike will add 2,000 bikes and 140 new stations in Long Island City, Astoria, Crown Heights and Prospect Heights. According to Metro, the expansion will begin on Sept. 12 and continue until the end of the year.