The City is Still Without a Plan for L-pocalypse and North Brooklyn is Trying to Hold Leaders Accountable
When it comes to the Zombie Apocalypse, you’re officially covered. The Pentagon has been prepared to resist the undead menace since 2011, when the headquarters of United States strategic command compiled a “Counter-Zombie Dominance” plan. This is absolutely a real thing. The document even carries the disclaimer, “this plan was not actually designed as a joke,” but instead as “a useful and effective training tool.” Other useful and effective tools that may help you in planning for the Zombie Apocalypse include the Center for Disease Control’s Zombie Preparedness Campaign, and this handy list of the 25 Best Majors for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse.
On the other hand, if you are concerned about the eminent L Train Shutdown, the 15-month transit closure planned to take effect in April 2019, when the the MTA will repair the Canarsie Tunnel, it seems you may have no such survival guides. According to The Village Voice, the City and the MTA have no plan in place for how they’ll get the L Train’s 200,000 daily riders between Manhattan and Brooklyn and back again.
On Tuesday, December 5th, North Brooklyn community activists led by The L Train Coalition and local politicians, held a press conference at The West BK (379 Union Avenue) calling on the MTA and DOT to meet with community representatives before the end of the year. A media release for the event said, “the community needs a report of the current plans for transportation remediation, a serious discussion around help for local businesses, and any street use changes proposed by the Department of Transportation. We will also call for a commitment by the responsible agencies and their contractors to meet with a community advisory board on a monthly basis starting in January 2018.” The coalition also invited community members to get involved in the campaign.
With just 17 months to go before L-pocalypse, local business owners are left wondering how their employees and customers will reach them. The MTA claims that they have made “community engagement a central priority” in the process of developing a plan for the Shutdown, but NYC Council Member Antonio Reynoso said at the press conference “for many of the folks in my community, for many of us elected officials, the information getting back to us from the MTA and DOT has been extremely limited to non-existent.”
Further, Assemblyman Joe Lentol pointed out that the MTA’s new leadership, which took over the organization in August, presented a new opportunity for dialog. He said, “we need to reengage with the new leadership [and] force them to come to the table.” He then offered his office on Lorimer Street as a potential meeting place.
At least that’s one office that seems to be concerned about the plan. While there is speculation that there is a completed plan trapped somewhere in City Hall, or even sitting on the Mayor’s desk, yet to be released to the public, a spokesperson from the Mayor’s Office told The Village Voice that no finished plan exists. She went on to say that the plan is still being worked out, and will be shared with the public when it is ready. But the public is ready now. You can join the L Train Coalition to help keep the MTA accountable to the public.