Summer brings a lot of great things—lovely weather, beach days, and lots of ice cream. But this summer won’t be entirely laissez-faire for Greenpoint residents, as the looming G train shutdown gets closer and closer to happening, putting a wrench in some of those aforementioned beach days (no more directly taking the G to the F to Coney Island). 

Last week, representatives from the MTA, the DOT, and North Brooklyn elected officials hosted a G train shutdown town hall at John Ericsson Middle School 126.

Sean Fitzpatrick, deputy chief of staff to MTA Construction & Development, addressed the crowd, explaining that the MTA decided to pursue these repairs because the G is one of the system’s lowest-performing lines. The installation of communications-based train control will bring the outdated line into the 21st century and lead to more reliable service. Several attendees questioned why the work necessitated a 24/7 continuous shutdown, considering the strain it would cause for Greenpoint residents who rely solely on the G train. 

The extensive nature of the work (including changing the track’s geometry) means that the more sensible solution is to do it all at once, said Fitzpatrick, instead of starting and stopping on weekends and nights. Fitzpatrick says they looked at a different, technically feasible model but “dramatically more expensive.”

According to the presentation, free shuttle bus service should be running every 1-4 minutes during the weekdays and up to 6-10 minutes on nights and weekends, to which attendees expressed skepticism (as someone who once waited 30 minutes for the free shuttle, I have to concur). The MTA plans to introduce new measures to ensure that shuttle buses can move freely, such as more daylighting to prevent illegal parking, commercial loading zones for business deliveries, and increased NYPD traffic enforcement.


Our local elected officials also floated the idea of using a traffic lane on McGuinness Boulevard as a dedicated bus lane, to which the DOT has not shown interest. The DOT also did not support the idea of a busway on Manhattan Avenue (the DOT’s Christopher Hrones told the crowd that there was “not enough room” on the street). Hrones said that the short duration of a potential busway would not merit the amount of work and planning that would go into creating it. He felt confident that some of the turn bans would reduce through traffic.

Attendees brought up several points that the agencies promised to investigate, such as adding more CitiBikes to accommodate people biking as an alternative and making sure the Pulaski Bridge doesn’t rise and encumber traffic when the bus connects from Greenpoint to Long Island City.

One new development to help free up space in this logistical nightmare? The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment agreed to list the area as a filming hotspot, which limits the amount of film production that can occur.

Reminder that the shutdown starts first from June 28 to July 5, from Court Square to Nassau Avenue. After those repairs, the next segment will be Court Square to Bedford-Nostrand from July 5 to August 12, and Bedford-Nostrand to Church Avenue from August 12 to September 2.

To check out the livestream for yourself, you can do so at this link here.

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