L-pocalypse looms just a year away, and the MTA doesn’t appear particularly interested in dealing with it, so New York residents have taken up the mantel of transit vigilantism, and moved forward with plans of their own. Last month Parker Shinn took to Kickstarter to drum up community support for an “L-ternative” Pontoon Bridge, which would run across the East River from North 8th Street in Williamsburg to East 10th Street in Manhattan. The Bridge would support 2 lanes of bus traffic, two lanes of bike traffic and command a $1 toll. It would also connect commuters to the Bedford Avenue L-train, and crosstown bus service along 14th street. Continue reading
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As the MTA’s planned 15-month suspension of L train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan draws near, all 200,000 daily riders of the L-pocalypse have been asking the same question: how will we get across the river? Brooklynites have been asking that question for generations, and personal ingenuity, along with municipal planning, has yielded several answers. All we can say for sure is that this is not the first time aggrieved Greenpointers have been up in arms over inadequate inter-borough transit. I’m just glad we don’t have to take a rowboat.
The rowboat commute was the first in a line increasingly efficient methods of getting from Greenpoint to Manhattan that includes horsecars, trollies, ferry services, elevated trains, and the dawn and growth of the subway. Step in, stand clear and read on for a history of transit in North Brooklyn. Continue reading
The MTA has seen protests in Brooklyn due to its laissez-faire relationship with the impending L-pocalypse. In response, they’ve promised to make community engagement a “central priority” as the March 2019 L train closure nears. Part of that community engagement was on display last week, when the MTA and the DOT appeared before Brooklyn Community Board 1 to offer a joint presentation to this neighborhood offering new information regarding their plans for alternate service during the transit shutdown. In a word: Ferries.
While the proposed direct ferry route between North Williamsburg and Stuyvesant Cove isn’t technically new (it was part of the MTA’s original L-pocalypse mitigation strategy ominously entitled Planning Ahead for the Crisis), the agency offered new details on the route at last week’s meeting. During the presentation, transit honchos noted that ferry service along the route would run 6:00am-12:00am Sunday through Thursday, and that service may be extended until 2:00 am on Friday and Saturday nights. Continue reading
As part of their plan to engage our extremely concerned local community, the MTA and the NY DOT will be holding an open house meeting on the L train shutdown next Wednesday, January 24th. Last month, the MTA released their plans for the 15-month shutdown of the L line (starting in 2019), to the chagrin of many residents—who felt that what they’ve got in store (more buses, bike lanes, among other things) is simply not enough to fulfill needs of the 200k+ riders who use the line to travel from Brooklyn to Manhattan every day.
Here are the details for the meeting if you wish to air your grievances or ask hard questions:
WHAT: Canarsie Tunnel Open House
WHEN: Weds, Jan 24, 5pm-8pm
WHERE: Progress High School | 850 Grand Street
As we reported earlier this week, the MTA has taken a glacial approach to coming up with an alternative transit plan for commuters who will be affected when L train service between Manhattan and Brooklyn shuts down for 15 months beginning in April 2019. But, lo and behold! It’s here! The MTA’s transit plan.
The big fix? Busses and bike lanes.
- The MTA plans to create a dedicated “busway,” and upgrade Select Bus Service along 14th street.
- While the DOT refuses to designate bus lanes on the Williamsburg Bridge, the outer-deck of the span will be a dedicated HOV3+ lanes at rush hour, catering to busses, trucks and vehicles making right turns.
- Bike traffic is expected to double, so 13th will feature Manhattan’s first two-way protected crosstown bike lane.
- There will be new pedestrian space around Union Square, and bike parking on University Place
- Delancey Street will get a protected bike link to the Williamsburg Bridge.
But, the MTA estimates that 80% of the 225,000 riders who take the L between Manhattan and Brooklyn every day will seek alternate subway routes, and thereby turn to the G and J/M/Z trains (oy!).
- Commuters can expect increased service on those lines, as well as higher capacity G and C trains.
- There will also be free MetroCard transfers between the Broadway G and the Lorimer and Hewes JMZ trains.
- Free transfers will also be available between the 3 train at Junius St. and the L at Livonia Avenue.
- On the weekend, and overnight, the M will run to 96th Street/2nd Avenue.
Read on for information about new ferry services and street improvements! Continue reading
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. Continue reading
According to police, a man was slashed and robbed in McGolrick Park Saturday night around 9:30pm. He had seen someone in a group of people drop a pack of cigarettes and went to return them—only to get his head smashed on a metal bar, slashed on his cheek with a knife and robbed of his iPhone, $250 in cash and a bracelet.
A Paulie Gee’s server was seriously injured after a cyclist struck her on the corner of Manhattan and India. Without insurance, she’s now facing $10k in medical bills and $25k of bills and lost wages combined while she recovers. You can donate to her crowdfunding campaign to help her recover physically and financially. Continue reading
The L Train is facing an imminent, extensive shutdown in the wake of lingering Hurricane Sandy damage, and North Brooklyn hasn’t taken the news very well.
And why would it, given the amount of daily riders who travel through the Canarsie Tube every day — around 350,000 — not to mention the huge impact ridership has on local businesses?
Currently, the MTA is considering two options to implement as early as 2017: to close the entire tunnel nonstop for one year, or to leave one side open and reduce traffic to half-volume, which would take anywhere from three to four years.
Not ones to bide their time quietly, a number of local residents and business owners have already formed The L Train Coalition to demand a better solution from the MTA, though many know full well that the answer will definitely be “pain.”
Pain, of course, can be abstract or painted in sharp relief. And while a fair amount of ink has been spilled over the implications for L Train commuters, there are fewer educated guesses regarding the fate of surrounding areas like Greenpoint, which will absorb a great deal of shock from the closure as riders scramble to find alternative routes. Continue reading
Happy Friday, Greenpoint! For some of our neighbors, this has been a tough week. On Sunday, 500 Greenpoint residents lost their heat and hot water when National Grid cut service due to a water-damaged gas line.
But, Greenpoint isn’t entirely without modern conveniences, and a kickstarter campaign launched on Thursday wants to up the ante. The project calls for a floating pedestrian bridge connecting Greenpoint and Long Island City.
Speaking of Bridges, it became clear at Wednesday’s L-pocalypse Town Hall in Williamsburg that the Williamsburg Bridge can only handle 3 extra trains per hour over the current schedule, certainly not enough to meet the demands of ousted L riders. Continue reading
Good morning, Greenpoint! It’s Friday, and time for the Hook-up. Sometimes, I think we should just rename this column “Another Week, the Same MTA,” since it seems that most of the things that get a line here are subway-related. That’s true as ever this week. Punch, Pepper-Spray, Hardware and High School are all, in their myriad and sundry ways, subway stories. So, step in, stand clear of the closing doors. Continue reading