Can We Kickstart our way out of L-Pocalypse with Pontoon Bridge?

A rendering of the proposed L-ternative Pontoon Bridge,, via Kickstarter
A rendering of the proposed L-ternative Pontoon Bridge, via Kickstarter

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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Crashing Greenpoint and Changing on a Dime in Williamsburg — the Hook-up (3/9)

A rendering of the Dime Savings Bank Development, via YIMBY

Hey Greenpoint, Judd Apatow would like a word with us. He’s filming his latest HBO comedy series here in Greenpoint, at Cine Magic East River Studios, and word Bookstore (126 Franklin Street) will be making an appearance.

If you’re more into condos than comedy, you’re in luck, since yet another building of luxury condos is on the market here in Greenpoint. The new development, calling itself Greenpoint 282, even though it’s at 282 Nassau Avenue near McGolrick Park, has one, two and three bedroom apartments starting at $795K.

Speaking of money and real estate, no plan has merged those two things this week quite as well as the new design for Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh. The building at south 5th and Havemeyer will be refurbished and a new 22-story residential tower will rise beside it. Thirty percent of the apartments in the new building will be let at affordable prices. At the same time, the Landmarks Preservation Commission is holding hearings to decide whether or not to designate the bank building a historic landmark.  Continue reading

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Before L-pocalypse: A History of Transit in North BK

B.R.C.C. Crosstown Trolley, Via the Transit Museum
B.C.R.R. Crosstown Trolley, Via the New York Transit Museum

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

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Looking for Love on the G Train, Life and Death in Brooklyn — The Hook-up (2/23)

Billboard Looking for Yellow Shoes Guy

The Man in the Yellow Hat was always looking for Curious George. This Valentines Day, a 25-year-old Williamsburg woman was looking for the Guy in the Yellow Shoes. After a chance meeting on the G train,  she took the hunt to massive proportions, opting for a 20-foot billboard.   Continue reading

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The Sea Train: Will Ferries Mean Smooth Sailing Through L-Pocalypse?

Williamsburg Bridge (photo: Julia Moak)

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

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L Train Shutdown Meeting TONIGHT (2/8)!

L Train Shutdown Meeting

The DOT is continuing its community outreach by holding meetings open to the public, so folks can ask questions, make comments and raise fists about the upcoming L train shutdown, aka L-Pocalypse, aka The End Times happening starting in April 2019. Tonight you can attend the third in the series of meetings, held at the Williamsburg Community Center (195 Graham Ave), from 5-8pm—you can feel free to arrive at any point during the meeting. Continue reading

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Brooklyn and A Queen — The Hook-up 1/26

Rev Yolanda Rocks the Pulpit at the Park Church Co-op
Rev Yolanda Rocks the Pulpit at the Park Church Co-op. Via Brooklyn Paper

This week, New Yorkers have been making their voices heard underground, underwater and in church.

On Sunday, Rev. Yolanda, a Drag Queen who leads an inter-faith congregation in Bay Ridge, brought Drag Queen Story Hour to the Park Church Co-op (129 Russell Street) to help children master the art of kindness and encourage them to embrace diversity.   Continue reading

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The L-Pocalypse is Nigh: Attend These Open House Meetings to Ask Honest Questions


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

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More Space, Less Space and Greenpoint Rings our Bell — The Hook-up (1/12)

Part of the Greenpoint Hospital Complex
Part of the Greenpoint Hospital Complex, Via CityLimits

As 2018 picks up steam, the news continues to roll in… even when the subway doesn’t. Much has been made of the MTA’s plans for L-pocalypse, the 15-month L train closure slated to begin in April 2019, but some G train riders are already feeling the squeeze. New York 1 reports that “it’s a mess” at the Court Square station because the MTA is adding 3 new stairways to the G platform in anticipation of the L train shutdown. 

Speaking of construction-induced squeezing, two city agencies have come forward with separate plans to redevelop the Greenpoint Hospital site, and the parking lot across the street. Together, the two developments could add 750 new apartments within a two-block area.  Continue reading

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On the Struggle Bus: The MTA finally reveals its plans for L-Pocalypse

Alternate Service during L-Pocalypse via Free Williamsburg

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

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