In fact, the MTA announced on Saturday, The L train will not run between Manhattan and Brooklyn for 15 weekends between now and April, when the agency plans to usher in L-pocalypse.
While North Brooklyn has been aware of, and preparing for, April’s planed 15-month suspension of service through the Canarsie Tunnel with a litany of enterprising, madcapsolutions, commuters were entirely unaware of the MTA’s pre-show closure countdown.
Now, purveyors of L-ternatives will have to fire up their tanks earlier than expected, because the first of the 15 weekend closures will take place this weekend (from 11:30pm Friday, August 10 – 5am Monday, August 13th).
The other 14 weekend closures will take place throughout October, November, February, March and April.
A new Brooklyn-based company calling itself “The New L” will be rolling into town in April 2019, offering a “guaranteed and reliable luxurious daily commute.”
Luxurious? Daily? Commute? you may ask. Apparently, such an experience will entail “Luxury shuttles driven by professional chauffeurs,” as well as “chargers, Wi-Fi, and breakfast bars on board,” all for $155/month. The fee includes passage to Manhattan Monday-Friday, but no word on getting home, or what you’ll need to do on the weekend. Continue reading →
This Wednesday evening, May 16th from 6:30-8:30pm the MTA and NYC DOT are hosting a town hall to discuss L-Train shutdown plans and the impact that the closure will have on our commutes and local businesses. Part of the plan includes increasing the number of cars on the ever-short G Train (it’s about time!), increasing ferry service, adding a few hundred buses to traverse the Williamsburg Bridge, and expanding bicycle access. Wednesday’s meeting will be held at Progress High School (850 Grand Street at Bushwick Ave).
More info can be found on the L Train Coalition’s site.
While we will be getting NYU, we won’t be getting BQX.Mayor de Blasio did not include the project in his budget for the next fiscal year, and the city’s Economic Development Corporation also declined allocate funds for the Gentrification Express.
As a North Brooklyn resident you probably feel like you’re doomsday prepping for the impending L-Train Shutdown—and let’s not forget that local business owners are, too. No one is quite sure how much the clusterf-k of reduced transit options for more than a year will affect small businesses, but the general consensus is that it’s not gonna be pretty. On one hand we will have less tourists and foot traffic in the neighborhood (which many of us are rejoicing about), but on the other hand those people will not be patronizing local businesses.
The city is offering a workshop for small business owners, Signing A Commercial Lease: What You Need To Know on Wednesday, April 25th from 5-6:30pm at the Swinging Sixties Senior Center (211 Ainslie Street). The workshop is free, and lawyers will explain helpful tips on preparing to negotiate a fair commercial lease. More info and registration on Eventbrite. The workshop is part of NYC Small Business Services course series.
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 →
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.
According to WNYC, the MTA has 119 closed entrances throughout the system. The MTA shuttered these access points when the subway fell into disrepair in the 1970s, but as ridership climbs toward its post-war high of 6.9 million riders a day, inaccessible entrances only contribute to the crowding and delays that plague the system. Minor told WNYC in 2015, “This is a major cause of subway delays, because you’re forcing people to enter at basically one or two access points,” which causes people to bunch up when they get on the train, and to bottleneck along the platform when they exit.
With the impending L closure, Minor’s plan takes on a new urgency. The Lorimer/Metropolitan Station served over 15,000 people per weekday in 2016. That’s over 5 Million riders per year.According to the MTA, Lorimer/Metropolitan ranks 101 out of 422 stations in the system when it comes to ridership, which makes the station busier than many stations in Manhattan and the outer boroughs. Add to this that the station will likely see a surge in riders switching from the L to the G during the shutdown.
The Station’s closed staircases and entrance are situated on either side of Union Avenue at the intersection of Hope and Powers Streets, and at the corner of Union Avenue and Grand Streets. These defunct entrances are just a few of the 10 closed entrances, and 27 closed staircases in North Brooklyn, along G, L, J, M and Z lines. Minor’s plan to reopen the shuttered access points calls for full ADA Accessibility in the station, to make commuting easier for New Yorkers during the shutdown and after.
According to Second Avenue Sagas, the MTA is looking into opening the closed entrances, but non-committal on when, or if, it will follow through on the plan. The MTA has this to say on the issue: “As part of our efforts to accommodate growing ridership, we are studying and evaluating closed access points throughout the subway system and we’re looking at every idea for how to provide alternate service to L customers during any potential shutdown.”
You can sign Minor’s petition to “Expand access[ibility] to, at and from the Lorimer St L-Metropolitan Av G station complex.” on Change.Org here
A great New York Story occurred August 17th, 1858, when New Yorkers celebrated the first successful transatlantic cable between The United States and England with a party at City Hall. So thrilled were the New Yorkers of yore, that they decided to illuminate City Hall with torches, then set off fireworks over the building. City Hall caught fire, but nobody could alert the fire department, because the fire bell was on top of the burning City Hall. Ultimately, City Hall was saved, but the building lost its cupola, which has since been repaired. Undeterred, New Yorkers had another party at City Hall two weeks later, and they set off fireworks again. That is the city we live in. No matter what, New Yorkers just keep partying. And Mayor Bill de Blasio was at House of Yes in Bushwick on Tuesday to make it even easier to get down in the five boroughs.De Blasio established an Office of Nightlife, and a Nightlife Advisory Board. A Night Mayor will soon be appointed, although Gerard McNamee, former Director of Operations at Webster Hall, is running for the unelected position.Continue reading →