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Plan to Ease L-Pocolypse at Lorimer Street Calls for Opening Long-Shuttered Entrances

A shuttered staircase at the Lorimer Street Station. Via Change.Org
A shuttered staircase at the Lorimer Street Station. Via Change.Org

As L-Pocolypse looms, various civic groups, like Riders Alliance and the L Train Coalition, are looking for ways to help riders weather the shutdown, and improve New York’s transit system in the process. One proposal from Alan Minor, of Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, an organization that has been fighting on behalf of North Brooklyn for 20 years, urges the MTA to open the six closed staircases, and one closed entrance, at the Lorimer Street L/ Metropolitan G station.

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

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A Goat on the Lam, Explosions of Love and Brooklyn in Paradise — The Hook-up (10/5)

Goat on the Lam! via New York Daily News
Goat on the Lam! via New York Daily News

The psalm says the Lord is our shepherd, and nobody seemed to know it better this week than the abandoned billy goat who took shelter under the steps of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Transfiguration on North 12th and Driggs. Officer Jamar Ferguson, newly-dubbed official goatherd of the 94th Precinct, corralled the freelance goat into a cage and named him “Lil’ Ferg.” Continue reading

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Cabaret, Cuomo and Climate Change — The Hook-up 9/22

Getting down at the House of Yes, where Mayor de Blasio announced an Office of Nightlife on Tuesday. Via House of Yes
Getting down at the House of Yes, where Mayor de Blasio announced an Office of Nightlife on Tuesday. Via House of Yes

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

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Pricey Penthouses, Historic Preservation and a Panel on the L-Pocolypse — The Hook-up 9/15

Ready to move into Greenpoint's Priciest Pad? Via 868 On The Park
Ready to move into Greenpoint’s Priciest Pad? Via 868 On The Park

Even though The New York Times has decreed that 2017 is the “Year of the Renter,” The developers over at 868 Lormier on the Park are hoping you’re in the mood to buy. They’re asking $4.01 Million for a 3 bedroom duplex penthouse. If a sale closes at that price, it will be the most expensive condo ever sold in Greenpoint.

Meanwhile, developers were thwarted on Tuesday at 111 Noble Street in Greenpoint’s Historic District. The building’s owner failed to convince the Landmark’s Preservation Commission that the building was structurally unsound and needed to be demolished to make room for a modern apartment building.

Speaking of structurally unsound… The MTA. Last Thursday, Transportation Alternatives hosted a panel of city council members and community groups at Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Avenue) to discuss the coming L-Pocolypse, and how the city might make use of alternate transit to handle the L train closure. Continue reading

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Sinkholes, Summonses and the City Council — The Hook-Up 9/1

Hallelujah, we're in Greenpoint. Photo by Lucie Levine
Hallelujah, we’re in Greenpoint. Photo by Lucie Levine

Pedestrians in North Brooklyn have been Walking on the Wild Side this week, since our thoroughfares are more treacherous than you thought. On Tuesday, a sinkhole opened on Myrtle Avenue between Bedford and Nostrand, and swallowed a man’s entire right leg as he was walking to work. He was rescued by the NYFD and was not seriously injured.

That means Greenpointer Victoria Cambranes has her work cut out for her. As an advocate for street-safety and affordable housing, she is hoping to run for City Council as a member of the Progress for All Party, which she created,

Continue reading

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L Train Shutdown Meeting Tonight (2/16)!

L Train ShutdownWhat’s the plan for the 2019 L Train shutdown? Do we have alternative transportation options? Tonight’s the night to voice your opinion and talk with community members about the upcoming L Train closure. The DOT and the MTA are hosting a series of community workshops, and NOW is the time to get involved before it’s too late!

Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design | 257 N 6th St.
6-8pm
Facebook event RSVP

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L Train Service Increasing In June 2017

L Train Illustration via @brooklyncartoons Instagram
Illustration via Emmett Truxes, @brooklyncartoons,

In a move that seems like it can’t come soon enough, the MTA has announced that it will start increasing L train service starting next June.

Beginning in June 2017, to accommodate the increased rider trends, the L line will have:

  • 11 additional weekday roundtrips between 9am – 7:30pm.
  • 12 additional Saturday roundtrips between 7am – 3pm.
  • 27 additional Sunday roundtrips between 7am – 8pm.

During these hours, L train service is currently running at more than 100% capacity (or “peak load point”) guidelines. The additional trains should help bump capacity down below 100%. Why it took the MTA this long to increase service on the ever-crowded L train is perhaps one of the great unsolved mysteries of North Brooklyn. Continue reading

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All Eyes On You, G Train — The Hook-Up 8/12

Screenshot: Brand New Subway
Screenshot: Brand New Subway
 
NAG’s beta-test for its ToxiCity Map is over. Now, take a gander at the fully complete version of this interactive guide to the environmental hazards lurking in your backyard.
 
Podiatric peril in Greenpoint: a dog bit a poor housekeeper’s toe off in a luxury condo.
 
The New York Times writes: “Once Mocked, the G Train Is Now Cool. Kind Of.”
 
But that didn’t do anything to persuade NYC Transit chief Ronnie Hakim, who denied a request to add more service and cars to the G Train prior to the L Train shutdown and said rush hour service is fine as is.
 
If the reality of all this transit stuff is too much to grapple with, try escaping into a fantasy Sim City land of sorts where you can design the perfect subway system.
 
Polonaise Terrace is about to serve up a different kind of banquet. Brooklyn Night Bazaar is moving in for its Grand Opening weekend on September 9th and 10th.
 
Police are still looking for the perpetrator who killed a cyclist in a hit and run on Grand & Manhattan a month ago — even though the car was found.
 
Have you tasted Maman’s ice cream sandwiches yet? The new cafe is serving McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams out of its new Greenpoint spot.
 
Parents in town? New to the nabe? Here’s the Brooklyn Eagle’s short list of architectural and sightseeing hot spots in Greenpoint.
 
Did you know Newtown Creek had a Nature Walk? Did you know there was nature in Newtown Creek?
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Pokemon Go Takeover, Evolved L Train & Turf Battles at Bushwick Inlet Park — The Hook-Up 7/15

The commute of the future. Via Van Alen Institute.
The commute of the future. Via Van Alen Institute.

2019 isn’t that far off, and it’s certainly not too soon to pit designers against each other to dream up alternative transit solutions for the dreaded L Train Shutdown. Although some fantastical entries included the above Donnie-Darko-esque translucent tunnel, the winning design involved small (and speedy) ferries jetting along Newtown Creek and the East River.

Because roving Transmitter Park on your own is not as fun as joining a marauding gang of eager Pokemon trainers, North Brooklyn will get to enjoy its very own Pokemon Go Bar Crawl next Saturday.
 
Though park advocates have been literally camping out in Bushwick Inlet Park and counting down the days left for CitiStorage owner Norm Brodsky to accept the city’s offer of $100 million, Brodsky recently thumbed his nose at them by putting the site up for public auction.
 
How depraved can you get? Someone allegedly set a homeless man on fire in Transmitter Park. The New York Post being the New York Post, it managed to crack a few jokes at the victim’s expense.
 
There’s something meta about being caught on film while robbing a film set. Police are looking for a man suspected of committing a string of robberies at mostly unlocked production studios around Greenpoint.
 
This architectural game-changer just had its grand opening in Williamsburg on Monday. 
 
After a $315,000 facelift funded by Nike, the McCarren Park skate park is back in action with more ways to do tricks (and keep it safe).
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