nyc subway

L Train Non-Shutdown Begins April 26 With Night and Weekend Service Changes

(Image courtesy of Roshan Vyas)

Five weeks after releasing a statement announcing that the L train shutdown is averted, the MTA announced its “Alternative Service Plan” for construction on the Canarsie Tunnel during nights and weekends, when L trains will run every 20 minutes from Bedford Ave to Manhattan.

The work would begin on April 26, and is estimated to last 15 – 20 months. The previous plans to lengthen the G train and provide shuttle buses across the Williamsburg Bridge are not included in the new plan, but service will increase on the G, M and 7 subway lines. An MTA shuttle will run from Bedford Avenue to the J/M Marcy Avenue station and to the G/L Lorimer Street station and back, according to amNew York.

According to NBC New York, the plan includes (and excludes):

  • Work on overnights/weekends begins the weekend of April 26;

  • The MTA does not anticipate closing 14th Street to vehicles, which would have happened under the previous plan;

  • The MTA is not  planning shuttle buses or HOV lanes on the Williamsburg Bridge;

  • The MTA is not planning shuttle buses or HOV lanes on the Williamsburg Bridge;

  • Beginning at 10 p.m. every night, L trains will run every 20 minutes;

  • The MTA recommends customers use other subway lines – the G/J/M especially;

  • The MTA will not be lengthening G trains as previously planned;

  • The MTA will run a “loop bus” from Bedford Avenue to those other subways;

  • concerned about crowding at First Avenue and Third Avenue in Manhattan. They are considering making those stations EXIT ONLY;

  • Work should last 15-20 months but an end date is unknown

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Northbound Trains Will Skip Greenpoint Avenue in March

GreenpointAve_GTrain_nmgreenfield_674-500x209

 

Service changes for the G train are slated to begin March 1, to make way for construction crews to install three elevators at the Greenpoint Ave stop, Councilmember Stephen Levin posted on Facebook:

We have some service changes to the G Train coming up as we make the line better. Here are the details

1. The next phase of the project to bring full ADA accessibility to the Greenpoint Avenue G station, including three new elevators and other accessibility features, will require round-the-clock track and platform access to construction crews. Beginning at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, March 1, 2019 until 5:00 a.m. on Monday, April 1, 2019, northbound G trains will not stop at Greenpoint Avenue. Customers will be able to access the station by taking MTA NYC Transit bus service or taking a northbound G train to 21st Street in Queens and then back riding on a southbound G train to Greenpoint Avenue. There will be no change to southbound G service during this time at this station.

2. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 4, 2019 until 5:00 a.m. on Monday, April 1, 2019, southbound G trains will not stop at the Flushing Avenue G station. This southbound bypass is necessitated by an MTA NYC Transit flood prevention project at the station, as the staircase leading to/from the southbound platform of the station will be closed for the flood mitigation upgrade. Customers will be able to access this station by taking a southbound G train to Myrtle-Willoughby Avenues and then taking a northbound G train to Flushing Avenue. There will be no change to northbound G service during this time at this station.

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L Train Petroleum Stench Linked to Bushwick Avenue Gas Station Spills

The Shell gas station at 2 Bushwick Ave. in September 2017 (via Google Maps)

A shuttered Shell gas station at 2 Bushwick Ave. where five spills were reported from 1989 – 2006 is being identified as the potential source of the L train petroleum stench that has resulted in multiple sick passengers and workers since last week, NY Daily News reports.

The Dept. of Environmental Conservation received the spill reports from the former gas station owners whose business operated directly above the L train between Grand Street and Graham Avenue as recent as 2017.

The Shell gas station at 2 Bushwick Ave. in 2018 (via Google Maps)

The DEC is not officially placing the blame on the former gas station for the L train oil smell, the NY Daily News explains:

Transit officials said the tank was abandoned for more than 20 years after DEC officials opted not to remove it, citing its proximity to the subway tunnels. But their timeline may be off — fuel was sold at the gas station as recently as 2017.

DEC spokesman Sean Mahar said Monday that the agency had not yet identified a single source of last week’s disturbing odor, and that a comprehensive investigation into the issue was ongoing.

City Councilman Antonio Reynoso, whose district includes the vacant station, said his office received very little communication from the MTA on the source of the L train stink.

“To make matters worse, the information we have received is conflicting and leaves many unanswered questions about the gravity of the situation and its impact on the health of the riders and residents,” said Reynoso. “This is especially angering and adds insult to injury when considering that north Brooklyn has a history of experiencing environmental injustices, specifically oil spills.”

 

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L Train Gas Odor Causes Sick Passengers, Service Disruptions

(Image courtesy of Jess Hawsor)

Following reports of a mysterious gas odor today, the L train is experiencing service disruptions between Morgan Avenue in Brooklyn and 1st Avenue in Manhattan, the MTA says.

Service has been partially suspended on the L train since early afternoon due to the fumes, which are attributed by the MTA to street-level waterproofing and diesel trains in the Canarsie tunnel last night.

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MTA to Hold Emergency L Train Public Meeting Tuesday

The MTA is holding an emergency L train public meeting Tuesday at noon to discuss the new plans regarding the non-shutdown of the Canarsie tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn. The meeting will be live streamed.

Cuomo’s announcement two weeks ago rocked the Brooklyn universe and understandably upset the renters and business owners who already relocated, not to mention the community leaders who worked for three years on mitigation plans and questioned the announcements’ lack of specifics.

The L train was scheduled to see 15 – 18 months of major service disruptions beginning in April, but as the story goes, a distraught Brooklyn man pulled Cuomo’s lapel, inspiring the Governor to assemble an engineering team of experts to visit the Canarsie tunnel. Continue reading

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L-Train Apocalypse Averted, Reconstruction to Take 15 – 20 Months

Gov. ‘Amazon’ Cuomo at Thursday’s press conference in Manhattan.

Governor ‘Amazon’ Cuomo held a surprise press conference in Manhattan on Thursday afternoon to announce last-minute changes in the two-year-old L train shutdown plan that was scheduled to start in April 2019. The plan for a full shutdown of the L train’s Canarsie tunnel has been scrapped in lieu of a new engineering plan (PDF) to keep the tunnel in operation during reconstruction. The announcement has a profound impact on Brooklyn residents working in Manhattan and the real estate developers with local interests, who are some of Cuomo’s largest donors.

Without offering many specific details, Cuomo said that L train commuters can expect service disruptions on some nights and weekends during the coming 15-to-20-months of construction on the Canarsie tunnel.

Cuomo didn’t talk about the MTA’s former plans to create express bus lanes on the Williamsburg Bridge and across 14th Street in Manhattan. Cuomo also continued to deny his control over the MTA: “No, I am not in charge of the MTA…Yes, I did ask this group, I convened this group, I got them access, I facilitated their research, they came up with their conclusion, they presented it to the MTA, and the MTA said it’s a better way to do it.”

The flooded Canarsie tunnel in the aftermath of 2012’s Hurricane Sandy

The Canarsie tunnel was damaged way back in 2012 from the salty, corrosive floodwaters of Hurricane Sandy. The MTA announced its mitigation plan in 2016, and since then dozens of meetings in North Brooklyn have been held by local activist groups such as the L train Coalition and NYC Council Members Stephen Levin and Antonio Reynoso.

Cuomo’s team of Ivy League engineers drafted a new engineering design “never used in the United States” to supplement the full shutdown, Cuomo explained during Thursday’s press conference:

To make a long story short: They have proposed a new design to use in the tunnel. It is a design that has not been used in the united states before to the best of our knowledge. It has been implemented in Europe. It has never been implemented in a tunnel restoration project. They came up with that design suggestion that uses many new innovations that are new to, frankly, the rail industry in this country. But the MTA has gone through their recommendations and gone through the new design, and the MTA believes that it is feasible, it’s highly innovative but that it is feasible. Long story short, with this design, it would not be necessary to close the L train tunnel at all, which would be a phenomenal benefit to the people of New York City. There would need to be some night and weekend closures of only one tube, so service would still work because there are two tunnels, but it would be a major, major breakthrough, and that’s what we want to discuss with you today.

Watch the full press conference:

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A Teen in the Turnstile, A Man in the River, and Sex at the Center — The Hook-up 9/29

Activist Swimmer Christopher Swain Takes on the East River. Via Brooklyn Paper
Activist Swimmer Christopher Swain Takes on the East River. Via Brooklyn Paper

We’ve all had trouble with the turnstile before — maybe your MetroCard isn’t swiping, maybe some of the turnstiles are out of order — but it takes a special skill and dedication to find yourself wedged on top of a full height turnstile at 8am on a Tuesday morning at Court Square, as one teenage turnstile jumper did this week. A witness told Gothamist that the teen “tried to hold back the gate and slip through it, but it slipped back and wedged him in.” Ultimately, he had to be detangled from the turnstile by MTA personnel.

And that’s not the only wild feat in the news this week. Christopher Swain, an activist swimmer who has already plunged into the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek, swam the East River last Thursday from Greenpoint to Brooklyn Bridge Park in order raise awareness for the global refugee crisis. He took off from Greenpoint’s India Street Ferry Dock, and finished his journey at Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Continue reading

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New Changes for L & G Service!

Assemblyman Joe Lenthol of North Brooklyn just gave us the lowdown on the new changes from the MTA that will (we hope) improve our transportation options.

L train service will increase during weekday rush hour (8-9am and 7-11pm) by 5 additional round trips, reducing wait time from 5 to 4.5 minutes. The L train will also receive a 20% boost in service on it’s peak Saturday and Sunday hours (9-11pm).

The runt of the MTA litter, Mr. G train, will also get an increase on weekdays form 3-9pm, decreasing wait times from the current 10 minutes, to 8.5, making your commute home a little faster. We’re unsure at this time, why there wasn’t a weekday morning increase, but we’ll take what we can get for now.

Also, for those planning far in advance, the G train tunnel will be closed from Nassau to Court Street for 5 weeks in July 2014, to repair damages from temporary fixes administered after Sandy.

What will you do with that extra 30 SECONDS of free time (that you won’t be wasting on the subway platform)? Read the world’s shortest e-book? Do one push-up? Knit an invisible sweater? The options are endless.

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