The dreaded 15-month L train shutdown is a little more than a year away, but officials still have not released a plan to mitigate the effects that the closure will have on the daily commutes of an estimated 225,000 New Yorkers.
On Wednesday, Brooklyn officials and community members gathered for a rally in the borough to call for Mayor Bill de Blasio and the MTA to put out a plan and meet with a community advisory board on the issue. The shutdown will go into effect in April 2019, and the MTA and the NYC Department of Transportation have promised to release a mitigation strategy by the end of the year. But as that deadline draws near, residents, activists and elected officials are worried that measures put out by authorities will not be comprehensive—or effective—enough.
The MTA has already launched a run of comprehensive repairs on the M train in Brooklyn, leading to multiple sections of the line to be temporarily closed in phases. That fix, the authority says, is a part of the effort to mitigate the effects of the shutdown. The MTA has also promised increased service on the G and J lines over the course of the L closure, as well as enhanced service on the B39 bus and 14th Street bus lines. But even with these promises, advocates and community members are still waiting on an official, public strategy.
When that plan does get released, it’s safe to say that there will likely be some pushback. When the MTA announced its plan for the L train closure last year, it sent shockwaves through Brooklyn. But hey, if one local think tank has its way, yearlong subway line closures will become commonplace in New York.