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L train shutdown
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Union Square district to undergo changes this weekend in preparation for the L train shutdown

Jennifer P

Most of us are ready to say good riddance to 2018, but some L train riders may not be as eager. Why? Because once April 27, 2019 rolls around, a portion of the line connecting lower Manhattan and Brooklyn will be closed to repair the damages caused by superstorm Sandy.

Residents who live off certain L train stops or use the train to enter Manhattan will be without service for the duration of 15 months. So, yeah, the "L-pocalypse" is a fitting term to summarize the hel(L) we will soon endure. You can read more about the proposed travel plans to compensate for the shutdown, but residents of Union Square district should note that NYC DOT is working to prepare 14th Street, University Place, Union Square West and adjacent streets for the closure (and complete as much construction as they can before spring) starting this Saturday, December 22.

According to the Union Square Partnership, these are the upcoming travel changes and road closures below.

  • Union Square West between 17th and 16th Streets and 15th and 14th Streets will be closed to vehicular traffic. These blocks will become expanded public space to improve pedestrian circulation.
  • To enable deliveries, pick-up and drop-off, and other access, vehicles will be able to drive eastbound on 16th Street and turn on Union Square West for one block before turning westbound on 15th Street.
  • Traffic will be reversed on University Place between 14th and 13th Streets to southbound only. Vehicles on this block must then turn right on 13th Street.
  • University Place will be converted into a shared street next spring, including curb extensions, enhancements to pedestrian space for safety, traffic calming measures, and additional bike share capacity.

And here are some other important dates to keep in mind.

April 21, 2019: M14 Select Bus Service, East River ferry service at Stuyvesant Cove and new L1 bus service begins.
April 26, 2019: Last day to ride the L train into Manhattan.
April 27, 2019: L train becomes a Brooklyn-only service.


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