VIDEO: MTA and DOT host first of series of open houses for L-Train shutdown plan
MTA and the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) held the first of a series of public meetings to inform commuters of plans for the impending 15-month closure of the L train and to address community concerns, Wednesday night in East Williamsburg.
The shutdown will begin in April 2019 and affect an estimated 225,000 riders who use the L line tunnel every day between Brooklyn and Manhattan, in addition to 50,000 in Manhattan that use 14th street.
In December, MTA and DOT released a plan to mitigate the upcoming closure impact that includes increased alternate subway service, temporary bus service, temporary ferry service, station improvements, new bike lanes and added pedestrian infrastructure.
However, during the open house the new NYC Transit president, Andy Byford said that the plan “is not yet set in stone,” and although he considers it a thorough plan, the agency is open to feedback from the community.
The transit chief also said that improvements along the line will be a “payback” to the customers for their patience during the shutdown.
Some of the attendants at the public meeting said there are still inaccuracies in the mitigation plan that should be corrected.
“I wanna make sure that people with disabilities, that more concerns are being put so they can get around,” said Debra Greif of Brooklyn Family Support Services Advisory Councils. “They are not thinking in the people with disabilities.”
Another woman who lives on Bedford Avenue and works in Manhattan expressed her concern about the overcrowding of the optional routes.
“I left work one hour and a half early just to come to see what they have to say because it will affect me,” she said. “If anything, I can at least appreciate that they are giving out more specific information, hopefully they stick with what they’re saying.”
For people like Christopher Greif, repairing the damage from Superstorm Sandy needs to be done.
“This is a safety issue,” he said. “I think we should give them a fair chance and support this moment on this.”
DOT and MTA will host three more open houses in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Check out the schedule below.
Manhattan East Side, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 5-8 p.m.
14th Street Y 344 East 14th St.
Williamsburg, Thursday, Feb. 8, 5-8 p.m.
Williamsburg Community Center, 195 Graham Ave.
Manhattan West Side, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 5-8 p.m.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, 328 West 14th St., New York.
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