EAST WILLIAMSBURG – Forgoing his usual SUV caravan to Brooklyn, yesterday Mayor Bill de Blasio arrived in the borough via L train, addressing reporters outside the Grand Street station about the city’s preparations for the upcoming L train shutdown.
Acknowledging Brooklynite’s fears about service interruptions, he was on hand to say: “We gotcha—we’re on this,” and assure residents that the city was working hand in hand with the MTA. But the Mayor’s press conference offered little new information regarding the 15-month closure, which begins next April.
He touted the 80 select buses per hour, the expanded ferry service, and the recently-released pedal-assist CitiBikes as alternatives to crossing the East River, but also repeatedly praised the resiliency of New Yorkers and their ability to adapt to new circumstances. (Surely, years of subway delays, service changes and closures have something to do with that conditioning).
Councilmember Stephen Levin said that modeling done to predict the impact of the closure on commute times showed an average of 10 minutes each way. Levin said that New Yorkers were understanding, remarking that residents should be able to take a 20-minute delay in their commutes “in stride.”
Of course, no one looks forward to an extra set of transfers or another 40 minutes per day on public transit, but all elected officials present stressed the flexibility of the plan—that if things aren’t working Day One, they’ll be able to adapt.
The entirety of the remarks by all the elected officials can be seen below: