With the L train closure a mere 15 months away, information from the MTA and DOT has been in short supply—but perhaps no longer. The two organizations have finally announced a series of joint “open house” meetings for New Yorkers to learn more about the impending closure and hopefully get some questions answered.
In early December of last year, local politicians and community groups called on the MTA to directly engage with the public regarding the coming disruption to subway service, when an estimated 225,000 riders each day will need to find a new way into Manhattan while the Canarsie Tunnel is closed.
The MTA responded by releasing a general plan outlining some of the measures that will be implemented to mitigate the effects of the closure: new ferry routes, dedicated bus lanes, and increased service and additional cars on the subways expected absorb displaced riders.
In the December report, the MTA promised that “further community meetings to present plans and receive more input from the public will be held starting next month.”
Now, the public will finally have the opportunity to engage directly with the MTA and the DOT, with two open houses announced in Brooklyn. The first will be held on Wednesday, January 24, at Progress High School in East Williamsburg, located at 800 Grand Street and Bushwick Avenue. The second will be held Thursday, February 8, at the Williamsburg Community Center, located at 195 Graham Avenue and Scholes Street.
Both events run from 5:00 – 8:00 pm and attendees are encouraged to drop in whenever they can during the open house. A flyer for the event can be seen below:
As it stands, proposed changes will affect the Williamsburg Bridge, where commuters should expect HOV-3 restrictions during rush hours, at minimum. New bus lanes will also run from Grand Street Station in Bushwick across the bridge and into Manhattan. Additionally, a direct ferry from Williamsburg to Brooklyn will be added to the current East River ferry service.
The MTA plan includes a number of improvements to nearby lines to increase capacity. The G and C lines will see longer trains with more cars available, though while the report states that “C train lengthening is also part of the broader Subway Action Plan,” it doesn’t suggest permanent G train lengthening.
There will be increased service on the G and JMZ lines, though no details are available yet about how often trains will be running. Finally, the MTA plans to open up additional entrances and turnstiles at G, L, and JMZ stations to handle the increased capacity.
Hopefully, further information about these proposed changes will be available at the events.