For Williamsburg residents, each day that passes is another day closer to the impending doom of the L train shutdown, slated to happen in 2019. But the agency hasn’t wasted any time looking for alternatives for commuters during the shutdown, and promised to explore everything from shuttle buses to ramped up G train service. One of the more pie-in-the-sky ideas was to take away car access along 14th Street and turn it into a pedestrian and bicycle haven. And the MTA has just announced that they’ll consider it.
According to the Daily News, a study will look at the ramifications of closing down the busy thoroughfare to car traffic, making more space for buses, pedestrians, and bicyclists. According to MTA spokeswoman Beth DeFalco, "We are currently working on mapping out traffic flow models for the city and models for ridership overall." The study is expected to wrap by the spring.
When State Senator Brad Hoylman first proposed the idea of banning car traffic along 14th Street at a public meeting this summer, he was met with lots of support. He had proposed that trucks would only be able to make deliveries overnight or via other avenues nearby, with all other traffic flowing east of Irving Place and west of Sixth Avenue, each being only one-way. Senator Hoylman had even said he’d push to keep the car closure along 14th Street permanent.
According to the Daily News, the MTA and the DOT plan to release alternative travel plans at least one year before L train service takes its hiatus in 2019.