As the impending 15-month L train shutdown draws closer, the MTA and Department of Transportation’s still haven’t produced solid transportation alternatives for the nearly 200,000 New Yorkers that will be impacted by the shutdown—and people are getting impatient.
This week, North Brooklyn officials along with community organizers rallied to demand information from the MTA and the DOT. The two agencies previously said that a mitigation plan would be presented to the public and finalized by the end of the year; but with time winding down—the end of the year is in less than three weeks—a final draft has yet to be seen. The shutdown, which will make repairs to the Hurricane Sandy-ravaged Canarsie tunnel, is slated to begin in early 2019.
So what’s the hold-up? According to the Village Voice, it’s good ol’ red tape. “We understand that they’re sitting on the mayor’s desk or somewhere at City Hall and it’s time for them to release their plans so that the public can comment on them,” Minna Elias, the district chief of staff for Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, told the Voice.
But a spokesman for Mayor de Blasio denied that anything resembling a finished plan exists.
The city seems to be counting on the J, M, Z, and G to pick up a big portion of the slack. In September, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg shut down the widely supported prospect of closing 14th Street to private cars, while memos leaked to Second Avenue Sagas revealed that the city may be leaning toward making the Williamsburg Bridge HOV-3 from 5 a.m. through the evening rush hour. Critics have argued that without dedicated HOV lanes, the plan will only make things worse as the increased bus traffic will lend to the already congested streetscape.