New York City subway train.

Brooklyn residents fear ‘unbearable’ traffic during L train shutdown

August 06, 2018 - 7:55 am
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NEW YORK (1010 WIN) -- Planned construction for the L train is already worrying some Brooklyn residents who fear a possible traffic nightmare.

The MTA plans to suspend L train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan for 15 months, beginning in April 2019, so crews can repair the Canarsie Tunnel, which was damaged by superstorm Sandy in 2012.

To prepare for the closure, the Department of Transportation has planned to operate shuttle buses for the L train, running along 14th Street.

Transit Chief Andy Byford and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg led a 2 hour bus tour on Monday.

"We have tried to thread the needle, and as a result I think mostly everyone is mad at us," Trottenberg said.

The plan calls for bus-only service from 5 to 10 a.m. between Third and Ninth Avenues.

Councilman Stephen Levin represents parts of Williamsburg.

"We can handle a little bit of impact to our daily commutes, you know I would say not more than 20-30 minutes," he said.

Members of the 14th Street coalition said the MTA and DOT have not thought about how this plan will affect traffic above ground.

They believe the plan to operate double-length buses around the clock will make traffic “unbearable.”

The coalition’s lawyer Arthur Schwartz explained that the plan will not allow any cars or trucks onto the road, unless they are dropping off the disabled. Therefore, he said the side streets will be impacted the most as traffic is rerouted off 14th Street.

“What happens when there are mounds of snow everywhere, and there are cars parked in? How are they going to get people down the street?” Schwartz questioned. “They really have not thought it out.”

Schwartz lives on 12th Street and explained that he and his neighbors don’t particularly mind the inconvenience, but said the DOT has to come up with a better alternative.