Entries tagged with: L train

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(photo via @drbear_ny)
2018 L Train

There was another public meeting about the impending work on the L Train's Canarsie Tunnel that, no matter how it's done, is going to take a long time. Gothamist was there:

As Lentol told the Daily News, there are several plans under serious consideration. One would close the Canarsie tube completely for at least 18 months. Another option would close just one of the two tunnels that comprise the Canarsie tube, allowing continued service between Brooklyn and Manhattan--albeit at less frequent intervals--and taking at least three years. A third alternative, limiting tunnel work to nights and weekends, would allow regular daytime service but would take at least five and, as Levin said, as many as seven years.

Lentol said that work will likely begin in 2018. At Tuesday night's meeting, Levin emphasized the importance of starting sooner rather than later, given the currently available federal funds for Sandy recovery.

"We have federal funds right now, about $700 million of federal funds, for Sandy recovery that can be dedicated to this, so that's the lion's share of what it would cost to do a significant amount of work there, and that's not money you can always count on being there, to be honest with you," Levin said. "We don't know what's going to happen with a new administration on the federal level, so...probably the prudent thing to do is to start looking ahead as soon as possible on how to do this."

Clearly this is far from over. The MTA are promising to "to meet regularly with residents, businesses and others affected by the Canarsie Tube work, as well as to consult with elected officials representing the affected areas, before making any decisions about the construction process and service alternatives." The next public meeting happens Wednesday, February 24t at 6:30 p.m. at 211 Ainslie Street.

(via @BushwickDaily)

Since the news broke that the L Train's Canarsie Tunnel, which connects Manhattan to Brooklyn, could be shut down for years for repairs, folks have been wondering what this will really mean for commuters, business owners and residents who rely on the L every day. Well, the data company CartoDB have released some maps that are able to visualize what the transit situation will look like and, surprise, it doesn't look great. Via DNAInfo:

It would take 1,154 bus trips a day with departures every 1.5 minutes if the MTA is to come anywhere close to offering a reasonable alternative to the subway line, according to maps released by data company CartoDB.

They show that if the Canarsie tube is shut down for repairs -- an option being considered by the MTA -- the fastest a shuttle bus would be able to get from Bedford Ave., the last stop in Brooklyn, into Manhattan is under 20 minutes.

The research found that anyone living past the Grand Street stop -- the fourth Brooklyn station on the line -- would be better off using either the A train if they're near Broadway Junction or the M train at Myrtle Avenue than a shuttle bus.

"There's no way city streets can handle that much traffic," CartoDB map scientist Andy Eschbacher said.

"If there are shuttle buses, [the trip] isn't likely to be 20 minutes."

One of the maps, showing ease of access to alternate routes to manhattan, is below and there is a whole lot more dizzying detail over at CartoDB.

Unsurprisingly, business owners along the L line -- especially those near the now affluent Bedford Ave. stop in Williamsburg -- are upset. There was a Town Hall meeting last night (1/28) at Brooklyn Bowl, and Eater was there:

A large emphasis of the meeting, which was co-hosted by a slew of elected officials and local bar and restaurant owners, was the impact a potential shutdown would have on the economy. "The businesses, quite honestly, will shut down," says Carlo Scissura, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. "The people will move out of this vibrant neighborhood." Like with previous L train shutdowns, the MTA will likely have contingency plans, such as increasing G and M train service, but more buses and ferries will not be enough to counteract the economic impact of no L train, some say. "Until we know that there are no other options, we shouldn't even entertain that option," one small business owner argued.

The people in the group organizing around the issue, called The L Train Coalition, say they will be moving future meetings further down Brooklyn to include people from across the L train, including commuters and residents. They'll be sending another letter to the MTA with requests for more information, in concert with many of Brooklyn's elected officials. The turnout for the event shows just how much people care about the issue, Rosen says. "People are going to fight for it," he says. "We're going to keep pushing."

If you're interested, the next meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 24, at the Swinging Sixties Senior Center (just off the Graham Ave stop) at 6:30 p.m.

Needless to say, stay tuned.

Continue reading "more on the possible L Train shutdown nightmare"

L Train stop with Craig Finn ad
Craig Finn

Well here's very bad news for anyone who lives on the L line and likes to travel between Brooklyn and Manhattan: Gothamist reports that proposed (and much-needed) repairs to the Carnarsie Tube (the tunnel between the 1st Ave and Bedford Stops), which was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, may mean shutting down service between the two boroughs, a process that could last years. They write:

Like the R train's Montague Tube, the L train's Canarsie Tube was flooded with saltwater and severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy. The Montague Tube was shut down and repaired in 13 months--one month and $58 million under budget--while riders found other ways to get to work.

The project to repair the Canarsie Tube is projected to take three years, and the MTA is considering shutting down service between Manhattan and Brooklyn entirely to get it done, according to MTA sources familiar with the initiative. In this scenario, Manhattan-bound L service would terminate at Bedford Avenue, the line's busiest station.

There's still some hope for those whose commutes will be affected by this though: "The MTA is planning on increasing M train service, adding two cars to G trains, and running a system of shuttle buses; the sources say that the tunnel work is slated to begin in late 2017."

There's still debate over what the best way to handle these repairs would be, but it seems inevitable that it won't be convenient for subway riders.

Jeffrey Lewis

As New Yorkers who ever need to commute between Williamsburg and Manhattan surely know, the L train hasn't been running between those two boroughs on nights and weekends since late March. Luckily, it finally ends this Friday (5/22), but the struggle has been real for almost two months and Jeffrey Lewis feels it too. He's recorded a new song called "Train Song" which isn't a Vashti Bunyan cover, but an ode to the pain inflicted on us by the MTA with a chorus of "No L, no L, no L, no L, the MTA fucked us and made our lives hell." Nod along in agreement below...

Continue reading "Jeffrey Lewis writes ode to the L train being fucked (listen)"


Earlier this morning we posted that the MTA had planned for the L Train to be down during the weekend of The Northside Festival (June 15 - 17) and that a number of politicians -- including Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz -- had sent a letter asking them to reconsider. It worked, as the MTA has moved the L Train service outage to the following weekend (June 22 - 24). The L Train will still, however, be down (8th Ave to Lorimer Stop in Williamsburg) on Memorial Day Weekend (May 25 - 27). Shuttle buses across the Williamsburg bridge and augmented M14 bus service will be available.

UPDATE: The L Train WILL run during Northside Fest after all.

Grumpy Cat

As you may know, the Northside Festival is returning to Brooklyn from June 13 to 20, which is a great thing because it means tons of great bands like Swans, Kylesa, Merchandise, Solange, Phosphorescent, Mac DeMarco, White Fence, and many more will be taking over various Brooklyn venues making for one crazy week. But apparently for this year's Northside Festival, the sweet isn't without the bitter.

We already mentioned that Williamsburg venue Public Assembly will be closed most of this summer, forcing a handful of Northside shows to find new locations. And we've now just learned via Gothamist that the MTA is planning to shut down L Train service the weekend of Northside Festival for maintenance. It will also be closed Memorial Day Weekend (May 25 - 27).

A number of NYC politicians teamed up to ask the MTA to reschedule the shutdowns. You can read that letter in full below.

UPDATE: The letter was a success. The L Train WILL run during Northside Fest after all.

Continue reading "L Train shutting down for maintenance during Northside?"

The L train earlier this week...(via MTA's Flickr)
The L Train

The long nightmare is over: The L Train is back. Says the MTA, "service between Broadway Junction and Manhattan resumed this afternoon, following repair work to components inside the Canarsie Tube, which connects the line between Manhattan's East Side and Brooklyn's Greenpoint and Williamsburg neighborhoods."

Woohoo! Glad to have you back. Expect delays today, though.


P.S. Manhattan, this means you can come to our free screening of the Comedy at Knitting Factory on Sunday.

Pumping out the L Train tunnels, 11/5/2012 (via MTA's Flickr)
Flooded L Train

While Irene had brought the water within a foot or two of flooding the subway entrances and ventilation gratings, Sandy's fourteen-foot surges brought the water gushing in. Half of the subway system's fourteen under-river tubes flooded. A few filled up end to end, much like the MTA's Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. They couldn't even send workers out to assess them until after the second surge at the next high tide Tuesday morning.

Pumping began soon after -- or "dewatering," as the pumping industry calls it. Other city agencies had to rely on outside contractors to pump their tunnels. But it happens that the subway system already had its own toys. Each of the system's under-river tunnels has a sump to deal with everyday seepage, and each also has a tube fixed to the side called a discharge line. Starting Tuesday, the system sent in its "pump trains" -- diesel powered trains with five or six cars, run by just five or six workers. Underneath the trains are pumps, moving hundreds of gallons of water back into the river every minute. "You take the pump train and you bury the first car up to the floor level so it's underwater," Prendergast says, "and you hook it up to the discharge line and you start pumping the tunnel dry." -[NY Mag]

While service to most MTA subway lines, miraculously, has been restored following Hurricane Sandy, there is still no L train service to or in Manhattan which involves a whole lot of commuters (like NY1's Pat Kiernan and at a couple BV staff members). If you're wondering why it hasn't been restored yet, pictures from the MTA's very active Flickr account tell the story: they're still pumping flood waters out of the East River tunnel. Says the MTA:
MTA employees using a pump train are working around the clock to pump seawater out of the L train's tunnel under the East River. The tunnel was flooded during the unprecedented 13-foot storm surge of Hurricane Sandy. This photo shows activity on the afternoon of Monday, November 5.
After the tunnel is pumped dry of water, work will begin to inspect tracks, signals, switches, electrical components, and third rail. If any repairs are needed, employees will make them as quickly as possible to get service restored.

Meanwhile, there is still no G service at all. The tunnels are dry, however, and signal fixes are on their way, says the MTA. In the interim, the MTA is running more B62 buses (which have been crazy packed). More pictures of the work on the L train East River tunnel are below.

Continue reading "Still no L train service (or G for that matter), but MTA is working around the clock (pics)"