The MTA and NYCDOT recently announced they would be extending and expanding public outreach leading up to the L Train shutdown, which is scheduled to start in a little over a year. We applaud the agency for taking more time to hear from riders and neighbors to get this project right. If you’ll be affected by the L Train shutdown we encourage you to attend one of the two final open houses being hosted this month to learn more and share your ideas.
The shutdown of the L Train, which begins April 2019, could be a big opportunity for MTA to use a long-term closure to not just bring the line back to a state of good repair, but to make needed improvements and modernizations to the line for its nearly 400,000 daily riders.
It’s also a huge chance for the NYCDOT to test innovative new ways to make buses, bicycling and walking more attractive as displaced riders look for alternatives.
As we call out in our report, “Will the L Train Shutdown be a Missed Opportunity or Model for the Future?” and in the Fourth Regional Plan, the L Train repair process could serve as a prime example for how the MTA can make needed improvements on other subway lines much more quickly and less expensively.
For example, RPA and community advocates have called for the following:
- Add elevators at the 3rd Avenue and 6th Avenue stations
- Improve circulation and accessibility at Union Square Station, including the possibility of installing escalator, an idea RPA, Union Square Partnership and Transit Center recently wrote about in op-ed for Crain’s New York
- At 8th Ave, begin track extension work to 9th Ave needed to provide a faster and more reliable service once the line reopens and allow for even more service in the long-run. Also, improve circulation to the A-C-E and enhance flood protection.
- Use Design Build to make accessibility improvements, install platform screen doors, and rehabilitate stations using the Governor’s new 30-station design guidelines.
Time is running out for the MTA to make changes to its project scope. Let them know that you want them to use this shutdown wisely and invest in the improvements that will make the L train not just as good as it was before Sandy, but as good as it should be for the hundreds of thousands of riders who use it daily.
The next and final open houses are today, Thursday, February 8, 2018, from 5 to 8 p.m in Williamsburg at the Williamsburg Community Center and next Wednesday, February 14, 2018, from 5 to 8 p.m. in Manhattan at Westside Our Lady of Guadalupe Church