L-TRAIN CONCERNS

May 22, 2018 at 4:45 am

Residents near the besieged L-train worry about overcrowding and inaccessibility. We explore their concerns and more, as we take you into what will be, by most accounts, New York’s latest transit nightmare.

Aired on May 21, 2018. 

Transcript Print

>>> CONCERNED NEW YORKERS
HUNKERED DOWN AT A PACKED
AUDITORIUM FOR A TOWN HALL
MEETING ABOUT PLANS IN PLACE
ONCE THE L-TRAIN SHUTS DOWN NEXT
APRIL.
>> WE FEEL THAT THE PLANS WERE
DEVELOPED JUST WITH THE
COMMUTERS IN MIND, AND WE FEEL
THIS SHOULD BE BETTER BALANCED
WITH COMMUTERS, I'M A COMMUTER,
I HAVE A BIKE.
BUT BETTER BALANCED WITH THE
NEEDS OF THE RERESIDENTS, AS WE
AS THE EXHUMERS.
WE WANT TO BE PART OF THE
SOLUTION, BUT NOT EXCLUDED.
COMMUTERIN ERS ARE GOING TO BE
IMPACTED TWICE A DAY, WE'RE BE
IMPACTED 24/7.
>> THE COMMUTERS WANT
ACCESSIBILITY TO MANHATTAN,
RESIDENTS FEAR OVERCROWDING ON
THE STREETS.
14th STREET AREA RESIDENTS MADE
SURE THEIR VOICES WERE HEARD AT
THE TOWN HALL.
>> IF YOU'RE GOING TO PUT
BIKEWAYS, WHY RESTRICT IT TO TWO
STREETS?
GO FROM 23rd DOWN TO CANAL AND
PUT A BIKEWAY ON THE STREET.
[ APPLAUSE ]
DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE TO ME.
>> YOU HAVE NOT ANSWERED THE --
I'M SORRY, SHE'S NOT ANSWERED
THE -- WHERE WILL YOU ENFORCE
THE HOV-3 ON THE MANHATTAN SIDE
AND WHERE WILL THOSE CARS GO?
>> AND COMMUTERS WEREN'T SHY
EITHER.
>> ON A FRIDAY OR SATURDAY, IT
IS AS CROWDED AS RUSH HOUR.
>> PLEASE LIMIT THE APPLAUSE,
THANK YOU.
>> WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES FOR
24/7 SERVICE FROM MANHATTAN TO
BROOKLYN?
WE HAVE PEOPLE WORKING OVERNIGHT
SHIFTS, WE HAVE PEOPLE GOING TO
CONCERTS.
THE L DOES NOT EXIST FROM
COMMUTING HOURS ONLY.
WHAT ARE THE PLANS TO ADDRESS
REAL 24/7 REPLACEMENT SERVICE?
>> CLEARLY, THE DEPARTMENT OF
TRANSPORTATION AND THE NTA WILL
HAVE THEIR HANDS FULL FOR THIS
TASK.
THE L-TRAIN, IF LOOKED AT BY
ITSELF, WOULD BE THE TENTH
LARGEST TRAIN SYSTEM IN NORTH
AMERICA.
IT'S SLIGHTLY SMALLER THAN SAN
FRANCISCO'S ENTIRE B.A.R.T.
SYSTEM.
>> AT THE END OF THE DAY, THIS
IS A HUGE CHALLENGE.
WE'VE NEVER UNDERESTIMATED THAT
CHALLENGE, AND WE UNDERSTAND
THAT PEOPLE ARE UNDERSTANDABLY
CONCERNED ABOUT IT.
SO WE'VE REALLY PUSHED THE
CONSULTATION TO THE MAX.
WE'VE HELD OUT A LOT OF SHOW AND
TELLS ALREADY.
WE'VE SPOKEN TO COMMUNITY
BOARDS.
THIS IS THE LOGICAL PROGRESSION
OF THAT.
WE STILL WANT TO HEAR WHAT
PEOPLE'S CONCERNS ARE.
>> LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT PLANS
AND THE WORK THAT'S BEGUN.
JUST BEHIND ME IS THE TUNNEL
THAT CONNECTS BROOKLYN TO
MANHATTAN AND VICE VERSA, AND
WHAT THE L-TRAIN RUNS THROUGH.
SUPER STORM SANDY CAME IN AND
FLOODED THE TUNNEL WITH
SALTWATER THAT DAMAGED THE
ENTIRE INFRASTRUCTURE.
SO CREWS HAD TO COME IN AND
REPLACE THAT.
THAT'S EXPECTED TO TAKE 15
MONTHS, AND THEY'LL NEED TO SHUT
DOWN THE TUNNELS.
BUT WORK HAS BEGUN AT THE
STATION'S CLOSEST TO THE EAST
RIVER.
THE FIRST AVENUE STOP AS WELL AS
BEDFORD AVENUE.
YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO HEAR THAT
WORK GOING ON JUST ABOVE ME
HERE.
THAT INCLUDES ADDING STAIRCASES,
AS WELL AS ELEVATORS.
THEY'LL BE ADDING STAIRCASES
HERE AND ACROSS THE PLATFORM.
THE HARD PART IS GETTING THE
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF
COMMUTERS WHO USE THE L-TRAIN
FROM BROOKLYN TO MANHATTAN.
THEY ARE HOPING THAT THEY
REOPENED THE MYRTLE VIADUCT WILL
CARRY SOME OF THAT BURDEN.
THEY WILL HAVE ADDED TRAIN CARS
ON THE C-LINE AS WELL AS G.
BUT THESE ARE ALL PRELIMINARY
PLANS SO FAR.
THE BIG STICKING POINTS ARE THE
HOV LANES OVER THE WILLIAMSBURG
BRIDGE AND HOW IT WILL BE
ENFORCED.
THE AGENCIES ARE PLANNING FOR
EITHER 13th STREET TWO-WAY BOOK
LANE OR TWO ONE-WAY BIKE LANES
ON 12th AND 13th STREETS.
RESIDENTS ARE WORRIED ABOUT THE
INFLUX OF CYCLISTS.
>> WHY CAN'T THE BIKE LANES GO
BACK TO I THINK IT WAS AN
ORIGINAL IDEA OF PART OF 14th
STREET, INSTEAD OF EXPANDING THE
SIDEWALKS, WHICH ARE QUITE LARGE
U
ON 14th STREET, HAVING THAT BIKE
TRAFFIC ON THAT MAIN
DIRECTIONAL?
>> I'M CONCERNED ABOUT CHILDREN
SPILLING INTO THE STREET.
>> HERE'S THE GOOD NEWS.
WE HAVE BUILT PROTECTED BIKE
LANES ALL OVER THE CITY.
ON STREETS WHERE WE INSTALL BIKE
LANES, WE SEE CRASHES AN
CONFLICTS AND INJURIES GO DOWN,
BECAUSE BIKE LANES ACTUALLY --
>> CALM THE APPLAUSE.
>> THE PROPOSED LANE IS STILL A
QUESTION STILL THAT NEEDS TO BE
ANSWERED.
>> IT'S A HUGE CHALLENGE IN NEW
YORK CITY.
14th STREET, THE STREET ITSELF
IS EXTRAORDINARILY BUSY.
WE'RE TRYING TO ADD TO THE MIX
THE -- OVER 50,000 SUBWAY RIDERS
THAT RIDE THE L-TAIN ON THE
MANHATTAN SIDE, MAKING SURE WE
CAN DO THAT IN A WAY THAT KEEPS
PEDESTRIANS ON THE STREET SAFE
AND ENSURES THAT TENS OF
THOUSANDS OF RESIDENTS WHO LIVE
IN THE BIG BUILDINGS, ALL THE
BUSINESSES, THAT WE'RE DOING
WHAT WE CAN TO MINIMIZE THE
DISRUPTIONS.
EVERYONE HAS TO HAVE A SHARED
SACRIFICE HERE.
IT'S GOING TO BE DISRUPTIVE.
OUR GOAL IS TO FIND THE BEST
BALANCE WE CAN.
>> Reporter: THERE'S ALSO A
CONCERN THAT BIKEWAYS WILL BE
PART OF THE PLAN.
WHEN THE SHUTDOWN IS RAMPING UP,
THEY WILL REVISIT THE BIKE LANE
EFFECTIVENESS, TALK WITH THE
COMMUNITY AND DECIDE WHETHER TO
KEEP THEM.
>> WHAT ASSURANCES DO WE HAVE
FROM YOU AND THE CITY THAT THESE
WILL BE REMOVED AT THE END OH OF
THE PERIOD?
BECAUSE THIS IS BILLED AS A
MITIGATION, NOT AS A PERMANENT
CHANGE OR SOCIAL ENGINEERING.
>> I THINK WE'RE HOPING THEY'RE
GOING TO WORK WELL, BUT WE
WILL --
>> SO IT MAY NOT BE TEMPORARY?
>> AGAIN, I THINK THAT -- I'M
HOPING THAT WILL BE A DECISION
WE'LL HAVE DISCUSSIONS S LIKE S
ABOUT AND SEE HOW PEOPLE FEEL
ABOUT IT.