Today’s news:

One L of a crowded train

The Brooklyn Paper

Ample brunch options plus hipsters with unlimited MetroCards times weekend track repairs equals one angry subway ridership.

The number of people riding Williamsburg’s L train rose to near-record numbers last year, but all that extra people moving makes residents a little less happy with their once-empty trains.

Almost 7.5 million riders used the Bedford Avenue station in 2010 — an increase of 656,000 commuters since 2009 — with the train retaining 90 percent of its riders on the weekend as New Yorkers “discovered” how cool the hipster neighborhood is.

But that’s not so cool to residents.

“It’s just a nightmare,” said Williamsburger Rebecca Saez of getting around on the weekend, when the L has frequently been shut down for track repair. “Just thinking about the whole experience makes me want to stay home.”

And weekend work is not limited to the train most identified with the neighborhood. Weekend track work on the G train requires a shuttle between Hoyt-Schermerhorn and Church Avenue, resulting in delays up to a half hour.

Other stops on the L, including Montrose, Morgan and Jefferson, saw double-digit percentage increases, as more residents move east and into Bushwick.

The steady climb in ridership on the L combined by increasing service disruptions prompted state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D–Williamsburg) to demand the MTA conduct a review of the entire line.

“You have many more people living along the line than they used to, more people are coming for concerts and flea markets and other attractions, and there has been a lot of changes on the line,” said Squadron who believes the MTA could adopt low-cost solutions, such as skipping stops to prevent trains from bunching or shifting track work from weekends to overnight, when fewer riders are taking the train.

An MTA spokeswoman said the city received Squadron’s request but has not yet responded.

Increased ridership isn’t just up in the 11211 — central Brooklyn is also on the rise.

Straphangers increased by double-digit figures at the Parkside Avenue, Cortelyou Road and Beverly Road stations, according to the MTA’s report, and the B and Q trains saw a boost — despite shuttered Manhattan-bound platforms at two stations on the line.

Construction also has shuttered the Smith-Ninth Street station for F and G train traffic, even after some commuters heralded changes to make the F train run more efficiently.

— with Haru Coryne

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Reader Feedback

L man says:
2011 and this train still sucks.
July 16, 2011, 6:52 am
Phil says:
Use the J/M/Z. Far less crowded and not too far away from Bedford. But that's too much work for spoiled hipsters.
July 16, 2011, 12:13 pm
crash from Bushwick says:
skip the train, ride a bike
July 16, 2011, 7:53 pm
Steve from Bklyn says:
I know people who go out from Bedford, then turn around and get on a Manhattan bound train just to get a seat!
July 17, 2011, 9:36 pm
Peter from Sunset Park says:
The smartest hipsters have moved to Sunset Park where the transportation options are friggin' awesome, especially if they are near the express stop of the N at 59th & 4th Ave or 36th & 4th, and the ferry is right there at 58th St, and for those with cars the BQE entrance on 3rd Ave by 65th St is 12 minutes to Wall St if it's not rush hour. The N train is FAST, it's under 25 mins to Union Square.
July 18, 2011, 8:54 am
anonymous from ph says:
Absurd comment, hipsters have not moved to Sunset Park in any great numbers and they certainly don't move to a neighborhood because of trains, they do so because of culture. it's 5 minutes to union square from williamsburg, how is 25 minutes enticing?
July 18, 2011, 11:48 am
Blayze from Dearly Departing from Clinton Hill says:
I never really viewed Union Square as a hotbed of culture... unless you like chains and overpriced restaurants.
July 18, 2011, 12:13 pm
manhatposeur from manhat says:
hipster will not move past Park Slope or windsor Terrace, SUnset Park is tooo far!
July 18, 2011, 4:03 pm
VoiceOfTruth from ElBurgo says:
Mike Bloomberg doesn't care about pasty white people in tight pants. I'm a ferry man now during the week, but even that is a mob scene on the weekends. Everyone wants to be in Williamsburg.

But let's be honest. Sunset park has like one guy named Peter living out there after moving from Williamsburg and he's calling all of his friends telling them how great the trains are, and they're like, whatever Peter nobody wants to be in Sunset Park and my dealer won't even deliver there. And Peter has his stopwatch and he's riding the N train, making his case and calling his peeps and talking about Sunset Park in a slow, downward spiral of lonliness and isolation. Keep the faith Peter, you are the rock on which Sunset Park will build its sad little hipster church.
July 18, 2011, 8:07 pm

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