Cycle of frustration: L train commuters suffer delays due to bicycle on tracks

On the night train! Bedford L station as busy at 1 am as it is at rush hour
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

L train straphangers were forced to endure long delays during the Tuesday morning rush after some numskull left a bicycle on the tracks at Broadway Junction.

Manhattan-bound trains were delayed for half an hour after a train’s brakes were activated by a two-wheeler at the station near Jamaica Avenue at around 9:30 a.m., according to Liz Gutierrez, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

One Bushwick commuter heading across the East River was stuck at the nearby Wilson Avenue stop for almost half an hour on a platform packed with surly straphangers.

“I just waited, and waited, and waited,” said Aaron Ghitelman, who works for the real-estate search platform Localize.city. “It was just frustration. Everybody was rolling their eyes. A lot of people just left and bailed.”

The Authority also halted Canarsie-bound L trains at Myrtle-Wyckoff and Broadway Junction stations during the snafu.

Workers cleared the tracks by 10 a.m. and restored service back to normal, according to Gutierrez.

The service interruption is the second on the line this week that Ghitelman encountered, and follows Monday morning delays caused by a suspected track fire in Williamsburg, which it turned out originated from a nearby manhole cover, a spokeswoman for the agency previously said.

Trains were delayed between Bedford Avenue and Manhattan around 9 a.m. that day and the Bushwick straphanger transferred to the more reliable M train instead, but said that the announcements about the L train’s closure were unclear and like something out of a skit on Saturday Night Live.

“It was the worst announcement I’ve ever heard. It was one of those SNL moments, it was just so f—— vague. It sounded like they were saying, ‘this train isn’t quite running to Manhattan,’” he said. “I want just one day with an easy commute this week, that’s all I’m asking.”

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.