There is light at the end of the tunnel — followed by years of darkness.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will host a public meeting on May 5 where it will finally offer L-train commuters some answers on its plans to close the line’s connection to Manhattan for years of repairs, which it now says will likely start in 2019.
Transit honchos say they will outline the current patch-up proposals, listen to commuter’s gripes, and answer people’s questions during the forum at the Marcy Avenue Armory — a stark contrast to the last summit in January, when the crowd turned on an official who refused to give any details, shortly after news of the looming closure broke.
The authority is reportedly considering at least three approaches for fixing the Hurricane Sandy-related damage threatening to atrophy the so-called Canarsie Tube, according to pols and their flacks who have been speaking to the agency.
One is to shut both shafts inside the tunnel completely, which could allow it to get the repairs done in around two years. Another is to close one tube at a time, which would reduce service by about 75 percent and take closer to four years. The third is to shut it only on nights and weekends, but that could take up to seven years.
It will not, however, entertain the idea of digging an entirely new tunnel, which it claims would cost too much and take too long, a rep for Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D–New York) told residents in February.
Many local commuters and businesses are already freaking out at the prospect of a full-time lockdown. Real-state brokers claim that tenants and landlords are reluctant to sign leases, restaurant and bar owners say it will cripple the tourist economy, and at least one luxury developer is already pledging to provide shuttle buses for its residents to alternative subway stops.
The transit body will also host a meeting in Manhattan later in the month for the outerborough residents. They aren’t just facing the dark future of years without the connection to the Borough of Kings — the line may shut completely on that side of the river for the duration of the repairs, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
L train meeting at the Marcy Avenue Armory (355 Marcy Ave. between Heyward and Lynch streets in Williamsburg), May 5 at 6 pm. Free.
©2016 Community News Group