Advocates propose L train alternatives

The L train will shut down in more than two years, but commuter activists say the city should come up with an alternative transportation plan now.



The line will close for repairs stemming from damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.



"We're going to need a pretty aggressive proposal here in Brooklyn," says Luke Ohlson, of the group Transportation Alternatives.



The MTA is looking at the option of closing car traffic on 14th Street in Manhattan to alleviate some congestion once the L train shuts down, but Ohlson says similar measures could help in Brooklyn.



About 200,000 people commute between Brooklyn and Manhattan a day, Ohlson says. He estimates that transporting them in cars would take up 56 lanes of traffic.



He favors a proposal to use a mix of bus, bike and pedestrian travel on Grand Street.



But the street has also been dangerous for people walking or cycling. Matthew Von Ohlen was killed while riding his bicycle on Grand Street over the summer, and his friend says she is hoping to see safety improvements to protect bikers and pedestrians as traffic picks up when the train is closed.



The MTA says it is conducting traffic modeling and other studies, and that it is open to outside ideas to share with stakeholders and the Department of Transportation.


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