Community forum addresses L train shutdown

Brooklyn residents met Tuesday at the Automotive High School in Williamsburg to come up with their own plan to deal with the MTA's impending shutdown of L train service.

Starting in early 2019, the MTA will be shutting down L train service for a year and a half to make much-needed repairs to the Canarsie tunnel severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy. The work is expected to disrupt the commute for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. The MTA so far has not announced its formal mitigation plan.

A proposal presented at Tuesday's meeting was put together with input from the various stakeholders that will be affected by the shutdown -- commuters, business leaders, elected officials and transit advocates who call themselves the L Train Coalition.

Their plan calls for prioritizing buses, bikes and pedestrians, including shutting down 14th Street to car traffic. Other priorities include making transfers seamless between buses, subways and ferries; protecting businesses along the L train line; and transforming the L train into a more reliable subway when it reopens.

The coalition says it has presented the proposal to the MTA and hopes to continue working a dialogue with the agency. An MTA spokesperson says it is currently studying traffic models and will come out with an official plan in early 2018.

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