NEW YORK — When the L train shuts down in April 2019, it won't only affect subway commuters — but motorists as well.
Beginning in April 2019, the Canarsie Tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan will close for 15 months, affecting over 400,000 daily riders of the L train, including 225,000 of who take the train through the tunnel, which will undergo necessary post-Sandy repairs.
Riders will have new options for getting around, including expanded service on other subway lines, a special direct ferry and bus service on 14th Street — that will be closed to cars, according to the MTA.
The core of 14th Street (3rd to 9th Avenues eastbound and 3rd to 8th Avenues westbound) will serve as an exclusive “busway” with rush hour restriction, with bus lanes and Select Bus Service (SBS) added in the next year. An upgraded Select Bus Service treatment on 14th Street will bring temporary bus bulbs, offset bus lines, sidewalk expansion and tens of thousands of square feet in new pedestrian space.
Commuters will need to adjust their travel patterns.
Seventy to 80 percent of L train riders are expected to replace their trips in part by using other subway lines, where service is being bolstered to accommodate the additional ridership. The MTA NYC Transit and NYC DOT have also jointly developed robust plans for L-Alternative bus routes (expected to carry 15 percent of L riders) and will also expand access to ferries (five percent), bicycles (1-2 percent), and for-hire vehicles.
The Canarsie Tunnel work will begin in approximately 16 months.
The subway plan includes:
- Increased service on the G and JMZ lines; additional station turnstile, stair and control area capacity at numerous stations on the G, JMZ and L lines
- Longer G and C trains to increase capacity (C train lengthening is also part of the broader Subway Action Plan)
- Weekends and overnights, M will run to 96 St/2 Av
- Free MetroCard transfers between Broadway G and Lorimer-Hewes JMZ
- Free MetroCard transfers between 3 train at Junius St and L train at Livonia Av
- Ferries, Citi Bike: The MTA will start a new ferry route connecting North Williamsburg to Stuyvesant Cove, which will be the terminus of the M14 SBS. DOT will also improve cycling connections to the Stuyvesant Cove ferry landing and East River Greenway, as well as a protected bike link this spring on Delancey Street between Allen Street and the Williamsburg Bridge. DOT will work with Motivate on its Citi Bike capacity to help service inconvenienced subway users, such as increased bike inventories and valet services to help move riders.
- Grand Street, Brooklyn: DOT is looking to make major changes to a street that will serve as a major bus and bicycle corridor to the Williamsburg Bridge.
- Subway Enhancements: DOT will also add new crosswalks, bike parking and pedestrian space to the Myrtle and Broadway corridors near the J/M/Z subway lines. With G train ridership expected to grow dramatically, DOT will improve crossings around the Nassau Avenue G train stop.
- Cycling: With the L closed in Manhattan, daily cycling volume is expected to double, and DOT will add Manhattan’s first two-way protected crosstown bike lane to 13th Street. DOT will also create brand new pedestrian space on Union Square West from 14th to 15th Streets and 16th to 17th Streets and a pedestrianized street that features a new bike parking hub on University Place from 13th to 14th Streets.