By Sara Bosworth
The L train’s days are numbered.
The MTA announced on Tuesday that the long-awaited, long-dreaded shutdown will commence on Saturday, April 27, 2019.
It has been public knowledge for over a year that the L would halt all trips over the East River in April 2019, but until now, the specific day hadn’t been released.
NYC Transit President Andy Byford said in a statement that the MTA was “continuing unprecedented efforts at public outreach, responding to local communities and giving as much notice as possible on key fates in this project.” Byford added that city agencies were hard at work “to make sure that alternate train, bus, ferry and bicycle networks work together to get people around successfully.”
The planned additional subway service, which promises to add 1,000 new round trips to cross-borough routes, will begin on Sunday, April 28. Alternative ferry and bus options will begin a bit earlier, on Sunday, April 21.
Work on improving cycling infrastructure at each end of the Williamsburg Bridge is also underway.
Hundreds of thousands of Queens commuters will be affected by the arrival of new riders aboard the G, 7 and M trains — a few of the L-train alternatives.
“Only part of the story is told, focusing solely on the impact in Brooklyn and Manhattan,” Access Queens founder Melissa Orlando wrote on the organization’s website in December 2017. “The addition of thousands of riders to overcrowded lines such as the 7 and the E trains is a disaster waiting to happen.”
For about a mile, the L train tracks straddle the Brooklyn-Queens border. At Myrtle-Wyckoff and Halsey Street stops, for example, the line’s Manhattan-bound entrances are actually located in Queens. A bit further west, Brooklyn ends and Queens begins along Cypress Ave., just two blocks from the Jefferson Ave. and DeKalb Ave. L train stops.
Thus, commuters from Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth depend on the L to get to and from Manhattan.
“The shutdown is going to suck,” Gwen Dick, a Ridgewood resident who manages a children’s clothing store in Manhattan, told the Eagle in August. “They are talking about shuttle buses, but the shuttle buses are constantly stopping.”