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L of a Plan: Rider Coalition Wants Cars Off of 14th Street During the L-pocalypse

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Richard Barone of Regional Planning Association, one of the transportation experts on hand at “What the L?” listened to community members’ feedback (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Since word leaked in January that the MTA was planning to shut down L train service for over a year in order to repair damage from Hurricane Sandy, the residents, small businesses, and restaurant and bar owners who belong to the grassroots L Train Coalition have desperately wondered what the extended vacation will mean in real terms. For almost a year now, they’ve been locked in a push-and-pull with the MTA and elected officials, all in an effort to get the facts straight and prepare for the impact. At a meeting last night dubbed “What the L?”, coalition members took matters into their own hands and unveiled a report that proposes a 14th Street “transitway” that would be closed to private vehicles and other measures to stave off the L-pocalypse.

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Surprise: The L Train Shutdown Has Spurred a Few Thoughts on Twitter

(Photo: Marcin Wichary/Flickr, via New York magazine)

(Photo: Marcin Wichary/Flickr, via New York magazine)

If you haven’t already seen the bearded doomsayers wandering the streets with the “The End Is Nigh” written on sandwich boards in fine cursive, then despair, ye fool: the L Train is shutting down.

Starting in January of 2019, the consistently packed subway line will stop running between Brooklyn and Manhattan for at least 18 months. During that time, the MTA will be repairing damage from flooding during Superstorm Sandy in the Canarsie Tunnel, which trains use to get between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

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Williamsburg Loses Subway Service and Subway Sandwich Service

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

From April 17 to May 18, there’ll be no late-night or weekend L train service between Lorimer Street and Eighth Avenue, which is very, very bad news. And if you’re the type to cope with bad news by wolfing cruddy fast-food sandwiches, there’s worse news still: Williamsburg is not only losing subway service, it has also lost two of its Subway sandwich locations. Branches at 209 Bedford Avenue and 717 Grand Street have shuttered.

For better or worse, that doesn’t leave Williamsburg completely without Subways. For starters, there’s one further down Grand, on Bushwick Avenue. But if it’s a sando near the Grand Street stop you desire, how bout trying a Down by Law-themed one at this newcomer instead? We’ll take Jarmusch over Jared any day.

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)