Each day that gets closer to April 2019 is another day that brings New York a day closer to the dreaded Lpocalypse, during which the Canarsie tube between Brooklyn and Manhattan will close for 15 months of repairs due damage the L train tunnel suffered during Hurricane Sandy. There's been speculation as to how the city will attempt to move the L train's 225,000 riders between Brooklyn and Manhattan, and we got a clue this week: HOV lanes on the Williamsburg Bridge and another ferry line that leaves from Williamsburg.
The News reports that DOT head Polly Trottenberg and MTA interim director Ronnie Hakim suggested an HOV lane on the Williamsburg Bridge, and a ferry route that would run out of Williamsburg.
While a large number of riders are expected to shift their commutes to the J/M/Z and G trains, these two plans shown to lawmakers at a briefing are some of the first additional transit options city and state agencies have proposed. The Williamsburg Bridge HOV lane would be open to drivers with two or more passengers, and the ferry route from Williamsburg would run to 20th Street in Manhattan according to the News.
In addition to these reported proposals, there have been a number of other ideas floated as L train replacements during the shutdown, including the East River Gondola, this weird floating condom walking tunnel thing and introducing an electric scooter system and subsidizing Uber fares. There's also a proposal to shut down 14th Street to cars entirely, turning it over to buses and pedestrians, which won a design award from Gothamist and Transportation Alternatives. Before that design was publicized, Mayor de Blasio signaled a willingness to give a car-free 14th Street a hearing, but hasn't fully endorsed it.
Whatever alternatives will be used during the shutdown, the MTA has promised that the public will know about them at least one year before the Canarsie tube repairs begin. A DOT spokesperson declined to comment on the report. As of press time, the MTA had not yet responded to a requests for comment.