A group of politicians, business owners, community groups, and local residents dubbing itself "The L Coalition" is holding a town hall tomorrow to voice their concerns to the MTA. This is the first major meeting on the matter since we reported that L train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan could shut down for up to three years for repairs to Sandy-related damages in the Canarsie Tube.
The coalition met for the first time last week to begin organizing against this potential shutdown, which has sent regular L train riders into a panic. On Monday, a group of local politicians headed by Representative Carolyn Maloney sent a letter to the MTA about the potential tunnel shutdown.
"The L train is a critical mode of transportation, the primary subway between north Brooklyn and Manhattan," the letter reads. "There is no duplicate mode of transportation. We understand that the tunnel is over 100 years old, that it was badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy and that repairs must be made; however, we are deeply concerned that the closure could leave commuters with no means of getting to and from the Williamsburg/Greenpoint area."
The letter was signed by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, State Senator Martin Malave Dilan, State Senator Daniel Squadron, State Assembly Member Joe Lentol, and City Council Member Stephen Levin. The politicians requested a private meeting with the MTA and asked that the authority send a representative to Thursday's meeting.
"Even if the MTA is not yet ready to offer comment on the L train situation, it is important that your agency hears feedback from the people who will suffer the greatest impact," the letter said.
The MTA has confirmed that a representative will be attending.
"There is no question that this vital work has to be done to make repairs to a set of tubes that saw in excess of 7 million gallons of salt water enter as a result of Superstorm Sandy," MTA spokesperson Adam Lisberg said in an email to Gothamist. "However, no decisions on this project are finalized and work will not be started for a couple years. We look forward to meeting with elected officials, community representatives and riders and listening to their ideas for the best way to mitigate the impact to customers who travel through the Canarsie Tube every day."
The town hall is scheduled for 11 a.m. on January 28th at Brooklyn Bowl, located at 61 Wythe Avenue. One of the organizers said that this timing is due to the fact that it was originally going to be a press event, but that they are considering holding future meetings after business hours.