The L train is about to go into hibernation, with upcoming service changes that'll suspend service between Brooklyn and Manhattan for a total of five weekends starting next month. And though this is bad news for anyone who needs to travel from one borough to the other this spring, businesses in North Brooklyn say the MTA's timing is disastrous, and they're petitioning the authority to push the scheduled work back.
The L will not run between 8th Avenue and Bedford Avenue on weekends from April 11th to May 18th, so MTA workers can do necessary repair and maintenance work that'll hopefully prevent the rush hour disasters riders have been experiencing of late. But businesses claim this'll hurt their bottom line, and as of Friday morning, 328 people signed a petition requesting the MTA rethink their scheduling. Per the petition:
The L train is our lifeline to Manhattan and these particular dates cut deep into the heart of the spring season - our most crucial time. We appreciate the MTA needs to do repair work but this timing is the worst. If the MTA insists that 5 consecutive weekend closures are needed for this work, we would like the work to be delayed until August, when tourism and ridership is reduced and many businesses keep limited summer hours.
This isn't the first time North Brooklyn merchants have been hurt by work on the L—extensive service disruptions in 2011 and 2012 reportedly cost them a number of customers. But the repair work must be done, and the MTA says they can't do anything about the disruptions.
"The ongoing weeknight and upcoming weekend construction work along the L line is vital maintenance work necessary to keep the line in a state of good repair in order to continue to provide our customers with safe and reliable service," MTA spokesperson Marisa Baldeo told us in a statement, noting that the work "cannot be rescheduled later in the year because it cannot coincide with other scheduled work on the J/Z and G lines."
The good news is, the L will continue to run between Lorimer Street and Canarsie-Rockaway Parkway, and shuttle buses will operate between Lorimer and the Marcy Avenue JMZ station.