Worried Manhattan residents filed a lawsuit against city and state agencies on Tuesday in an attempt to block the looming L train shutdown.
The suit alleges that the agencies failed to complete necessary environmental review work for a project that the plaintiffs claim would endanger residents’ health as well as the “the delicate infrastructure of our historic low-rise” neighborhoods.
Attorney Arthur Schwartz said it was the last recourse for residents who feel ignored by “zealots” within the city’s Department of Transportation who are going too far to prioritize bus service over private vehicles and truck deliveries during the shutdown.
Freaking out about the L train shutdown? You’re not alone. The L train plays an integral role in getting hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers between Manhattan and Brooklyn every day.
In 2012, superstorm Sandy’s storm surge flooded the 100-year-old Canarsie Tunnel under the East River with millions of gallons of salt water, causing severe damage.
In response, the MTA said it would need to shut down the L train between Manhattan and Brooklyn for 15 months beginning in April 2019 so that it could make critical repairs.
The state-run agency and the city Department of Transportation have since released their official, comprehensive plan to mitigate the effects of the shutdown, which includes a busway and bikeway in Manhattan; increased subway service along lines near the L train; the establishment of high-occupancy vehicle restrictions over the Williamsburg Bridge; a new bus network and a strategy to improve subway access that includes reopening several closed station entrances in Brooklyn.
The DOT and MTA also recently hosted “Canarsie Tunnel Open Houses” to answer questions from commuters and offer the latest information on the shutdown.