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This Week: L Train Shutdown Road Show Comes to the West Side

Image: NYC DOT

If you live on Manhattan’s West Side, this week is your chance to weigh in on the MTA/DOT plan to keep people moving while the L train is out of commission for Sandy-related repairs.

DOT and the MTA are hosting a series of open houses to solicit public feedback on the plan, and the West Side session is coming up Wednesday. After the initial plans were revealed, advocates called on the city and the MTA to do more to speed bus travel, with 24/7 transit priority and more dedicated busways.

But DOT is also getting an earful from people who want to water down the plans for busways and bikeways. Some of the most intense NIMBYism is concentrated on the West Side, where opponents of repurposing street space seem to think that letting cars jam up buses and depriving people of safe bike routes will make the traffic situation more tolerable. Assembly Member Deborah Glick told the Villager that the two-way protected bike lane planned for 13th Street "will never have my support."

Weakening the transit and bike improvements will only make traffic during the L shutdown worse. To prevent the NIMBY pressure from eroding the good aspects of the DOT/MTA plan, it's going to take a sustained push by people who understand why high-capacity bus service and safe bikeways matter.

You can speak up for robust bus service and safe crosstown bike infrastructure starting a 5 p.m. Wednesday. Location details below. There's also L train shutdown action on Tuesday, when the agency's present plans to Brooklyn Community Board 1.

Check the full calendar for more info on these and other events.

    • Today: Families for Safe Streets hosts a storytelling and journaling workshop for victims of traffic violence and their loved ones. 111 John Street, Suite 260. 6:30 p.m. RSVP here.
    • Tuesday: Brooklyn CB 1, which covers Greenpoint and Williamsburg, gets an update on L shutdown plans from DOT and MTA. 211 Ainslie Street. 6 p.m.
    • Also Tuesday: An expert panel will delve into the ins and outs of contracting with the private sector to provide transit service, in this discussion of TransitCenter's recent report, "A Bid for Better Transit." 1 Whitehall Street, 17th Floor, Manhattan. 6 p.m. RSVP to events@transitcenter.org.
    • Wednesday: DOT and MTA host an L shutdown open house. Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 229 W. 14th Street. 5 to 8 p.m. Attendees are welcome to arrive at any time.
    • Saturday: The city Health Department, PurElements, and The Brown Bike Girl host the Black History Bike Party, a free kid-friendly event about black history and bicycles. Details here. ARTs East New York, 534 Livonia Avenue, Brooklyn. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Watch the calendar for updates. Drop us a line if you have an event we should know about.

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