M Train Repairs To Provide Preview of L Train Shutdown

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Brooklyn transportation has really been taking a hit recently.

Lost in the looming L train shutdown news, the MTA also mentioned that they’d be increasing M train service as one of the means to help pick up the slack. However, come summer 2017, this means the MTA is going to start repairing the M train, because without a functioning M line, they can’t start the L train repairs.

“We want to get this work done and make sure the M has no issues of performance when the L work is going on,” MTA Chair Tom Prendergast told NYDaily News.

Basically, this means that we’re going to get a sneak preview of what will happen to Williamsburg and everywhere else along the L line through what will happen to Bushwick and Ridgewood along the M. It’ll be like L train shutdown lite: while the L train takes 300,000 commuters to and from Manhattan, the M only takes 60,000.

The MTA’s current plan of attack is to hit the line in installments. The M train will be shut from Middle Village-Metropolitan Avenue to Myrtle Avenue for the first two months of repair. After that, you won’t see service between Myrtle Avenue and Central Avenue. Central Avenue and Knickerbocker will be closed for the entire duration of repairs, so if you live there now (or were thinking about it), maybe start looking elsewhere. Shuttle busses will cart you off to wherever you need to be while repairs are happening, but let’s be honest, those are always a bit of a pain in the ass.

The real problem is that a ton of Bushwickers are seriously going to be displaced from their homes. Since the repairs involve a portion of elevated track that runs right up near some houses and small businesses, those people actually have to go someplace else for six months while the train is fixed. It’s likely that they’ll be displaced for longer though, given the MTA’s track record on timeliness.

“We have made initial contact with the affected residents, as we were recently authorized to do by the MTA Board,”said an MTA spokesperson in an email to NYU Local. “The next step will be to begin a series of individual meetings in which MTA’s real estate professionals and a highly trained relocation specialist will begin to tailor plans to the specific needs and circumstances of each tenant and property owner. We understand the serious inconvenience that each of these individuals are likely to experience in order to allow us to undertake this critical infrastructure project and we will do everything we can to minimize the distress. As you may already know, this is vital work that needs to be done to rebuilt the viaduct.”

Poor Bushwick. Will it still remain the 7th coolest neighborhood in the world when people can’t get to it? Will this stop or increase the gentrification of the area? And what does this mean for Williamsburg?

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