hurricane of pure despair L train shutdown is now arriving: weeknight closures between Bedford and Eighth Avenue as of midnight tonight, and hellfire six straight weekends without service starting April 11. While that’s inconvenient for you as a commuter, it’s potentially catastrophic for the small businesses of Williamsburg, many of whom were counting on the spring weather to bring in more traffic after the brutal winter. DNA Info reports that Williamsburg businesses have started an online petition, as a last-ditch attempt to postpone the shutdown until August. “To transport the humans here, the L train is our main artery,” Crest Hardware owner Joseph Franquinha told DNAinfo. “You cut off this artery, you’re cutting off our livelihood.” If you like local businesses that aren’t Starbucks or Urban Outfitters, you should consider signing it.
The petition states, “When the L train closed for a number of weekends several years ago, many businesses in Williamsburg were so sorely impacted they were forced to close. This closure will surely have the same devastating effect.” They propose a later shutdown at the end of the summer, when tourism and ridership is “reduced.” (Interestingly, though, MTA’s figures show a history of heavier ridership in the Fall months).
Truth is, there’s probably no good time to shut down the L train. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight it with all we’ve got! And you don’t even have to be a small business to lend your support: the petition is open for anyone to sign. And as with any protest, there’s strength in numbers!
The online petition claims that digital signatures — along with the hundreds already obtained locally on paper, according to DNA Info — will be presented at a scheduled MTA meeting next week. And while there’s no real intel on the numbers it would take to get the MTA to postpone the closures, signing your name is still sure to do more good than harm.
Caveat, y’all: a successful petition would postpone the weekend L closures, but prepare for weeknight shuttle service.