L-Pocalypse Now (Or, Soon)!

Yep. It’s happening. Remember the last time we talked about this? Since then, the prospect of the L train – which is the primary, if not only, mode of transport from Brooklyn to Manhattan for countless commuters – shutting down has been a matter of if/when/how debate…and now the specifics are official.

That is to say, specifically: starting no sooner than January of 2019, 18 months, no L train from Brooklyn into Manhattan (it’s the Canarsie tunnel beneath the East River, damaged during Hurricane Sandy, which needs repair).

The L train will still run through Brooklyn and terminate at Bedford Avenue, leaving commuters formerly reliant upon it to…a) just never go west of Williamsburg ever again, which won’t be hard for you anti-Manhattan snobs (you know who you are); b) make use of the allegedly amped-up G train service (and who doesn’t love the G train); c) take advantage of the increased ferry and bus routes currently planned (nothing like a ferry across the East River in the dead of winter); d) take that fun leisurely stroll across the Williamsburg bridge; d) curse the heavens and MTA; d) some combination of the above…or, e) consider moving before all this goes down.

Indeed, although 2019 might seem far off, there’s no doubt that both small businesses and property costs are going to take a hit – with, most likely, the Brooklyn side of the river sustaining the brunt of the damage. It remains to be seen exactly how many residents will flee and how Williamsburg’s prices – which have only been growing in recent years, and are on par with most of Manhattan – will change, but the next year’s trends in affected neighborhoods should be interesting to watch.

On the plus side, this option is arguably better than a three-year-long partial shutdown. Arguably.

Hey, you know what has a similar vibe to Williamsburg, an easy commute to the city, a riverfront location (on the Hudson instead of the East), and thus far reliable PATH train service? Meet Hoboken.


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