How New York’s L Train Shutdown Will Boost Cycling

When the line shuts down for repairs next year, an uptick in cycling is expected. Infrastructure improvements will make this shift easier and could promote biking well into the future.
October 21, 2018, 5am PDT | Camille Fink
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Aaron Gordon considers the effects the L train shutdown will have on cycling in New York. The line is scheduled to go offline for repairs starting in the spring of 2019. Predictions indicate that two percent of riders, about 4,500 riders, will move over to biking, and almost half to three-quarters of them will be using the Williamsburg Bridge, reports Gordon.

In anticipation of this increase in cyclists, the New York City Department of Transportation is proposing a series of road improvements, including better connections to the Williamsburg Bridge and protected bike lanes in the area.

But not all the changes have been well received, says Gordon. A plan for a two-way protected bike lane along 14th Street was met with resistance from residents. Now two one-way bike lanes are planned for 12th and 13th Streets, which disappointed bike advocates who were hoping for the safer two-lane design and a crosstown route that would encourage cycling.

A shift to cycling is critical and it benefits all travelers, argues Gordon. Otherwise, he says, traffic will worsen as the number of ride-hailing vehicles increases and other transit modes reach capacity. “And the more people who regularly bike, the louder the calls will be for safer, protected infrastructure. And maybe, just maybe, this positive cycle will continue after the L resumes rumbling under the river,” adds Gordon.

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Published on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 in Curbed New York
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