NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo may have stopped the L train from a complete shutdown, but the major subway line will still soon undergo extensive work.
And the city has still yet to release its full plan to handle bus service and traffic on 14th Street once the underground goes quiet.
As CBS2’s Dick Brennan found out Tuesday, most are growing impatient about the plans, especially since one may mean big problems for the community.
Starting Friday night, the work begins below ground to fix the L. Signs are plastered all over to warn riders about changes, but when it comes to the work above ground, along 14th Street, the city has left everyone in the dark.
“They have been coming to the neighborhood and making proposals for two options. One is a straight up bus way, banning other traffic from 14th Street,” said Elissa Stein of the 14th Street Coalition.
Stein said that plan may still stand even though the L train won’t face a complete shutdown anymore, during the major repairs.
“The major concern was with commuters, not the community,” Stein said.
Her advocacy group believes the city wants to close off all traffic on 14th Street to make it a bus way to boost ridership. According to recent records, annual bus ridership is down nearly 15 percent from 2012.
“MTA is down money, and the subways are a mess and need to be fixed, so there has to be money coming in from somewhere,” Stein said.
If the plan goes into effect neighbors worry side streets will become more congested.
“If they have to go on another streets in the neighborhood, can you imagine the chaos?” said Dennis Mortley of Manhattan.
One block south, 13th Street is down to one lane because the city installed a bike lane.
“That means everything else will just flood into the neighborhoods,” resident Paul Mulhauser said.
“Where are these cars going to go?” added resident James Filosa.
Local business owners fear this could also mean the end for them, since delivery trucks would have a hard time getting to them.
“They want to come shopping, there is no place for them to park,” said Jason Farahan, owner of Jason & Co.
But commuters see this as a plus, especially during the subway construction.
“The commute will be a lot faster, less traffic,” commuter Hope Jutchenko said.
“I think it would probably make the traffic flow a little easier,” Patricia Thomas added.
The city has not responded to comments about their plan, only saying in a statement “We will have more to say this week.” But this community wants answers right now.
The city also has not said if this new plan will be permanent or just temporary.