Next up to bear the brunt of this decade of ineptitude are the riders in Ridgewood and Bushwick.
This week, parts of the M train will shut down for nearly a year, leaving residents to fight for a spot on a shuttle bus or invest in a new bike. Less than a year after M train work finished, the L train will undergo its major 15-month shutdown.
Some straphangers can’t catch a break.
The fact that work is taking place back-to-back is a shining example of the MTA’s lack of foresight. They’ve seen deteriorating conditions for year at the two spots where the M train is getting repaired. They knew this work needed to be done.
Instead, they put it off and waited until it got so bad that it’s essentially an emergency repair, because they know the line will be accommodating more riders when the L shuts down.
So it essentially took a catastrophe like the damage to the Canarsie tunnel that’s forcing the L train work to get the MTA to actually do anything about the M train. And again, because of their lack of planning, Ridgewood and Bushwick residents are suddenly going to find themselves in a transportation desert.
It’s bad for riders and even worse for businesses. A ton of new bars and restaurants are popping up all over Ridgewood, but the business districts around the M train are soon going to be on an island. It’s not a driver-friendly neighborhood either, so businesses are really going to struggle to get foot traffic from residents outside the immediate neighborhood.
It seems like emergency, lengthy shutdowns could be avoided if there was a smart, consistent investment in our transportation system.