What are the proposed alternatives?
The city was planning on running a new series of over 200 diesel-fueled buses, with a new route running over the Williamsburg Bridge between Bedford Avenue and downtown Manhattan -- but naturally, folks weren’t stoked about inhaling an extra ton of fossil fuel fumes for a full-on 15 months. Environmentally focused lawmakers and corporations were not having it.
“The MTA’s [diesel bus] plan is the equivalent of putting 2,200 additional cars on the road,” Councilman Espinal told Thrillist. “This will burn dirty fossil fuels that contribute to air pollution into our communities, especially the ones in Brooklyn along the L line that already have some of the city’s poorest air quality."
MTA Executive Director Ronnie Hakim also pointed out that it would take years to test and roll out a new fleet of street-safe electric buses, which thwarted that option. It was then suggested that a single lane along 14th street in Manhattan and Grand Street in Brooklyn be closed off to private vehicular use in order to create a car-free busway. This busway would allow the volume of buses necessary to carry the L’s pedestrian cargo on a reliable schedule, without causing a barrage of traffic jams in the process.