Businesses rail against weekend L train closure

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

They are raising L.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority must suspend its plan to halt L train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan for five consecutive weekends in April and May even though the agency claims it can’t, says a cohort of Williamsburg and Greenpoint business owners who fear the closure will cost them big bucks.

“I have 500 people scheduled for classes during those weekends, and I am going to have to let them know that they will not be able to reach us,” said Taylor Erkkinen, owner of the Brooklyn Kitchen, a store at Frost Street and Meeker Avenue in Williamsburg that also offers cooking classes. “It will clearly be thousands of dollars worth of lost business for me.”

The L train will run only between the Lorimer Street station in Williamsburg and the Canarsie-Rockaway Parkway stop from Friday night to Monday morning for five weekends between April 18 and May 18. The authority says it will provide a shuttle bus from the Lorimer Street station to the Marcy Avenue stop, and also beef up bus services in Manhattan.

More than 300 people have signed an online petition, which asks the authority to change the dates until later in the year, when business is slower.

“Why couldn’t they do this back in January or plan something else?” said Tyler Boss, a clerk at Desert Island Comics on Metropolitan Avenue. “This sounds like mismanagem­ent.”

The transit authority has acquiesced to the neighborhood businesses on service suspension before. The Northside Merchants Association convinced the agency to switch a weekend L train closure that was set to take place during the annual Northside music festival in 2013. And the agency has worked with the merchants association on a few other occasions to make sure track work did not conflict with important neighborhood events, according to Northside Merchants Association manager Caitlin Dourmashkin.

But the authority says it won’t be moved this time.

“Unfortunat­ely, it cannot be rescheduled later in the year because it cannot coincide with other scheduled work on the J-Z and G lines,” said spokeswoman Marisa Baldeo.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Katjia McGillicuddy from Williamsburg says:
Curious where "Tyler Boss" and "Taylor Erkkinen" are actually from? And while I in no way defend the MTA generally, both Tyler and Taylor need to stop whining and appreciate the importance of track maintenance, etc. Neither of those stores are that difficult to get to if the L isn't running. Schmucks in Manhattan can take a bus or walk or bike ride over the WB... I'm sure some of them have $$$ for cabs etc though I wouldn't give those cretins a dime.

Or do "Tyler" and "Taylor" both have such a low opinion of their customers' intrepidness they're certain they'll just say eff it?
March 27, 2015, 12:43 am
bkmanhatman from nubrucklyn says:
Yes six weeks of painful weekends will have dividends down the road. The problem is we have too many short sighted people in North Brooklyn.
I personally don't want it but I understand the need for proper maintenance.
March 27, 2015, 7:52 am
BSS from PSS says:
Hey Katjia, why do you care where they are from?
Please crawl back into your hole, please.
March 27, 2015, 8:44 am
whocares from anywhere says:
Hate to say it but GOOD. Let 'em lose money & hopefully shut down. Im pretty sick of all of these dirty lookin, artisanal eatin gentrifiers walking around bk like they own it anyway. Get the fugg outta here.
March 27, 2015, 9:44 am
whocares from anywhere says:
And if you noticed, the 7 train is also shutting down btwn qnzboro plaza & vernon-jackson. That whole area btwn LIC, Greenpoint & W'burg is infested with these affluent embecils. Make sick to my stomach looking at it. Im in no way a fan of the MTA whatsoever but im somewhat glad that service is looking rough in those areas on wknds.
March 27, 2015, 9:50 am
WelcomeTo from NewYork says:
Weekend maintenance, welcome to NYC. That's how it's done. Would they rather it be done during rush hour? Would they rather no maintenance be done at all? Maybe now some people will see the need for mass transit alternatives such as CARS!
March 27, 2015, 10:03 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Ah, Whocares.. in a sense, the people who own businesses kinda do own Brooklyn. I realize it's been very hard for some of you xenophobes to reckon with finding out that you didn't own Brooklyn. Maybe nobody does.

I usually think pointing out misspellings is a hit below the belt, but the word is "imbecile." Trying to call people stupid by using a word a little to fancy for your intelligence level is amusing.
March 27, 2015, 10:14 am
whocares from anywhere says:
Doesnt matter how i spelled it, i got my point across so thats all that matters. Trust me, there's a lot of xenophobes like me feel the exact same way & are getting fed up to the tee with all this rent-rising crap these people are bringing into working class neighborhoods.
March 27, 2015, 10:37 am
whocares from anywhere says:
Just look at what happened in flatbush a few months ago when those cafes full of gentries got stuck up. People are tired of this bs & they're letting it be known the hard way. Dont think everything is all peechy keen & whatnot in ur little coffee shops, boutiques, etc. because right around the corner, there's people whos been here way longer then you who are on edge waiting for the next mark.
March 27, 2015, 10:45 am
jjm from c. hill says:
You see what all of this overcrowding in that area is doing? Infrastructure being strained & now people are complaining when trains get shut down. And i agree with whocares, its too many people moving into that part of bk, along with greenpoint. Now just imagine how strained the infrastructure will get if they build greenpoint landing & other projects around that area.
March 27, 2015, 10:55 am
Richard Grayson from Williamsburg says:
If you want to get to the Brooklyn Kitchen at Frost and Meeker from Manhattan, you can just take the J train, get off at Marcy Avenue, and get on the shuttle bus to Broadway. Or you can take the G train to Nassau Avenue in Greenpoint and just take a nice walk down to the store (go through McCarren Park for pleasure) or at Nassau and Manhattan Avenues, get the B43 bus going south and get off right by the Brooklyn Kitchen.

It's not rocket science. We customers of the classes of this store aren't as stupid or lazy as the owner of the store thinks we are.
March 27, 2015, 11:03 am
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
"Just look at what happened in flatbush a few months ago when those cafes full of gentries got stuck up. People are tired of this bs & they're letting it be known the hard way."

Wow.... So, violent crime is a "protest" now? I've seen a lot of dumb comments on this website, but wow.

Sorry officer, I know murder is bad, but that guy is very wealthy so he deserved it.

I suppose when family-owned bodegas are robbed at gunpoint, that's just a "gentrification protest" too?!
March 27, 2015, 11:35 am
old time brookly from slope says:
Flatbush is not being gentified - it is being reclaimed
March 27, 2015, 1:17 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
If you don't mind listening, I think I've come up with a grand solution to this problem, once and for all.
Pardon the interruption.
John Wasserman/Problem solver
March 27, 2015, 1:58 pm
SittingBull from MoteasaTribe says:
Yes old time from Brooklyn us Indians are claiming our land back...
March 27, 2015, 3:54 pm
Mustafa Kant from Atlantic Ave says:
That's why you have a car if you live in the boroughs.
March 27, 2015, 4:15 pm
Kathy from Williamsburg says:
All these business will be closed in a couple of years due to higher rents that they can not afford just like the businesses before them. Has anyone noticed that these businesses are only around for a few years and then they move out because of rent increases.What goes around comes around. They deserve it.
March 28, 2015, 5:47 am
Sherry from Greenpoint says:
“I have 500 people scheduled for classes during those weekends, and I am going to have to let them know that they will not be able to reach us."

SAY WHAT? I guess no one will be taking the B43, B48, or G train; riding their bike; or walking to your store. What percentage of your customers come from out of town? I guess you couldn't e-mail them alternative methods of getting to their classes. Sounds lazy.
March 28, 2015, 8:41 am
jjm from c. hill says:
That whole area of w'burg/gpoint/LIC by the waterfront has businesses that are so-called "trendy" & guess what? Trends come & go so they'll be outta here pretty soon hopefully They shouldve never rezoned those areas in the 1st place. It was for manufacturing, meaning REAL working class jobs & not what you see at the moment with all these ugly condos & other garbage.
March 28, 2015, 10:12 am
Jay from NYC says:
There is a broader issue here which no one has mentioned. The city and the state have failed to plan growth in NYC, and it is the only part of the entire state that is growing.
The rest of the state is losing population and we are gonna lose seats in Congress as a result.
So in a nut shell, state government (who runs the MTA) has failed to promote growth in areas where its not occurring and has failed to accommodate growth in the one area where is is occurring, or simply put the state government has failed massively to do its job. (Thanks three bozos in a room)
The only way to deal with the MTA problems, claims the MTA, is they need something like an extra 20 billion just to catch up.
Now the population of NYS is 19.75 million. That works out to about 1000 dollars out of the pockets of every man woman and child in the state.
Now obviously children aren't paying taxes, and there are about 4.23 million of em, so subtract that from the 19.75 million total and its 15.5 million NYS adults on the hook for that 20 billion, which means that the total is $1,290 dollars per person of adult age.
Now if you live up state, which is the majority of the population in NYS, how happy are you to pay an extra $1,290 in taxes for a service you will never use? Especially when your roads are falling apart and your schools stink?
So you've got a policy in NYC which is to basically force people to use the MTA, but not charge enough in fare to fund it properly, and then expect up-staters, who don't use it, to pay for it and also beg from the Feds to throw money at it, and despite all of that, the MTA still fails.
That systemic ongoing inter generational MTA failure hurts business in NYC, and drives down worker productivity for the entire city by breaking down or being late all the time. These problems are only getting worse by the minute.
This is not a gentrification issue, its an issue of a failure by government, and the numbers simply do not work.
So ask your self, do you feel like paying $1290 a year more in taxes, and yet another fare increase coming next year, or would you rather just move to some place less less stupid?
March 28, 2015, 2:30 pm
Linda Napolitano from Williamsburg says:
Ding ding ding! There are 6-7-8 ways to get around nearly all parts of the FIVE boroughs (at least two of which I bet "Tyler" and "Taylor" know nothing about, not to mention the vast majority of Brooklyn south of Cortelyou and east of Utica)...

It's absurd for these entitled clowns to be whining about the service changes-- when do they propose the work get done?

By no means do I supprt the MTA administration generally but grow a set or go back to Ohio. The rest of us can walk, bike, take the bus, hitchike, dolla van, etc.
March 28, 2015, 3:17 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
Like i said, its too darn crowded in that area. From metropolitan-lorimer on the L&G up to court sq on the 7,E, & G. And they have the nerve to complain why maimtenance is so frequent. It wasnt like this 15-20 years ago when more then half of these yups werent even trying to live in whats is now the gentry triangle (w'burg, g'point, LIC).
March 28, 2015, 8:35 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Some need to get over the fact that work needs to be down to help improve the tracks for the subway, but are so concerned when it's being done. One of the tough problems for this is the fact that subways run all day. In places where this isn't the case, it's usually done when they are shut down for the night, so most riders don't get affected. Also, the MTA does provide shuttle buses when it involves a good part of a subway line not to mention some could use the buses as well just by looking at a simple bus map. If anyone thinks that they can do the job better than those that are on it now, then send your resume and application to the MTA otherwise stop complaining about it. Nevertheless, I do feel that the MTA should be audited on where the money goes, though I still feel that fares should be raised, but not constantly. However, something like congestion pricing will never solve this considering that it's seen very much as a regressive tax and a punishment to those who are coming from places where there is no viable alternatives to driving. For the record, I do live in one of the 12 counties of NYS that funds the MTA, so I do get a say on this since I am also paying taxes to them. Maybe if the MTA didn't spend so much on some pet projects such as that unnecessary station house known as the Fulton Transit Center, which doesn't change the fact that the subway station there is still sort of like a maze. Overall, I'm really tired of hearing from those who always say that they want greatest transportation system in the world, but want someone else to foot most the bill for them.
March 30, 2015, 4:16 pm
Taylor says:
March 30, 2015, 9:16 pm
Princess Diana of Themyscira says:
Your customers are very stupid if they can't find a different way to get to you for something as important as school. Where do they live, New Jersey?
March 30, 2015, 9:29 pm
Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr. from Southside, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, United States says:
Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, the MTA had no other options but to perform critical maintainence and resiliency repairs for the 14th Street Tunnel, just like in every tunnel that was damaged by this Superstorm.
Sept. 12, 2015, 1:56 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: