Wednesday, January 5, 2011

So much for the Red Hook Tunnel Bus

Ben Kabak is reporting that the Manhattan-bound Smith/9th Street platform will finally be closed, from January 10 through Spring 2012, and the Coney Island-bound platform will be closed from May through Fall 2012. There will be other assorted service outages at Fourth Avenue, Fifteenth Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway on the F and G lines. There's a lot of irrational anger at the MTA.

When Smith-9th is closed completely, there will be a shuttle bus to nearby F stations, and possibly to Jay Street, but the bus will not run through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to Lower Manhattan, as I suggested back in 2007. Although some politicians supported the idea as a permanent improvement, it got lost in the congestion pricing battle.

The people who are currently kvetching about the various closures should put that energy to work pushing for a tunnel bus. If they live in the South Slope/Gowanus/Red Hook area, they should push for one going down Ninth Street. If they live in the Windsor Terrace area, they should push for one going right down the Prospect Expressway. Google Maps say that either of these routes are ten minutes from the endpoint to the World Trade Center site, thirty minutes in traffic.

People who are upset about losing their F train service should get the state legislators representing this area - Assemblymembers Millman, Brennan and Ortiz, and Senators Montgomery and Squadron - to sign on to a request for a tunnel bus. It couldn't hurt to get support from the city council too. And if the MTA doesn't want to run it, get David Yassky to give permission for Suleiman Haqq to run his vans through there.

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