As many of you know, the 14th Street - Canarsie Line "L" will require extensive work on it's under river tunnels. This work will require shutting down one or both tubes at once and will delay thousands of passengers on a daily basis. The "L" line has increased ridership in the past several years and is one of the busiest line in the city. Unlike other lines, the "L" line is somewhat isolated and there is no relatively speaking, no other line nearby. Likewise, recently, in the news, there are plans to make the former trolley terminal, at Essex and Delancey Streets into an underground experimental park. What a waste. If it is possible to get streetcars and not buses back into this terminal, an easy transfer to the J, M, Z and F routes would be obtained. Won't this cost Billions and take 20 years to build, if approved? The first critical issue is: Can the Williamsburg Bridge, as currently constructed, carry streetcars and is there enough clearance for pantographs and wires? This is the key point. If yes, then......
- Does temporary trolley track exist and is it cheap to buy? This type of track only lasts for about a year or so and does not go down deep into the pavement and may be held to the street or roadbed by metal non slip plates.
- Is a supply of second hand streetcars are available that are in relatively good condition? Perhaps second hand Czech made trams formerly from the eastern block are available.
- Is the pathway clear from the bridge portal in Manhattan to the former trolley terminal? When streetcars crossed the Williamsburg bridge until 1948, trolleys did not run via the subway tracks but on their own right of way. If temporary flat tracks can not be built on the auto roadway, can streetcars run on the subway tracks on the bridge without disrupting traffic? Is there a Federal law that prohibits light rail and heavy rail on the same tracks?
- In the Williamsburg area and beyond to the north and east, would residents object to having temporary tracks built on some of the local streets? This track may interfere with bicycle traffic. Would the local residents object to wires and poles on the streets?
- A selection of temporary streetcar routes, that run near the L train can run into the Delancey Street terminal. This terminal had at least five local Brooklyn trolley routes running into it.
- How much does this all cost, even using second hand cars and temporary track and wires?
- Why not buses into the trolley terminal? There may be a air quality problem and their are tight clearances near the loops.
- Will the automobile drivers object to sharing the bridge roadway with streetcars?