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Survey: L Train Riders Prefer Complete Shutdown For Superstorm Sandy Repairs

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- An overwhelming majority of L train riders prefer that the line be closed entirely for 18 months to repair damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, according to a new survey.

Of the 350 riders surveyed by the Riders Alliance, 77 percent said they prefer the shorter, complete closure over the longer three-year partial shutdown that would drastically reduce service, CBS2 reported.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been trying to decide which of the two options it will inflict on riders who rely on the L train to get across the East River. Work is slated to begin in 2019.

The subway tunnel beneath the East River is the lone connection between neighborhoods in Brooklyn, including Williamsburg and Bushwick, and the 14th Street corridor in Manhattan.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is worried about the impact, WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported.

"You always think about the commuter, the visitor but you forget about the business," she said. "What about the business?"

Kate Slevin of the Regional Plant Association said shutdown alternatives should put mass transit before vehicles.

"For example, 14th Street could become reserved for buses, pedestrians and bikes and the Williamsburg Bridge could offer dedicated bike and bus ways," she said.

In January, the Straphangers Campaign said losing the L train would be tougher than when the Montague Tunnel was out of service for R train repairs because there were more alternatives.

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