Sheesh, what a roller coaster these past few days have been. Last week, word got out that the MTA had scheduled maintenance shutdowns on the L during Memorial Day Weekend and our very own Northside Festival, June 15-17. Needless to say, not ideal. At all.
It was a pleasant surprise, though, that in response, a group of key local politicians—Marty Markowitz, State Senator Daniel Squadron, City Council Member Stephen Levin, Assembly Member Joseph Lentol, Member of Congress Nydia Velazquez and Member of Congress Carolyn B. Maloney—joined forces and sent an open letter to the MTA requesting a change in scheduling, all in the name of supporting local businesses.
An even more pleasant surprise? It actually worked. An email late last Friday from the MTA informed us that, while the L will still be shut down during Memorial Day weekend, service will continue as usual during Northside, with repairs now scheduled for the weekend of June 22-24. Now, it goes without saying that we have a lot of pro-Northside bias over here, sure. If you're throwing an entire festival, you sort of assume (or at least hope!) that people will actually be able to get to it. But also, as an effective collaboration between Brooklyn businesses, politicians, and the Transit Authority, this feels like a real victory, and a reminder of how the system works when it's at its best. Different branches of government communicating with each other! Amicably! With that in mind, we'll extend a huge thank-you to the MTA and everyone who spoke up on our behalf, and get back to our regularly scheduled blogging and festival booking.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.