Well here’s a novel idea. New Yorker Parker Shinn has started a Kickstarter to fund a pontoon bridge across the east river during the L Train shutdown. He estimates that costs could be completely covered by a $1 toll and notes that people (and military) have been using pontoons for over a 1000 years. Shinn calls the proposed project the L-Ternative Bridge and outlines a plan for buses, bikes, and pedestrians:
L-Ternative Bridge is what is known as a pontoon bridge and would provide a temporary solution for rapidly transporting people between Brooklyn and Manhattan while the L Train is under repair. It would be capable of supporting two lanes for bus traffic and two walking/bike paths. Construction will only take 6 to 8 months and the costs can be completely covered by a $1 toll.
Right now over 225,000 people use the L Train to commute across the East River and 400,000 people use the L Train daily. Many people are concerned that in spite of solutions already proposed by the MTA, commuting between Brooklyn and Manhattan will still remain difficult.
Our current Kickstarter campaign is to demonstrate community support and provide the city with a detailed and actionable plan. This plan will include bids on all material and labor costs. We will also conduct an analysis of the impact on east river maritime traffic and seek Coast Guard approval of the design in accordance with the General Bridge Act of 1946. Ideally the MTA will either use the plans and contractor recommendations we provide to build L-Ternative bridge, or they will establish a public-private partnership with a developer who is capable.
More about the L-Ternative proposal at the project’s website.