In response to the Van Alen Institute’s challenge for a one night charrette to address the impact of increased traffic on the Williamsburg Bridge over the period of the L train shut down, Marvel brought together a team of community members, planners and developers and proposed the following manifesto:
The shutdown of the L train will stretch the capacity of our infrastructure. It may be a painful stretch, but just as stretching muscles benefits the body’s health and resiliency so stretching our infrastructure reveals forgotten strengths. Alternative routes for the L train’s 400,000 daily passengers require rebalancing the mix of the Williamsburg Bridge’s 100,000 vehicles to focus capacity on moving people rather than cars. While disruptive and painful, this experience can recover the vitality of the bridge’s origins, when the broad expanse of Delancey Street leading to it was a vibrant combination of infrastructure and public space that gave life to its surrounding neighborhood. Commuting to Manhattan from Williamsburg without the L train may take longer—but could it be more fun? We propose Delancey Street as an intermodal hub that moves people to and from Brooklyn and up and down Manhattan while contributing to their civic life.