LONG ISLAND RAILROAD MATTERS EFFECTING THE
VILLAGE OF NEW HYDE PARK
Village of New Hyde Park's Long Island Rail Road Task Force
Bob Lofaro - Chairman
Rich Coppola. Rich Pallisco, Ed Powers
Third Track Project will Have a Major Effect
on Village of New Hyde Park's Roads and Homes
Click on the photo below to see the LIRR's plan for that crossing
Covert Avenue grade crossing South 12th Street grade crossing
Click on the photo below to see the LIRR's plan for that crossing
New Hyde Park Road grade crossing
Click on the photo below to see the LIRR's plan for that crossing
Village responds to inaccurate comments made at November's MTA L.I. Committee meeting
See and hear the Village's comments stated at the MTA's
Long Island Committee meeting on December 12th
See and hear the inaccurate comments from
the Long Island Rail Road from a November 14th meeting
The third track discussion begins about half way through the web cast
Date: Sunday, December 16, 2007
Subject: Village responds to inaccurate comments made at MTA meeting
The Village of New Hyde Park officially responded to inaccurate comments made by an MTA Board member at the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Long Island Committee’s November meeting which grossly misrepresented the views widely held by the residents of New Hyde Park and the Village’s Board of Trustees. A sternly worded clarification was read by Trustee Lawrence Montreuil at the December 12, 2007 meeting at MTA headquarters, and delivered the official Village position regarding the removal of the at grade crossings and the Main Line Corridor Improvement Project.
In the November meeting, Board member Mitchell Pally criticized the village for not appreciating the potential danger presented daily by the continued existence of the at grade crossings and opined to LIRR President, Helena Williams that the railroad had done too much outreach to the community and suggested that no further efforts be expended to work with the village. Committee Chair, David S. Mack inferred that perhaps gruesome pictures of the terrible Herricks Road accident of 25 years ago be provided as if to convince New Hyde Park residents of the danger that could await them. Mr. Pally reminded the committee that if at grade crossings were not eliminated in conjunction with the main line corridor improvement project, they may never be.
The entire meeting is available for viewing at the MTA web site: www.mta.info/mta/webcasts/index.html
The statement affirms the Village position that the at grade crossings should be eliminated, but in a way that has the least impact to the community. Further, the statement explained that the Village could not support the third track as presently proposed as it places a disproportionate burden on New Hyde Park, with little gain. The Village also restated its desire to work with the Long Island Railroad and the MTA Board to arrive at a solution to this most serious issue.
The Long Island Railroad is expected to present a Draft Environmental Impact Statement to the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) in January, 2008, with public hearings to follow in the Spring. The Railroad will then be required to respond to the input collected at those hearings in a Final Environmental Impact Statement in order to achieve the approval to proceed from the FTA. The LIRR suggested that construction on the New Hyde Park Road at grade crossing could begin as soon as 2009, in advance of the Main Line project.
The Village Board continues with its aggressive campaign to arrive at the best overall solution for New Hyde Park residents. Mayor Petruccio recently met with Ms Williams and along with Deputy Mayor, Lofaro, has represented New Hyde Park as a members of CARE (Citizen’s Against Rail Expansion), a consortium of Village Officials along the main line that are not supportive of the railroad’s plan. Mayor Petruccio commented that, “The Village of New Hyde Park will continue to take every reasonable step necessary to preserve and improve our suburban quality of life.”
This recent meeting marks another effort taken by the Board to deal with this situation. The text of the Village statement is as follows:
“My name is Lawrence Montreuil. I am a Trustee with the Incorporated Village of New Hyde Park, and I am speaking on behalf of the Mayor and Board of Trustees of the Village of New Hyde Park, and for the citizens that we represent.
I am here today to clarify the position of the Village of New Hyde Park regarding the elimination of the at-grade crossings and the project known as the Main Line Improvement Project.
We felt it necessary to make this clarification after viewing the web-cast of the board’s November meeting during which the position of the Village regarding these projects was discussed extensively and inaccurately.
At that meeting, members portrayed the village as opposed to the elimination of the at-grade crossings. Comments were made regarding a lack of concern for public safety regarding the grade crossings. Disturbing inferences were made to sharing photographs of the tragic fatal accident at the Herrick’s Road crossing as if to shock the village to its senses.
These comments were appalling and apparently based on a lack of understanding of the desires, intelligence and morals of residents in the Village of New Hyde Park. So to be clear and for the record, let me state that The Village of New Hyde Park favors the elimination of the at grade crossings at New Hyde Park Road, South 12th Street and Covert Avenue. The Village has not opposed the elimination of these potentially deadly railroad crossings and looks forward to the day when they will not present an obstacle to movement through our neighborhood.
Our residents are keenly aware that the main line of the LIRR severs the Village of New Hyde Park and creates an unnatural physical barrier between the north and south side of the village. The people of the New Hyde Park know better than anyone of the danger, inconvenience and disruption crossing the railroad represents to us. We see and breathe the exhaust fumes from so much traffic that backs up daily, clogging our neighborhood streets while the gates are down.
These problems are particularly acute for our residents who live on the south side of the tracks. This residential area is virtually cut off from the rest of the village including the fire department, our retail district, churches, schools and our Village Hall. Many of these residents must navigate across the rails several times a day. It is impossible not to think of the risk each time the tracks are crossed; hoping the gates are working properly, hoping traffic will not stop suddenly, and becoming trapped on the tracks.
The Village of New Hyde Park joins this board in its desires to remove these dangerous crossings. However, we are not satisfied with the plans that have been presented to date to do so.
The plans that have been shared with the Village of New Hyde Park are too disruptive to the community and will have a long lasting detrimental effect on this small village. The taking of properties and leaving many, many others with a greatly diminished value, and rerouting truck traffic through residential streets will destroy the quiet suburban quality of life that is the essence of New Hyde Park.
The fundamental reason the Village finds it difficult to support the so called main line improvement project is that the project, while clearly an opportunity to increase capacity and revenue potential for the railroad, does so by placing a disproportionate burden and cost on New Hyde Park. The Village of New Hyde Park does not need additional capacity, and as we understand it, will not see additional trains servicing New Hyde Park. We will be the bypass lane, the express lane for the rest of the region to race through.
Given that scenario and the increased number of trains, I say again that New Hyde Park agrees with the board that the at grade crossing eliminations are inextricably linked to the additional track, and we favor the elimination of the three grade crossings in New Hyde Park in a way that does the least to harm the community.
We maintain that if a third track is to be added, the most desirable solution is to either elevate or lower the tracks below grade. We are anxious to work with the railroad and this board to arrive at a solution that is agreeable to everyone.”
(For further information, please contact the Village of New Hyde Park at 516-354-0022)
Village of New Hyde Park Official Comments for the Public Hearing Comment Period regarding the Brentwood Long Island Truck-Rail Intermodal Facility Project
INCORPORATED VILLAGE OF NEW HYDE PARK
Official Public Comment
DESIGN REPORT/DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT
PIN 0339.12, 0339.13
Long Island Truck-Rail Intermodal Facility Project
Town of Islip
Suffolk County, New York
The proposed Long Island Truck-Rail Intermodal Facility Project (LITRIM), although proposed to have an environmental effect on a limited and localized geographic area in Suffolk County, will actually affect the quality of life of all residents along the Main Line of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), the transportation corridor for freight movement to the proposed facility.
The DEIS should be expanded and extended to analyze the mitigate impacts to the Main Line communities, especially the Incorporated Village of New Hyde Park. One of the stated goals of the DEIS is to minimize impacts to the communities surrounding the project. New Hyde Park proposes and additional goal: to minimize impacts to those communities through which rail freight will be transported.
The DEIS identifies certain time slots within the current LIRR commuter train schedules which will accommodate the additional freight service to be generated by LITRIM. The effects of utilizing those time slots must be analyzed with respect to traffic, noise, vibration, air quality and property values as same may affect New Hyde Park. Additionally, the DEIS must analyze these impacts in conjunction with the proposed impacts of the LIRR Main Line Improvement Project. Although it is suggested that the current Main Line track configuration will accommodate the proposed increase in freight, the addition of a third track along the Main Line in New Hyde Park in conjunction with the LIRR East Side Access Project will in actuality create greater freight capacity which could be utilized in the future both with respect to volume and scheduling. The failure of the DEIS to analyze the combined impacts of the LITRIM, Main Line Improvement and East Side Access projects, especially with reference to the effects upon New Hyde Park, constitutes an improper segmentation of the environmental review requirements of both New York and Federal law.
Demand is hereby made that the DEIS be modified to include a study of the cumulative impacts of the LITRIM project upon New Hyde Park.
Dated: September 20, 2007
Village's LIRR Task Force held an informational meeting on Saturday, January 27 to provide attendees with updates to the LIRR's Environmental Impact Statement
Click on "LIRR Briefing Document" below for the information distributed at the Informational meeting held on January 27, 2007. Be patient, it's a large document and takes a while to download.
Click here WWW.MTA.INFO
Possible condemnation and elimination of up to 27 homes and businesses
Senior Executives of the Long Island Railroad including acting President Ray Kenny met with Mayor Dan Petruccio and Deputy Mayor Robert Lofaro to provide them information regarding the Main Line Corridor Improvement Project. What was discussed was the possible condemnation and elimination of up to 27 homes and businesses. Mayor tells LIRR the plan is unacceptable and requests them to go back to the drawing board for alternative solution.
Link to obtain names of some of your political representatives
Mayor Petruccio's comments to the record at the Public Hearing held on June 16, 2005 at the Floral Terrace in Floral Park
As reported by
Newsday on July 21, 2004
LIRR $4M study on
BY JOIE TYRRELL
July 21, 2004
In a significant step toward building a third track on the Long Island Rail Road's Main Line, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials agreed to hire a consultant for $4 million for the project yesterday.
Supporters of the project say a third track on the 101/2 miles stretching from Bellerose to Hicksville will boost service and provide greater reverse-commuting options. In addition to adding the track and more service on the Main Line to Ronkonkoma and the Port Jefferson branch, the project also would mean the elimination of five grade crossings in Mineola, New Hyde Park and Westbury and substantial station rehabilitation along the Main Line.
"I would hope that by the fact they are going ahead and hiring a consultant that they are moving in the right direction for something that is sorely needed," said LIRR Commuter's Council Chairman James McGovern.
LIRR President James Dermody said at an MTA meeting in Manhattan yesterday that the consultant, DMJM+Harris of Manhattan, will analyze the scope, design, cost and impact of the project and prepare an environmental statement that is necessary for the LIRR to receive federal funding.
But finding funding for construction of the project is another matter. The MTA is facing potential extensive deficits in the future and federal funding remains in question as well.
According to Kate Slevin of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, an advocacy group that recently announced the formation of a coalition supporting the third track, "hiring a consultant just means the environmental review will get done, it doesn't mean that the project will get done ... even though it is one of the most important projects for Long Island."
The hire was approved by the LIRR committee of the MTA yesterday and is expected to be passed by the full MTA board next week.
The LIRR has included the project in its 2005-2009 capital program, which must be approved by the MTA and is expected to be released publicly next week. Dermody declined to say what other projects will be in the capital program and he remained mum when asked about next year's operating budget.
MTA executive director Katie Lapp had asked all agencies, including the LIRR, to look for "internal efficiencies and other measures" to close a 2005 gap of $540 million that could grow past $1 billion in 2006. Details are expected to be released next week.
In other news from the meeting, Dermody said summer track work scheduled to be complete by September will have to be finished next year.
The $34 million worth of work includes rebuilding a major routing system east of Jamaica called the Queens Interlocking and replacing 3,000 wooden ties with concrete ones on the Port Washington branch.
Railroad officials said the ties will be finished by the end of this summer. The installation of new switches and signals at Queens Interlocking won't be complete until next year because of a delay in receiving software to run the system, and the railroad won't be able to fully test it this year.
The Queens Interlocking is where the Hempstead branch meets the Main Line. It is also where the railroad lines up the trains on their westbound approach to Jamaica.
Spokesman Brian Dolan said yesterday it's too early to tell what the service impact will be next summer but "there will be temporary service changes next summer when we cut over to the new signal system. We are evaluating next summer's program now."
Deputy Mayor Bob Lofaro, NYS Senator Michael Balboni (7th SD) and
Trustee Rich Coppola discuss funding sources that rebuilt the
New Hyde Park Station and surrounding area
27, 2002) The
Village of New Hyde Park hosted another meeting concerning the Long Island
Railroad on April 27, which proved to be the most productive of all.
Deputy Mayor Robert Lofaro and Trustee Rich Coppola immediately
introduced New York State Senator Michael Balboni who stated, "The reason
why I wanted to come to this meeting and why I was happy to be invited is
because we have a chance now to access different types of funding.
After September 11th, people had a lot of doubt whether there
would be a lot of money available to try to upgrade facilities."
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has a capital program that is
available and I have been able to urge them to look at the plans the village and
I have talked about.
That resulted is that the railroad will be allocating $1 million for the
New Hyde Park station to be used for improvements.
It will be the largest allocation that any station will receive this
He said," On a blustery cold morning there is no shelter at all.
There are no amenities, no plantings, no proper fencing and the station,
as a whole has to be upgraded.
The MTA keeps talking about what is going to happen in the future and
although there are funds for this we are not certain there is any funding for
the third track.
Those plans are on hold and it is not certain what is going to happen to
The MTA has a lot of problems with their current bonding so that whole
issue is on hold as far as we can see."
way that we will be working with the railroad about this is that we will try to
do things to make the station safer and we want to really improve the aesthetics
of the station.
In my opinion it is way overdue. I have been coming here in an official
capacity since 1990 and this is something I know will affect the village
positively, " added Balboni.
said as the process is worked through that he will rely on the residents working
with his colleagues, like Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello and New
York State Assemblywoman Maureen O'Connell and the village officials.
He said there are little tweaks as the process moves forward to make the
project look better.
He then asked for any questions.
resident wanted to know if the fencing that is ripped and fallen would be
replaced. Balboni asked her to send him a letter giving him the exact location
of the broken fencing.
He will forward it to the LIRR and the MTA and he said maybe the new
fencing will be a part of this project.
resident wanted to know about the noise factor, if the third track goes through.
Balboni said he felt that would be about fourth or fifth on a list
regarding that track.
He said, "First of all where do you put it; what about Floral Park
and then what houses do you take?
The third track in this part of town is going to be a very difficult
So, I for one am not that sorry that the funds are not there."
confirmed that the trains are going faster and then he talked about the Herricks
Road tragedy. He explained that crossing was rated the most dangerous in America
because of the number of young adults who died in that accident. So the area
became a real focus of the federal government trying to eliminate all grade
He continued, "My predecessor, Michael J. Tully, was able to get a
large amount of money, $180 million from both the federal and the state
We tried to push that forward and continue doing grade elimination.
That's a very big issue in New Hyde Park."
said, "I think New Hyde Park should be considered for that kind of
elimination to the extent we can work that out. The difficulty is grade level.
New Hyde Park is unique in that there is a small length of track, relatively
speaking, with a large number of crossings. I have asked both the MTA and the
LIRR to look at how they would eliminate those crossings and they are studying
Balboni explained to the residents that the difficulty in dealing with
the railroad is that there is both a state and federal component involved and
that is why it takes so long for any project to be approved.
Balboni ended his presentation with one last comment in relation to the railroad crossing elimination. He said, "As a representative, my colleagues and I are expected to know a lot of things, but when engineers who do nothing but railroad design talk to me about the best way to do something, I generally listen because they have the knowledge and expertise. I think we will have to wait and see what the railroad says and then see how that fits into what the community wants."
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