January 5, 2020
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. With 2019 behind us, we look forward to the opportunities and challenges that will be found in 2020.
After a relative lull in construction activity in Governor Cuomo’s Third Track Project, we will see the project resume in early February when work will commence on the elimination of the New Hyde Park Road crossing. Despite our objections, the MTA and 3TC will accomplish the work by completely closing New Hyde Park Road for the 7 months of the project.
3TC cited several reasons for this departure from the previously approved plan that included a two-lane bypass road (1 lane in each direction). After a close analysis and review of options and pros and cons we have come to terms that the best option is for the full closure of NHP Road. This is based on the following reasons:
- Substantial improvement in safety around a closed construction zone; no grade crossing
- The New Hyde Park Road work will be reduced from
9 months to 7 months based on lessons learned from previous work
- The Village insisted that 3TC minimize traffic impact by covering the summer months as much as possible. Consequently, the NHP Road is scheduled to start in February and 3TC has told us the road reopen by Labor Day
- Had a bypass road been built, it would be closed 40% of the time throughout the 9-month period, resulting in confusing and changing traffic patterns as the road would be closed, opened and closed intermittently
- Construction of the permanent platform ordinally planned for 2022 will be moved forward and done in conjunction with the New Hyde Park Road crossing, decreasing the total elapsed time 3TC will be in New Hyde Park
- The platform and grade crossing work zones will
be contiguous and consolidate work in the east end of the LIRR track in NHP
- The Village insisted that eastbound Plaza Avenue remain open to prevent trucks from using residential streets (South 16th – Hoffman Road)
- Maintain a 10-car railroad operation at NHP rather than reducing to only 6 cars stopping
The Village continues to press concerns for impacts that the full closure of New Hyde Park Road will invariably invite. Among these are increased traffic in residential streets and decreased parking availability.
The Village insisted that the outreach for the traffic mitigation plan extend to a much broader area, north and south of New Hyde Park, to include for example employers in the Lake Success office center and other large employers. The Covert Avenue closure resulted in a 10 – 15% reduction in the total traffic through New Hyde Park. A broader and more effective outreach is designed to divert more traffic around New Hyde Park (Tulip Avenue, Nassau Boulevard, etc.). The Village may also impose local measures to react to traffic conditions such as; partial closure of South 12th Streets, installing speed bumps on South 12th Street, creating turning lanes from South 12th Street at Jericho Turnpike.
Recently, New York State DOT made changes to the synchronization of lights at South 12th Street and Ingraham Lane on Jericho Turnpike in response to my concerns.
Additionally, the Village recommended commercial traffic be routed to Tulip Avenue to the west and Nassau Boulevard to the east. We also suggested the installation of a temporary traffic signal at Denton Avenue / Tanners Pond Road to regulate traffic through that narrow underpass, therein maintaining Tanners Pond Road as a viable detour route.
Covert Avenue is likely to take a greater load of traffic with the NHP Road closure. 3TC estimates that traffic volume on Covert Avenue will increase between 79 – 106% when New Hyde Park Road work begins. The stop sign installed at 6th Avenue has provided a necessary break in traffic for local traffic to negotiate that intersection as traffic data did warrant the levels necessary for the county to install a traffic light. We will invite Nassau County Police to aggressively enforce vehicle traffic laws to ensure safety and compliance. We will continue to monitor Covert Avenue as the project unfolds and work closely with the county.
The CEO of NICE Bus informs me that Covert Avenue via Stewart Avenue will most likely be the temporary route of the N25 bus. I have asked that the use of Sixth Avenue between New Hyde Park Road and Covert Avenue be avoided.
The Village has also taken steps to alleviate the many parking spots that will be lost during construction as activity shifts westward.
- Convinced 3TC to utilize the lot at 124 Covert Avenue for parking
- Entering into an agreement with Holy Spirit Church to use the church parking lot at Covert Avenue and 1st Avenue for municipal and commuter parking
- Negotiated an agreement with Work Courier to use
the company’s 18 car lot at South 12th Street and Second Avenue in
exchange for the same number of spots in our residential lot
- Positions more spots for village residents on the north side of the tracks
The Village is also pursuing 3TC along several other workstreams, including:
- Report of soil analysis in the Right of Way
- Aesthetic features of the platform / station since that work has been accelerated
- Response to 3TC on the preliminary landscaping plan
- Plans for the electrical substation renovation
We will continue to keep you updated on developments.
Lawrence J. Montreuil
Mayor, Village of New Hyde Park