The Long Island Rail Road is hosting six public hearings this week to receive local feedback on the proposal to build a third set of train tracks between Floral Park and Hicksville.
The estimated $1-billion plan to lay nearly 10 miles of new rails would ease congestion on the busy Main Line during the rush hour commute, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Some residents who live near the tracks have expressed concerns—although New York State officials dropped previous controversial plans to condemn homes near the tracks.
“The LIRR Expansion Project will bring tremendous benefits to the region by accommodating a growing economy, and also to every single community along the project corridor by eliminating railroad crossings that create noise, traffic and safety problems for thousands of residents,” LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski said.
The LIRR is the nation’s busiest commute railroad, with ridership up two percent last year over 2014 and 15 percent over the past 30 years.
As a result of the current bottleneck, there is no eastbound service on the Main Line during the morning rush hour and no westbound service during the evening rush on that branch because trains only run in one direction between Floral Park and Hicksville during peak times.
The Public Scoping Meetings, as the hearings are known, will give residents a chance to learn about and comment on this month’s 82-page draft of the proposal outlining its environmental impacts. The public can read up on the project at aModernLI.com
The first four meetings will be held Tuesday followed by two more on Wednesday. The schedule is as follows:
-10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday at the Mack Student Center at Hofstra University in Hempstead.
-11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday at The Inn at New Hyde Park, 214 Jericho Tpke. in New Hyde Park. -5-9 p.m. Tuesday at The Inn at New Hyde Park, 214 Jericho Tpke in New Hyde Park. -6-9 p.m. Tuesday at the Mack Student Center at Hofstra University in Hempstead. -11 a.m.-2 p.m.Wednesday at the Yes We Can Community Center, 141 Garden St. in Westbury. -6-9 p.m. Wednesday at Antun’s by Minar, 244 West Old Country Rd. in Hicksville.
Shuttle buses to the hearing sites are being offered from Mineola LIRR station on Tuesday and from Hicksville station on Wednesday. More information can be learned about the project at the Mineola station.
Written comments can also be emailed through 5 p.m. June 13 to email@example.com or mailed to Edward M. Dumas, Vice President, Market Development & Public Affairs, Long Island Rail Road Expansion Project, MTA Long Island Rail Road, MC 1131, Jamaica Station Building, Jamaica, NY 11435.
Additional public meetings will also be held later this year.