We NEED a 4th LIRR Crossing for the Tri-Hamlet Area!
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On Saturday, May 13th, 2017, the MTA/Long Island Railroad undertook railroad crossing renewal work at the LIRR crossing at William Floyd Parkway.
The Mastic Beach, Mastic, and Shirley area, known by many as the Tri-Hamlet community, has only 3 LIRR grade crossings for the peninsula. While crossing renewal work was in progress, motorists were only able to use the other two area crossings at Smith Road and Mastic Road. This restriction created car accidents, and backed up traffic for miles, with some residents coming into the area and out of the area having to sit in traffic for between one and two hours, when a typical commute would take under 15 minutes.
During normal traffic conditions, traffic backs up at this intersection, especially when there is a train at the station with the gates closed for extended periods of time, during peak travel time, and in the holiday and beach seasons. There have been delays in emergency response times due to traffic congestion in the past when all three LIRR crossings were operational. Economic activity is hindered due to congestion.
The area, which was heavily impacted by Superstorm Sandy, has William Floyd Parkway designated as a coastal evacuation route. As evidenced by traffic conditions during the much need grade crossing renewal project, traffic can be at a standstill when this crossing is inaccessible. If there was a disaster in the area, not only will residents not be able to evacuate in a timely manner, but incoming assistance could be hindered due to congestion.
The Tri-Hamlet area has grown exponentially over the past few decades, with over 45,000 people residing in the two hamlets and one Village, a majority of them living south of the railroad tracks. This increase in population did not come with an increase in railroad crossings.
A railroad crossing at Hawthorne Street/Titmus Avenue in Mastic is needed for the area, and is long overdue. There has been pushback from the MTA in the past for this important crossing for the community. We need federal officials to help fund the project through the Federal Railroad Administration, and New York State elected officials and the MTA to move ahead with the plan.
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