Readers Write: LIRR’s third track project a sham

The Island Now
A tribute to one of two lives lost at the newly designed NHP Road Underpass, Sept. 20, 2021

Although many of us can’t wait for the Long Island Expansion Project to end, it is surely understandable why Garden City drew a line in the sand and is standing firm in its decision to fight the MTA/LIRR re: roadwork permits — even despite growing pressure. It has been evident from the start that the MTA/3TC have not been good partners throughout this project and trust continues to wane as it continues.

Here in New Hyde Park, the MTA/3TC has gutted our village down the middle with little hope of meeting deadlines for completion. We were promised “beautiful, landscaped architecture,” “sound barriers,” greater convenience, safer travel, cleaner infrastructure, and other “perks” — all confirmed myths upon observation five years later.

Some former representatives agreed to the MTA’s plan to turn our village into a hub of “transit-oriented development” with NO plan to address the resulting impacts to schools, local infrastructure, and public services, all of which would have further dismantled the suburban integrity of our small community. Thankfully, New Hyde Park residents stood together and stood strong against it. But, have no doubt, the beat goes on!

One only has to travel the “new” New Hyde Park Road underpass to feel the effects of short-sighted planning and utter incompetence – two dead local residents within a year of its opening confirm it. This newly designed road is so treacherous that area residents refuse to travel on it.

Blaming sudden changes to mutually agreed plans on 3TC’s “design-build model” have not only changed project outcomes but have also eroded the trust of elected representatives and taxpayers along the 9.5 miles of this project — and NOT just in Garden City.

Sadly, this is nothing we didn’t predict back in 2016 when this all began. The MTA’s supposed modernization project is anything but modern — same signals, switches, delays, inconvenience, unkempt properties, unsafe roadways, etc. While other nations have high-speed, clean rail, we are stuck with more of the same old 20th century locomotives, poor on-time performance and a plethora of unanticipated negative impacts for which the residents of my small village must endure forever.

The LIRR Expansion Project has proved to be a multibillion-dollar sham in my eyes and an embarrassment to our state, nation, and the world. We were duped and the beat goes on…

Diane Bentivegna

New Hyde Park

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