Third Track CEO attends NHP meet on South 12th street

Tom McCarthy
Mark Roche, CEO for the LIRR's Third Track project, attended last Thursday's New Hyde Park village board meeting to "listen learn" how community relations between the residents and project developers can improve. (Photo by Tom McCarthy)

Third track project CEO Mark Roche attended a New Hyde Park village board meeting last Thursday to hear residents’ grievances over the LIRR expansion project and changes being made in the village to combat traffic.

Roche said he attended the meeting to “listen and learn” about how the LIRR and private company 3rd Track Constructors can improve working conditions in the village.

Mayor Lawrence Montreuil discussed a letter he recently sent to residents and said that due to closure of Covert Avenue, there has been a major increase in traffic on South 12th Street.

“I saw the increase in traffic the second we closed Covert,” Montreuil said.

On Sept. 10, Montreuil sent a letter to residents outlining the changes the village will make to mitigate traffic issues.

“Yesterday while driving to work, like many of you, I observed a considerable back up of traffic on South 12th Street south of the tracks. Denton Avenue and Tanners Pond Road was also worse than I’ve seen it,” Montreuil said in the letter.

Montreuil said that the village and 3TC have made efforts to mitigate traffic in the village. The village has requested that 3TC install speed bumps on South 12th Street to make this route “uncomfortable to use.” 3TC is currently laying out a plan for the speed bumps, Montreuil said.

Montreuil noted, however, that the unintended consequence of installing speed bumps may be that traffic may divert to South 11th Street or South 13th Street.

The village has also moved to eliminate left-hand turns from South 12th Street to 2nd and 3rd avenues and has requested a temporary traffic signal at the South 12th Street grade crossing, Montreuil said.

The village has also requested help from the Nassau County Police Department’s 3rd Precinct when heavy traffic hits South 12th Street, Montreuil said.

“We’ve secured greatly increased traffic enforcement from the Third Precinct in the area. We are requesting traffic management services and a visible police presence to discourage unsafe vehicular movement by frustrated drivers,” Montreuil said.

“I’m the boss; there’s going to be changes,” Roche said when asked by a resident if work and traffic conditions would improve.

According to LIRR spokeswoman Meredith Daniels, 3TC has recently provided to the Village recommended locations for speed bumps along South 12th Street, as a traffic calming measure.

Daniels also said that 3TC and the village are collaborating to install “Don’t Block the Box” striping at 4th Avenue and New Hyde Park Road. Further, based on consultation with the villages of New Hyde Park and Garden City, the intersection of Clinch Avenue and New Hyde Park Road is being reconfigured to improve the flow of traffic.

To reduce queuing near the grade crossing during construction, drivers traveling southbound on New Hyde Park Road are now prohibited from turning left onto Clinch Avenue, Daniels said.

“Once the project is complete, the reconfigured intersection will include a dedicated left-turn lane onto Clinch Avenue,” Daniels said in an email.

Montreuil said that residents can expect 10 more LIRR trains coming into the village every day once the third track project is done.

The LIRR Expansion Project will add a third track on the Main Line from Floral Park to Hicksville and is being carried out by 3rd Track Constructors. The project began in January 2018 and is to be completed by late 2022. Its development areas include Carle Place, Floral Park, Garden City, Garden City Park, Hicksville, Mineola, New Cassel, New Hyde Park and Westbury.

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