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Letter: More Comments on the Proposed Hub Transit Project

After reading about the recent Hub transit study presentation in our community, I have further questions and comments about the issue.

The Proposed Transit System

Why add a new expensive burdensome and extremely limited transit system in our area when existing bus routes can be augmented and other routes added to meet the needs of the Hub?  How many layers of public transportation do we need?  Whatever happened to efficiency in government?

We’ve been told how wonderful and useful a rapid transit system will be for the Hub without any guarantees or hard data. All the proper marketing buzzwords are thrown at us in presentations. Yet the one thing we do know about mass transit in our area is that Long Island Bus became too expensive to run with too few routes and too few riders and inefficient to the point that the county had to outsource the entire operation. We’re to believe that the outcome of this Hub transit plan will be any different?

As I’ve pointed out before, Long Islanders have a car culture and use their vehicles to the exclusion of other forms of transportation when getting around the Island.  How many of you reading this letter will stop using your cars to go to the mall or museums if a light transit system is put in place?  Don’t feel bad, no one else will either.

Going through some of my papers, I found that County Executive Suozzi’s administration had dropped all Carle Place provisions from the Hub transit plan in 2005. I wrote about this welcome change in a letter to The Westbury Times. Why are we in Carle Place “back on the table” seven years later? Is it because other interested parties have the influence to make us in Carle Place bear their burden so that they can have a benefit? Did they think we’d forget?

Cons of Moving the Carle Place LIRR Station

Has anyone quantified how many residents who use the LIRR walk to the station, how many are dropped off and how many drive and park? The current train station is fairly centrally located. From my experience and observation, most of our residents walk to the station. Of this group, most who currently walk to the station will be forced to drive to a station relocated to Glen Cove Road.

Some residents who currently walk to the train station may be left out of parking at a new LIRR station due to a finite number of permits. No LIRR station that I know of has enough parking.

Where will the parking lots for this new station be built? How large will they be?  How much existing land will be taken off the tax rolls (I don’t believe the LIRR pays taxes) to accommodate this parking? What will that cost our community in terms of additional taxes?

It’s been mentioned that a new station will give us more trains, not that we need them. Do we really want more train traffic through our community?

If a new Carle Place LIRR station is built to feed the Hub instead of serving the Carle Place community and more trains are run, how far behind is the LIRR third track project through our community?

Taking “development” of the Hub even further, how soon will it be until truck traffic is allowed to travel on Cherry Lane from Jericho Turnpike to the new mall to alleviate congestion on Glen Cove Road? The Hub transit plan addresses only people when making the dubious case to lessen traffic around and in the Hub.  What about all the truck deliveries?

Why does the transit plan move people around the Hub when the most efficient direct route is a line into the Hub like the Garden City LIRR spur? That line can even take freight into the Hub.

Our “Duty” to the County

The county shouldn’t stake its prosperity on burdening Carle Place. In addition to the Hub, there are many areas in the county to develop to bring in growth and revenue. Is it necessary to chip away at Carle Place’s small-town atmosphere to make the county whole? Carle Place isn’t even necessary to the successful redevelopment of the Hub; we’re just convenient.

The Hub’s development has taken on a hysterical nature whereby it seems the county is saying that only the Hub can save its finances and future. It may be the largest plot of land in the county that can be further developed, but it is not the only one. Don’t be pushed and prodded to agreeing to something that can begin to negatively change the face of Carle Place forever.

Keeping an “Open Mind”

We’ve been told to keep an open mind about bearing a tough burden for the “good of the county.” Why then isn’t Garden City being asked to do the same in regard to the LIRR spur through their community? The current administration has taken that option off the table with various excuses. I suspect, in this case, keeping an open mind means “please shut up and cave in.”

What You Can Do Before It’s Too Late

Please send in comments opposing the Hub transit project as presented. Send them to www.nassauhub.com. But don’t stop there. Write or email your opposition to County Executive Mangano, Legislative Majority Leader Schmitt, Legislative Minority Leader Abrahams, Legislator Nicollelo, State Senator Martins and Assemblymen McKevitt and Montesano (the Carle Place School District is split under the new 2012 redistricting plan). Write or email our representatives in the Town of North Hempstead. We need to know our elected officials are working to protect and preserve our way of life and quality of life here in Carle Place.

Thom Sobczak, Jr.
Westbury resident