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Thread: Future of transportation on Long Island

  1. #1
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    Future of transportation on Long Island

    Any Long Islanders in the house?

    If your out there, then you probably feel like me- tired of traffic on the long island expressway during rush hours. Here, you can rant about how bad it is.....and what you think should be done.

    I personally support a Curitiba-like plan of a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system and trolleys or trams or something for small neighborhoods.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian JDC's avatar
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    Boston, MA
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    Jitney anyone?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Upstate, NY
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    I think BRT and the implementation of car sharing (neighborhood and station cars) would be good. Increased bike lanes and bike parking. Traffic calming on Hempstead Turnpike and Sunrise Hwy to name a few roads ( I saw that you were from Merrick).

  4. #4
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    As a fellow Merrokian lol, I think we have a grim future here on LI. I live 1 block north of the station and Sunrise Hwy, and I dont see any good transportation alternatives out there right now. This is especially bad since the firm that I work for, based on the North Shore currently has a contract with Nassau County, working on the the Nassau HUB AA/EIS.

    We have multiple problems, but first and foremost is MONEY.

    The population is aging, and the STAR rebate program gives seniors an incentive to stay put and hoard their home (free property tax in other words)--all while the Medicare burden on the County (25% share) is going up..

    Next, our land use patterns have been dispersed so that intra-county travel is all but impossible except along Sunrise Hwy and Hicksville-Mineola. For example i work in Great Neck and Live in Merrick- a trip to woodside and then a backtrack on the LIRR. Simply, we dont have a CBD. And where we do, either there are no sidewalks or they are 3 feet wide alondside 6 lanes of fast moving traffic - walk down 34th street and see the difference.

    However, one might say that is a extraordinary trip for public transit-so lets say I get a job for Nassau County Planning, at 100 County Seat Drive and Old COuntry Road, lets say.

    Lets say we implement a BRT at the Merrick Train Station, that travels up Merrick ave towards the HUB.... I dont see myself walking even 1 block to wait for a bus in February, its just not happening. My trip by car is 45 minutes, but a bus cannot even take the parkways, due to the low bridges (and as a personal car operator, I can speed on the Meadowbrook at 75, something a BRT or even LRT or AGT can never do....


    As for calming NY 24 or NY 27- that is a bad idea, since they are the principal routes for commercial vehicles on the center and the south shore. No-one lives along sunrise hwy, and in my area the tracks and LIRR parking lots on on the north side, so the SPEED LIMIT is 55! as it should be. If you like driving slowly, take Merrick Road.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Jamestown, New York
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    Quote Originally posted by imagineverything View post
    We have multiple problems, but first and foremost is MONEY.

    The population is aging, and the STAR rebate program gives seniors an incentive to stay put and hoard their home (free property tax in other words)--all while the Medicare burden on the County (25% share) is going up..
    The maximum STAR rebate for the elderly is around $1000 which hardly constitutes "free property tax" on Long Island. Moreover, what, exactly, do you think seniors should do? Die en masse so that younger people can have their houses?

    Medicare is a federal program that is financed at the federal level, not on the state/county level. You are confusing it with Medicaid, which is medical care for the poor and indigent. The middle-class elderly who are adding to the Medicaid burden in NYS are primarily those in nursing homes who are have used up all their assets (or managed to dispose of them) and thus qualify for Medicaid. Seniors who are healthy enough to stay in their own homes are not burdens on their communities.

    Your statements about seniors were not only inaccurate, their tone was rather crass as well.

  6. #6
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    BRT, or as I saw recently Light Rail Transit (LRT), belongs on the North-South corridors. The LIRR fills in the east-west gaps nicely. But the LIRR's modern map was envisioned at a time when Long Island was considered New York's backyard. Whether it still is or not is debatable, but I sure don't want it to be. I

    f we want our own economic identity, as well as better highway traffic and sustainability, we have to build a complimentary light-duty system to fill in the gaps. Route 110, Deer Park Avenue, Penninsula Boulevard, and Nesconset Highway are fit for a BRT or LRT solution. As much as I would like a new mode to stop right in my home town, Merrick Avenue is too narrow for BRT or LRT, and Sunrise Highway has the LIRR right next to it, defeating the purpose.

    And as for bikepaths and greenspace, they belong in our parks and in the woods next to the parkway. I would LOVE a bike path down the Meadowbrook, like the Wantagh path, so I didn't have to ride to Cedar Creek Park just to get to the path.

    They should build small parking lots and bike paths along all LI parkways, a park-and-ride your bike. That would be cool.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    From the time I've spent on Long Island (mostly in Long Beach), my impression is that Long Island has a lot to build on in terms of transportation assets, i.e. many of the LIRR stations are in more traditional downtown commercial areas. However, they aren't really mixed use downtowns and seem to have a higher proportion of commercial to residential uses. I agree with the idea of adding BRT or light rail on some north-south corridors as the pop. densities are right. However, I wonder if Long Island's mindset isn't simply too suburban and auto-centric.

    IMO a good plan would be to reconfigure underutilized downtowns as TODs (Hempstead, Lynbrook, Rockville Centre, Freeport, Babylon, etc.) by increasing the proportion of residential uses and encouraging more polycentric growth rather than more sprawl along the major highway corridors.

  8. #8
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    LI Transit Planning

    Politically, it is extremely tough sell to improve mass transit on Long Island. Perhaps some sections of inner Nassau can run BRT, but the money isn't there nor is the political will there with a guy like Ed Mangano running Nassau. They are cutting funding for bus service, not increasing it.

    I used to work for the Town of Islip, and one of the most interesting statistics I learned working there was that less than 20% of the people who live in Bay Shore commute to the city. LI has a poly centric commuting pattern and has an elderly entrenched population who moved out of NYC because they specifically didn't want "urban living".

    Outside of Long Beach and a few other areas, most young people move out of Long Island because of high cost of housing and no urban core. Who wants to be 25 years old, living in a split level, and commuting 1 hr on the LIE?

    BRT could work in some areas of Long Island, but it must be coordinated with efforts to densify downtowns. Best way to pitch this would be to convince people that increased density could lower overall property taxes by bringing in new economic activity.

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