New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing back against community opposition over his plan to build a third track on the Long Island Rail Road’s main line between Floral Park and Hicksville.
Some residents of New Hyde Park are concerned that the track will be both a danger and a nuisance to the community.
Cuomo told reporters at a press conference in Hauppauge on Monday that he hopes to ease community concerns by eliminating seven LIRR at-grade crossings between Floral Park and Hicksville.
He said the changes to the grade crossings are a chance to make the community safer before there is another tragedy. Between 2005 and 2014, there were over 340 collisions at crossings in New York, resulting in 59 deaths.
“I have seen mothers taken from young families. We know this is dangerous. We know it has to be done,” Cuomo said. “Why do we have to wait for a tragedy? Fix the grade crossings.”
Cuomo said his plan would also reduce delays due to bad weather and make it easier for New York City residents to commute to Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
On Tuesday Cuomo released a statement saying that LIRR officials have re-evaluated the original plans for the third track expansion, and it will no longer require the acquisition of any private property.