Strong Arming The Third Track

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It is disheartening to know that an MTA LIRR representative is visiting homeowners along the LIRR right-of-way, the 9.8-mile stretch the Third Track is slated to be constructed along, to sign documents allowing their properties to be used in connection with the $2.5-billion LIRR Third Track expansion project. These homeowners feel pressured and feel they must sign now so they can get a “better” or the “best” possible deal because this project is going to happen. In one area, the LIRR wants to remove the utility poles at the back of homeowners’ properties and move them to the north side of the existing tracks.

The problem is no one knows what the Third Track deal is. There is no official plan and we are told we will get more information sometime in the future. Since the six public hearings that took place after the surprise May 5 LIRR Draft SEQRA Scoping document was released to the public, we have been waiting for another draft document to comment on at hearings. Is this an indication that this matter had been decided? Is it over for those who oppose this project? The next DEIS will likely be a surprise too and again with short notice of public hearings to be held at inconvenient times and places. Why should any homeowners agree to anything the MTA LIRR wants them to sign at this time? Why must they allow the LIRR to proceed with preliminary work for this project and let the LIRR use their property when they oppose the project.

This project is only the governor’s dream and besides it’s unfunded.

It seems that a scary theme is being generated: “Get the best deal you can because the Third Track is a going to happen,” whether you like it or not­—this sounds like a threat that has big money and influence from high places behind it.
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—Ann Corbett

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