Letter: Lost In Parking Space

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This is in response to the article on commuter issues with the Long Island Rail Road in the Nov. 19-25 issue. As a commuter to Manhattan for over 25 years, I appreciate the fact that you surfaced the importance of this issue. However, I don’t think the story goes far enough.

The parking garage in Hicksville: this was rebuilt a few years ago and it’s an embarrassment. There is only one entrance to the garage and it takes about 15 minutes to get from John Street to the garage during the peak morning rush. Also, they spent money on digital boards to show how many open spots remain, however, the location of the boards is at the entrance to the garage which is useless. Once you get to the garage it’s too late. This should have been put a few blocks away as an advanced warning. And the exit to route 106 has cars going at opposite directions, which is not very smart—or safe.

The Town of Oyster Bay is quoted in the article. It indicates that they are “…working with the MTA, which ultimately is the beneficiary of increased ridership…” Talk about being out of touch. The beneficiary of better parking are the residents of the town who have to spend about three hours door-to-door every day just to get to and from work. If the town doesn’t make it more attractive to commute between Long Island and New York City, why would people want to live here? Why would young families want to live here? This is not about the MTA; it’s about the people who need to get to work and ensuring a vibrant, employed population on the island.

The town is also quoted as “…consistently working with its residents to meet the demands for railroad station parking.” Really? Is there any evidence of that? Is there a real plan? Can commuters expect the situation to improve in the next six, 12 or whatever number of months? In typical political rhetoric its a nice quote, but it doesn’t say anything. Let’s see the specifics.

And in case the town forgot, commuters are also residents of Long Island who pay taxes and vote for town officials.

The situation is pretty clear. People have to get to work. The LIRR is really the only realistic alternative. There is not enough parking. Fix it.

Charlie Rutman

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