Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
Deputy Mayor Nicholas Episcopia attended the HUB Stakeholders Meeting held by Nassau County’s consultants on the Transportation Project. He was joined by EPOA President Judy Courtney, Vice President Chris Mullaney, and Director Leo Stimmler, as well as William Bellmer, a member of the Garden City Planning Commission, Dorothy Episcopia, past EPOA president, and former mayor Robert Rothschild. Bob Schoelle and Brian Ridgeway attended the afternoon session. Garden City is a stakeholder because a large portion of the village lies within the defined HUB area.
As presented, the currently preferred alternative transportation plan appears reasonable and eliminates the construction of a light rail system that would run from the Mineola Station, south behind Arthur Street, and east along the spur adjacent to St. James Street South, as was initially proposed. Nonetheless, as we have consistently done over the years, we will continue to monitor plans for the transportation project and strongly express our opinion if we believe any aspect of this project would be detrimental to the quality of life in Garden City.
The May 7 presentation began with an overview of the traffic problems in central Nassau County and how a new transportation system to service the HUB would reduce traffic, air pollution and generate economic growth. The county’s planning team developed several plans and is now in the process of selecting a locally preferred alternative based on their evaluation of the HUB, which has been defined as an 11-square mile area with Nassau Coliseum at its center. In addition to the coliseum, the consultants have identified other centers of attraction within the HUB such as Roosevelt Field Mall, Hofstra University and Nassau Community College.
The new transportation system would form a loop between the Rosa Parks Transportation Center in Hempstead, cross Clinton Road and continue east on Hempstead Turnpike to Hofstra, then turn north to the coliseum and Nassau Community College, and west to Roosevelt Field. It would then cross Old Country Road, turn north on or near Glen Cove Road, go over the main line of the LIRR, turn west at Voice Road and continue through Mineola, south at or near Roslyn Road, turn west, and end on Front Street at or near the Mineola LIRR Station. The current proposed transportation system does not pass through Garden City, which will continue to be served by the existing public bus system that runs on Franklin Avenue.
Before constructing any type of permanent track system, buses would be run along this route to test the ridership. If proven viable, buses would be replaced by what is termed as a modern trolley that would run on overhead power lines and/or on tracks. Tracks would run on streets but would divert to designated rights of way to allow for stations where possible. Hempstead Turnpike near Hofstra is an example of a wide enough thoroughfare to allow for this. The stations would be at the centers of attraction. Existing bus service would not change.
Although the consultants project that when completed, the transportation system will be used by approximately 2 million people, they could be overly optimistic because the basis for their projection was not clear.
The consultants looked at several alternate routes which are shown in the website www.nassauhub.com They explained that these plans could be altered depending on which coliseum plan is eventually approved, and that the initial funding for the buses and hopefully the money for the trolley would come from the Federal Government. Nothing will be started until a Nassau Coliseum plan has been approved by Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead, and the required Environmental Study has been completed.
The Board of Trustees
Public Information Committee:
Chairman Nicholas Episcopia, Andrew Cavanaugh, Brian Daughney