Thursday, 20 June 2013 00:00
I have been a resident of Port Washington for almost 35 years. I have recently been reading about the proposed LIRR track extension into Port Washington. I have grave concerns about this proposal. Grave concerns. As you must be aware, the downtown and Main Street area of Port Washington could be a bustling shopping and entertainment area. For years it has been suffering from a relatively high vacancy rate in the retail stores on Main Street (the reason for which is unknown to me). In addition, some of the stores do not really adequately reflect the socio-economic composition of the surrounding Port Washington area. The area sort of lacks vitality – an area that has high income and high real estate values and high occupancy in the surrounding residential areas. All of which puzzle me about the poor condition of Main Street.
NEVERTHELESS, I am very concerned that the proposed LIRR track extension will further add to the deterioration of Main Street. I cannot see a path whereby this extension improves the character and occupancy and vitality of Main Street. I can see, however, that adding to the already unsightly tracks and expanding the train storage area into an extremely important downtown area can only serve to hurt the businesses and the entire downtown Port Washington area. I am deeply concerned about the “character” of the Main Street area. More train tracks are NOT what the downtown needs. More railroad station area is NOT what the downtown area needs.
I will tell you what the downtown DOES need. It needs more retail stores, more restaurants, more entertainment venues, more service providers to the local residents. That’s what it does need. More LIRR trains stored smack in the middle of the downtown of Port Washington is most definitely NOT needed.
Unless someone can explain the real benefits to the downtown Port Washington area, I would suggest that this project be either abandoned or delayed until such time as the benefits can CLEARLY be shown and committed to.