Randy Dickenson, grade crossing/trespassing program manager for the Federal Railroad Administration in Albany, presented information at the Syosset Chamber of Commerce's August meeting regarding the future of supplemental safety and noise-reducing measures at railroad grade crossings.
Dickenson described new, available technology which the chamber could apply to the Syosset railroad crossing on Jackson Avenue. This technology would allow for the creation of what is called a "Quiet Zone," thus eliminating the need for locomotive engineers to sound their horns, thereby disturbing nearby businesses and residents.
Although the legislation to require Quiet Zones could take up to another two years to be enforced, Dickenson urged Syosset residents and the chamber, via its Traffic Planning and Safety Committee, to investigate and put into effect these supplementary safety measures now.
Examples of these measures include physical median barriers to stop vehicles from bypassing the two-gate system, four quadrant gates to prevent crossing from any direction, and the use of video surveillance to catch gate jumpers. The four quadrant gates would be equipped with sensors which detect any vehicles that are trapped when the gates close.
Dickenson said that there are state funds available to access and implement the necessary equipment. Once the equipment is in place, the local rail carrier maintains it.
Attending the meeting were chamber members, concerned local residents and, by chamber's invitation, Robert Walker, a spokesperson for Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto.
Upcoming events for the chamber include a grand opening of the Nostalgia Cafe on Jericho Turnpike on September 14 at 8 a.m.
Chamber meetings are held on the second floor of Fleet Bank on Jackson Avenue (near the train station) on the second Thursday of every month at 7:30 a.m. (7:30 - 8 a.m. coffee, bagels and networking - 8 to 9 a.m. meeting). All who attend are asked to park in the Astoria Federal Savings Bank parking lot and enter the Fleet building in the rear entrance.
Businessmen, civic associations and residents are encouraged to become chamber members. If you need additional information, call Frank Urso, president, at 921-0220 or Jerry Siegel, membership chairperson, at 364-1116 ext. 21.