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Letter: ‘Opposes the Hub Light Transit Project’

The other night I stopped in to a Hub Study presentation at the TR Legislative Building in Mineola. I was surprised to see what to me looks like the same proposal for light transit in the Hub area that I’ve seen numerous times before. The proposal still gives the benefits of Hub development to the Town of Hempstead while burdening those of us who live in North Hempstead.

The proposal creates two transportation hubs in North Hempstead, one in Mineola and one in Carle Place, to funnel people into the Hub area. The proposed light transit system would run like buses from Mineola along Second Street through to Voice Road, down Glen Cove Road and into the Roosevelt Field Mall. The proposal purposely leaves out using the LIRR link through Garden City into the Hub area. I was told the reason not to use the Garden City spur was that the LIRR doesn’t run enough trains on the Hempstead line. It seems strange that the county would spend millions to create a burdensome light transit system instead of negotiating with the LIRR. It’s also strange to me that the county would privatize LI Bus without negotiating better routes and service to accommodate their plans for Hub development. This road-bound light transit system (really like fancy buses) will just add to the dense traffic in our area.

The assumption that light transit will bring people into the area and cut down on car traffic is wholly unproven. This is Long Island, like it or not, and people will not pay the LIRR, then a light transit cost and be beholden to their schedules when they can jump into their cars and move around at will. I don’t believe that people in Suffolk County will jump at the chance to shop in our area malls when they have wonderful malls closer to their homes. And people who live west of us can use the LIRR’s Garden City spur to get into the Hub area.

It intrigues me that the Mangano Administration has put forth a flawed proposal originated by the previous Suozzi Administration. Residents of North Hempstead get the burden while the Town of Hempstead gets the development benefits of an expanded tax base and revenues. I thought the proposal was inadequate then. I think the same now.  I hope that our elected officials in North Hempstead are listening. I also hope that those reading this letter will write or email these officials opposing this project.

Thomas Sobczak, Jr.