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Ryan Lynch – TriState Transportation Campaign
August 22, 2008 @ 12:00 am EDT
Friday we had the pleasure of the company of Ryan Lynch, native Long Islander and well traveled Senior Planner for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. The Campaign focuses on promoting sustainable transport solutions and working with governmental bodies and community support groups in furtherance of this goal.
Ryan arrived to speak with us regarding what the Campaign regards as the three top priorities for Long Island’s transportation issues, and shared his opinions on how to further those goals.
The LIRR Third Track project is the highest priority on The Campaign’s list for Long Island. It will enable a normal schedule for reverse commutes, allowing Long Island businesses to take advantage of the large and ready labor pool from New York City. Reverse commuters have been increasing in number in spite of the very sparse selection in trains. The third track will also help us take full advantage of East Side Access to Grand Central. It is estimated that the project will remove at least 6000 cars per day from the roads. Opposition to this project is very small but very vocal and are making their case against the greater good that this project will bring.
LITRIM, the intermodal facility in Brentwood, is the second priority for the area. The increase in freight rail shipments and corresponding reduction in long haul truck traffic on and off island will be a great boon environmentally, and economically. There is too much of a common benefit for this project not to go through. The Campaign applauds Governor Paterson’s veto of the parkland bill, and looks upon it as a time-out for the project, so that both sides can re-approach it with more community input.
Nurturing the Bus services on Long Island is the third priority, with more funding and increased routes and frequency being called for.
Another subject that Ryan brought up was bringing the NYSDOT in this region around to a different focus, from expansion and capacity building to one that emphasizes maintnenance and repair, so that we can keep the existing network in better condition. This also allows more attention towards transit-oriented development, a more advantageous strategy for open space starved Long Island. He brought out the example of New Jersey’s DOT as a model for success in this area.The Campaign is opposed to the NYSDOT’s plan for the 347 corridor, it only offers more of the same expansion that gets quickly consumed without any real benefit.
Ryans’ request of us to help The Campaign in its goals were to help our fellow Long Islanders be open to the concept of increased density, which we need sewers to support, and join the Third Track Coalition to over come the vocal opposition to this valuable project. The Q and A session was lively, with the universal agreement among all that it was a bad idea to stop the LIRR shuttle existing during the County Road 39 project that had proved so effective.
Recap by Craig Plunkett of CEDX www.cedx.com