Readers Write: Eliminate grade crossings in Mineola

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Three weeks or so ago I wrote about not needing a third rail between Floral Park and Hicksville.

I mentioned three crossings in New Hyde Park with the roadways needing to go under the tracks, here stating it in simple fashion. More detail to come later.

I did not get to the situation in Mineola which I will do now.

The only way for Mineola is to eliminate the Willis Avenue and Main Street crossings. 

There is not room for anything else.

It is about three quarters of a mile from Mineola Boulevard to Herricks road on first street. The same distance from Roslyn Road to Glen Cove Road on Westbury Avenue.

It is only one block from Willis Avenue to Roslyn Road with the underpass and a short block from Main Street to Mineola Boulevard with the overpass.

Access to the local areas south of the tracks is easy from Front Street and Old Country Road.

Where the spur Oyster Bay Line crosses Willis Avenue and Second Street, it has to remain as is. 

Those trains don’t run that often anyway and there is no way to improve the situation.

I will take up the two Westbury crossings later.

To give an idea of part of the reality, I sat in front of my window reading my newspapers and I could see the trains going over the Roslyn Road underpass and noted the time of each train’s passing.

Beginning 7:00 a.m. weekday ‘til 9 a.m. 

The westbound trains were: 705, 707, 716, 718, 722, 724, 728, 730, 737, 741, 746, 748, 751, 753, 801, 804, 811, 812, 817, 820, 828, 833, 849 and 921. Eastbound were: 825, 837, 848, 852, 909, 913 and 916. 

For the evening rush hour eastbound: 448, 449, 501, 506, 515, 521, 523, 526, 537, 543, 546, 550, 553, 555, 558, 600, 604, 611, 614, 616, 621, 624, 629, 633, 636, 641, 651, 700, 709, 716, 737, 739, 757, 800, 806, 821, 835 and 853. Westbound trains: 435, 440, 444, 459, 504, 527, 531, 543, 554, 643, 648, 700, 711, 715, 723, 726, 735, 740, 751, 759, 809, 835 and 853.

Putting east and westbound together, it was busy but moving smoothly. The LIRR really rolls!

During the morning (2 1/2 hours), 24 went west and 7 went east.

It seems that many trains were stored over night at the east end of the lines.

During the evening (four hours) 38 went east and 23 went west. During the day trains must have been stored at or near Penn Station.

For the morning rush I watched about 2 1/2 hours and the evening rush 4 hours.

All of the trains listed above pass through the Westbury crossings. 

Add on a few more to and from Oyster Bay and that is what passes through the Mineola and New Hyde Park grade crossings.

This demonstrates what motorists face especially in New Hyde Park.

The excuse for the third rail is to commute more passengers.

The Oyster Bay line uses double decker cars. Of those going east of Mineola, only about 10 percent were double decker. 

A double decker train could carry twice as many passengers. That would seem to solve any problem.

Consider also that sometimes the crossing gates go down and it is sometimes a minute at least before the train appears and it still has to get through. 

Sometimes the gates start to rise and then go back down as another train is coming.

With the volume as noted above, I can really feel for the motorists especially in NHP. 

These things should have been remedied years ago.

Charles Samek

Mineola

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