New Hyde Park Mayor Lawrence Montreuil had one piece of advice for outside commuters when LIRR construction closes New Hyde Park Road in February for seven months: avoid traveling through New Hyde Park.
“We need to get the word out that once New Hyde Park Road closes, people should avoid New Hyde Park,” Montreuil said. “We need to get the word out; avoid this area.”
Montreuil said at a village meeting last Thursday that after attending a Lakeville Estates Civic Association meeting the day before he spoke with a Newsday reporter.
He said that he said to Newsday that it was important to get the word out to people who may work near New Hyde Park like Northwell workers and people living in Franklin Square, Lynbrook or Oceanside may find cutting through New Hyde Park as a “logical traffic route.”
“Use the Cross Island Parkway, use the Meadowbrook Parkway … Use Tulip Avenue or use Franklin Avenue,” Montreuil said.
He said the village has also been pushing the private firm hired by the LIRR for the project, Third Track Constructors (3TC), to “broaden outreach.” He said a thing he asked, which the company has not done, is hand out flyers on Covert Avenue with maps.
Montreuil was critical of 3TC’s detour plan, saying that a lot of commercial traffic will be detoured on Covert Avenue and Tulip Avenue by Sewanhaka High School as a consequence of the current plan.
Trustee Rainer Burger said that now that the village is “two to three weeks out” that 3TC must start sharing information on the closing on the electric boards on the Cross Island Parkway. The current plan calls for posting signs up to Hillside Avenue alerting drivers of detours during New Hyde Park Road work, Burger said.
He said the village is considering making 4th, 5th and 6th avenues in the village one-way roads going east as a result of imminent traffic increases on Covert Avenue.
Burger said at a public meeting in early January that New Hyde Park Road will be fully closed from Plaza Avenue East to Clinch Avenue for seven months starting Feb. 3 for LIRR third track work.
He said that there will be no temporary road to accommodate the closure despite initial calls for one from the village board.
He said that after a meeting with 3TC both parties agreed that a full closure would be the safest option.
“The mayor and I met with [the third track developers] on Dec. 9. We reviewed a number of options,” Burger said. “At the end of the day, the safest way to move forward was the actual, full closure of New Hyde Park Road.”
The closing of New Hyde Park Road has been a source of debate for some time in the village. At a meeting in early December, Burger said that the developers for the LIRR third track were eyeing the full closure with no temporary road, which he and Montreuil still opposed.
What changed his and Montreuil’s opinion was discovering that the temporary road would have been closed “40 percent of the time” due to track work which would cause a concerning amount of traffic changes.