Saturday, December 15, 2007

LIRR Response

Dear Editor (Queens Chronicle):

In a letter to the editor, (“LIRR Woes” Dec. 6, 2007), Henry Euler talks about the high handed attitude of the Long Island Rail Road toward the legitimate concerns of local communities with respect to tree pruning along the LIRR right of way. He says the railroad should have held hearings and contacted local officials on the matter. That they didn’t he calls “unacceptable.” I agree, but sadly unacceptable is most acceptable to the LIRR.

I believe LIRR officials think they can do whatever they want in Queens without fear of any real consequences. I have come to that conclusion after fighting a four-month battle with fellow Forest Hills residents to have LIRR trains stop sounding their horns through the Forest Hills railroad station.

During that fight I contacted the Mayor’s Office, the Queens Borough President’s Office, Community Board 6, State Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, and City Councilwoman Melinda Katz. All requested the LIRR to respond to our complaints about unnecessary horn sounding. The LIRR responded by either ignoring these requests or providing false information (e.g. they claimed federal regulations were involved when that wasn’t the case).

The upshot? Nothing has changed. LIRR engineers keep sounding their horns and thousands of people who live close to the Forest Hills station are suffering because they are constantly being blasted by loud train horns.

How does the railroad get away with not responding to valid complaints by community residents and local officials about quality of life issues along their right of away? Simple. They ignore the complaints and because the press and our local officials don’t go after them in a big way, they get to do whatever they want.

Such is the tactic of bullies, an apt description of LIRR officials who could care less about the citizens of Queens.

Martin Levinson
Forest Hills


Anonymous said...

The LIRR run straight down the middle of Queens and has never taken much care of their property in regards to fences, trees or cleaning out trash and debris. Worse, it let the stations in Queens crumble so that they could close some of them such as the Elmhurst station, which should be brought back. I back those folks in rich Forest Hills to compel the LIRR to eliminate unneccessary sounding of their horns. But I do ask this, when folks move near or next to a railroad they did so probably for a reason - it's cheap cheap cheap! Why ist that? The train goes choo choo choo and fumes puff puff puff!

Anonymous said...

let's not forget the great job the LIRR does of cleaning the snow off the sidewalks adjacent to their property after a storm...

Anonymous said...

You bought an apartment next to a railroad. You didn't know that railroad trains blow horns?

Anonymous said...

And that railroad blow their horns for LEGALLY required reasons

Don't want to hear train horns? Don't move next to the tracks

verdi said...

Wait and see....
after the trees are all cut down.....
some well connected "friend"
will be awarded a contract
to build a concrete "noise abatement" barrier
along the tracks !

H-m-m-m ? Just like on the L.I.E.

Trees provide a beautiful natural buffer.

But alas.....they're a free resource
and nobody can make money off of them....
a-h-e-m-m.....except by cutting them down !

Anonymous said...

In spite of the train noise, homes on Burns Street still fetch close to a million bucks.

As for nosie walls- I want my train ride to be scenic, rather than see endless tunnels and noise walls. More trees, please!

Anonymous said...

Trains are only required to blow their horns at grade crossings and there are none in Forest Hills.

Anonymous said...

I have lived across from the Forest Hills RR station for twentyfive years and was never bothered by the trains. They only started blasting their horns six months ago. It's like living in a train yard! Long Island Failroad officials refuse to say what's going on. They are a bunch of thugs!