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.