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LIC, Jamaica can handle train growth: Transit group

TimesLedger Newspapers

We read with interest your Nov. 24-30 article “Hevesi wants barriers for Fresh Pond trains” and believe it is important to clarify some of the inaccuracies in the article.

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council is the metropolitan planning organization for New York City, Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley. Comprised of members that include the state and city Departments of Transportation, Department of City Planning, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Suffolk, Nassau, Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, NYMTC is the conduit for federal transportation dollars that come to the region.

Decisions about the use of those dollars are made by the member agencies. NYMTC is neither an operating agency nor a regulating authority, and as such cannot compel operators to do things like buy more technologically advanced locomotives that emit quieter noises.

To further clarify, the desired growth areas that are noted in the article are not designed to bring additional rail freight into the region, but were selected by our member agencies as areas that can support additional development when coupled with strategic transportation investments. In Queens, Jamaica and Long Island City were identified as the two desired growth areas mentioned in the article.

We encourage New Yorkers to join us as we undertake the next update of our long-term Regional Transportation Plan, with a 25-year horizon and including the freight planning component, and look forward to beginning additional outreach in the spring of 2012.

We are continuing to work with elected officials and community organizations to see how the next plan can help to address some of the issues that have been raised about rail freight, but want to be clear that these issues cannot be resolved at the NYMTC table but rather by working with the operators and appropriate regulatory agencies.

For more information on NYMTC and to join our mailing list for e-newsletters and meeting announcements and for ways to get involved, visit nymtc.org or facebook.com/NYMTC.

Lisa Daglian

Public Information Officer

New York Metropolitan Transportation Council

Manhattan

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