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A bridge too far

Is the village of Garden City holding a crucial railway bridge hostage?

The village refused to provide the necessary permits for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to replace the Denton Avenue bridge – a long-planned part of Long Island’s third railroad project. The MTA sued the village for the permit.

The bridge, also known as the Tanners Pond Road Bridge, is double-lane, so it needs to be replaced to accommodate a third lane.

This work was originally supposed to be already in progress and is expected to be completed this summer. Instead, he didn’t start.

Some villagers attributed the setback to the historic nature of the bridge or whether the causeway below will remain single lane. (It will, the MTA promises.)

But in reality, the delay may be related to the village’s own lawsuit against the MTA to get rid of the large utility poles erected last year. A state Supreme Court judge dismissed the lawsuit earlier this month.

Now the MTA is hoping to convince village officials to agree to issue permits for the bridge works in exchange for the authority’s offer to do more extensive landscaping along the track, especially near the poles. .

Sources say the MTA initially set a deadline of Monday for the village to accept the deal. Although village officials did not return requests for comment, they were asked about the proposed settlement at a village board meeting last week and declined to discuss it, citing the litigation in progress.

And that’s not the only Long Island back-and-forth on the MTA’s plate right now, as the authority is also trying to make progress with the City of Oyster Bay on redevelopment plans in Hicksville. .

After months of miscommunication and crossed signals, MTA officials met with officials from Oyster Bay, the State Department of State and the office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday to discuss plans for the hamlet.

Four years ago, the city won a $ 10 million state grant to redevelop the area around Hicksville station, but progress has been slow.

“We have had a productive meeting and look forward to further reviewing and working with the city on their efforts in the station area,” said the Chief of the Construction and Development Staff. the MTA, John McCarthy.

Oyster Bay spokesperson Brian Nevin also used the term “productive” to describe the meeting and said the MTA was considering two options on how to handle the work on MTA land – either the authority gets the money from the state and does the job, or it hands over permission for the city to do the job itself.

The city had revised its plans for the downtown revitalization initiative, but then spent months seemingly unable to connect with the MTA, which owns some of the land involved in those plans. City supervisor Joe Saladino sent Cuomo a letter last month asking for his help in moving the project forward.

The amended plans include some reductions in pedestrian lanes and open spaces, as well as potential improvements to areas below the lanes to meet the need for more surface parking. Oyster Bay officials did not include much transit-focused development in their plans for the station area itself and had previously rejected the MTA’s proposal to build a parking lot in exchange for a Eight-story apartment building in the public transport district, claiming it was Too big.

Instead, the city is working with individual private developers keen to tailor their projects to the city’s vision of a height of up to four floors.

Nevin told The Point that state, MTA and local officials plan to meet again in two weeks.

It all comes as the Long Islander atop the MTA – President and CEO Pat Foye – prepares for his final board meeting on Wednesday, as he plans to leave the agency at the end. of the month.

No final word yet on who will take office, but some have suggested it could be current Development Director Janno Lieber – who, although not a Long Island resident, only knows too well the battlefronts linked to public transport on Long Island.

– Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Subject of discussion

It’s hot over there

Even though Long Island doesn’t cope with the type of intense heat that burns the West, we’re still vulnerable to excessive heat, and a review of the New York State Heat Vulnerability Index not only reveals how sensitive we are, but why.

The index, which measures the likelihood that a person will be injured in hot weather, analyzes Long Island by census tract and is calculated from four categories of vulnerability: language, socio-economic isolation, environmental and elderly isolation. Some parts of Long Island may have similar total scores, but one of them may be more dangerous for different reasons, such as a high percentage of seniors living alone.

We mapped the data on a interactive map at nextLI with a more in-depth explanation, and readers can explore their communities and see the scores in detail there.

Going forward, this data can be a useful guide in thinking about Long Island’s resilience to climate change and help us prioritize how to protect our most-at-risk communities.

– Kai Teoh @jkteoh

Pencil tip

The unvaccinated

For more cartoons, visit www.newsday.com/nationalcartoons

Period

Waiting game in CD2

In the last round of Congress, the seat opened to replace Pete King in New York’s 2nd District was one of the most closely watched in the country to see if Republicans could hold onto suburban seats in increasingly blue states.

It hasn’t elicited the same amount of action so far. Yet GOP freshman Andrew Garbarino begins to replenish his war chest with $ 352,985 raised in the July quarter.

Some $ 136,000 of that amount came from political committees such as unions, professional associations or company employee PACs, according to documents released last week. This included PAC contributions for the Republican Mainstreet Partnership, American Council of Life Insurers, United Airlines, Aflac, Cigna Corp. and employees of Lockheed Martin Corp.

Investor Daniel Loeb and Manhattan GOP President Andrea Catsimatidis were among the prominent figures who contributed to the new Republican.

Garbarino’s second race could become more or less competitive depending on the outcome of the Congress redistribution. The Independent State Redistribution Commission, which is responsible for drawing district boundaries, is beginning to hold virtual public hearings in New York City areas. The Long Island hearing was scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday, and “the comments and advice from New York residents are of the utmost importance and central to the Commission’s goal of fair and equitable redrawing of the lines. of Congress and State Legislature, ”the group’s website. said.

The schedule for redistributions is accelerating. The virtual hearings must be completed before the release of key census data in August, and the shape of these new lines for state battlefields will determine the attention paid to LI races in 2022.

-Marc Chiusano @mjchiusano

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