In response to “New LIRR track plan” [News, Jan. 5], I would like to suggest that these state funds be put to better use making living on Long Island more affordable and safer.

Some ideas are building more affordable apartments, reducing the crushing school tax, drastically reducing Long Island Rail Road commuter fares and creating more parking spaces at LIRR stations.

I would also like to see speed cameras at the three most deadly sections of the Southern State Parkway, and speeders should be ticketed. Waste treatment plants should be built to recycle the wastewater, and more solar farms should be created, with the energy savings passed on to Long Islanders. One place solar farms could be erected is over roads, like the Long Island Expressway.

Long Island should remain a bedroom community, with a workforce that can earn a living wage, enjoy the benefits of a tranquil suburban life, and serve as a magnet for tourism to its majestic beaches and East End.

John Wolf, Levittown

 

Apparently, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is spearheading major infrastructure and economic development investments for our region.

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Many of the infrastructure projects are transformative, including the third track. It would alleviate an existing bottleneck on the Long Island Rail Road’s main line, thereby augmenting capacity and permitting reverse commuting during peak hours, something that is virtually impossible now.

Reverse commuting would grow our workforce and economy by enabling city dwellers to work on the Island. The third track would also enable intra-island transit commuting for the Island’s workers. Importantly, the additional constructed capacity would allow the multi-billion-dollar East Side Access project to realize its full potential, as well as present Long Island communities with the expanded opportunity to develop mixed-use projects proximate to rail stations.

Not surprisingly, immediately following the governor’s announcement, opposition surfaced from various quarters, including state lawmakers. The time has passed when the vocal minority controls the growth and prosperity of Long Island.

The Long Island Regional Planning Council’s 25-year sustainability plan, LI 2035, should have been a clarion to our elected leaders that not only do we need to control the costs of government but we also need to grow our tax base — an unattainable goal without an expanded and improved public transportation and environmental infrastructure system.

John D. Cameron Jr., Rockville Centre

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Editor’s note: The writer is the chairman of the Long Island Regional Planning Council.