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Cuomo, de Blasio meet over possible LIRR strike

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a press

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a press conference at City Hall on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, in Manhattan. Credit: Louis Lanzano

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo briefed Mayor Bill de Blasio on the details of a possible LIRR strike and the two discussed contingency plans at a meeting in New York City on Friday, officials from both administrations said.

De Blasio has said the city is prepared for any increased traffic, gridlock or security concerns a strike could create.

In the meeting, Cuomo and de Blasio said they were mutually committed to resolving the conflict in a manner that maintains service and respects taxpayers and Long Island Rail Road workers, officials said Sunday without providing details.

De Blasio on Thursday said city agencies, including the Department of Transportation and the NYPD, are "very, very prepared" for the possibility of a strike. The LIRR makes 300,000 daily trips, with many riders traveling from Long Island to the city for work. Eight LIRR workers unions plan to strike beginning Sunday unless a contract dispute with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is resolved.

The city DOT and the Office of Emergency Management in a joint statement Sunday said they are working with the NYPD, the Taxi and Limousine Commission and other agencies to help the MTA implement the contingency plan it unveiled Friday and otherwise buffer the effect on city residents.

The city plans to use "message dissemination, crowd management, traffic management, and support of MTA contingency plan operations," officials from the two agencies said.

The DOT plans to "keep traffic moving" along Queens and Brooklyn roads leading into Manhattan that could be packed with Long Islanders commuting by car rather than by LIRR with such measures as high-occupancy vehicle lanes and alternate-side parking adjustments, the agencies said.

The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment.

De Blasio is scheduled to depart for a 10-day family vacation in Italy on Friday, two days before a strike could start.

Cuomo has publicly downplayed any influence he might have in the negotiations. Last week, when federal officials made clear they wouldn't intervene, the governor said Congress' decision showed the "only path to resolution is at the bargaining table between the MTA and the unions."

De Blasio and Cuomo both have said they hope the two sides can avoid a strike.

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