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Letter: Why third track is crucial for LIRR riders

An LIRR train pulling into the Mineola LIRR

An LIRR train pulling into the Mineola LIRR station, May 6, 2011. A new Starbucks at the Mineola station may boost the downtown area, but potentially at the expense of additional congestion and parking woes, village officials said. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The Long Island Rail Road’s third-track project means a whole lot more to Long Island and its residents than merely constructing 9.8 miles of track from Floral Park to Hicksville [“New reception for third track,” Editorial, May 27].

The project is the linchpin for all of the other major LIRR projects preceding it.

Without the third-track capacity increase, everything from the brilliant John D. Caemmerer Storage Yard on the West Side to East Side Access to the double-track of the Ronkonkoma branch will never achieve their potential for meeting the travel needs of Long Islanders.

Allowing the third-track project to be blocked by NIMBY factions and short-sighted politicians is no alternative.

I spent 34 years with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the first nine with the Metropolitan Suburban Bus Authority, back when it served Nassau County. At retirement, I was the director of Short-Range Bus Service Planning for New York City.

Paul Gawkowski, Babylon