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Newsday letters to the editor for Friday, Jan. 12, 2018

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

Commuters at Jamaica Station in Queens during the

Commuters at Jamaica Station in Queens during the morning rush on Jan. 8, 2018. There were some delays and cancellations on the Babylon, Far Rockaway, Long Beach, and Port Jefferson branches due to equipment trouble, in addition to the planned service changes related to Amtrak work at Penn Station. Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin

Rough start during Penn’s new project

Penn-demonium was what it was like boarding a Long Island Rail Road train out of Penn Station during the evening rush hour this past week [“Delays on first day,” News, Jan. 9]. There were late arrivals, cancellations and manic waves of commuters swarming the cars to get seats, while many stood in the aisles, at least to Jamaica.

The combination of Amtrak repairs and weather-related delays is affecting the commute to and from Nassau County, far more than “the summer of hell” did.

Rich Dowd, Oceanside

I enjoyed reader Marian Russo’s essay, which she ended by saying, “I hate to think what Long Island would be without its railroad” [“Late to the train, a new fan of the LIRR,” Expressway, Jan. 7].

That reminded me of the late Charles W. Hoppe, the president of the Long Island Rail Road from 1990 to 1994. He told me a story about how he persuaded the Metropolitan Transportation Authority not to change the name of the railroad.

Back in the early 1990s, the MTA had the idea of naming the LIRR “Metro East.” Hoppe went to a board meeting and pounded on the table, explaining that the people of Long Island might have a love-hate relationship with the LIRR, but it was still their railroad. The MTA took Hoppe’s advice and left the name alone.

We still have the LIRR name today, after 183 years. What would Long Island be without it?

David Morrison, Plainview

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired LIRR branch line manager.

Don’t deport these immigrants

Congress must act to protect people who have lived here for years after having been given temporary protected status by the U.S. government [“Immigration hotline opens,” News, Jan. 10].

It would be damaging to send people back to El Salvador after they have been working here and paying taxes for many years. Breaking up families is counterproductive in the long run for all concerned. I urge Congress to think long and carefully about this matter.

Salvadorans have contributed to our economy and our culture. Their children will continue to do so, especially if the families remain intact. Members of many of these families have unblemished records with no criminal activity or illegal activity.

We Americans are almost all descended from people from somewhere else. We would be wrong to deny others the same opportunities our ancestors sought.

Americans are known for our openness and charity to all. We are still a young, vigorous nation, and we need to keep attracting new people to maintain our vigor.

I’m so grateful that my ancestors were brave enough and smart enough to make that trip when they did.

Hope Saravis, Plainview

Plan carefully before building a crossing

A cross-Sound tunnel would be more than just a construction project [“Sound crossing: $55.4B,” News, Jan. 9].

The Long Island Expressway was envisioned as an efficient and speedy way for Long Islanders to get to New York City. It is now referred to as the world’s longest parking lot.

In the past, infrastructure such as bridges, tunnels and highways were built for the ages, but not planned for the ages. The Brooklyn Bridge was built before cars were invented, the Holland Tunnel is more than 90 years old, and roads that became the LIE were built from the 1930s to the 1970s. Who thought then about congestion, delays and air pollution in the 21st century?

Regional long-term planning, not local community planning, is required to minimize future problems on New York City area roads.

By the time a tunnel is completed, or shortly thereafter, autonomous vehicles might be common. Traveling at high speed in proximity, these electric, driverless cars could increase highway capacity and reduce congestion and pollution.

Also, regional or home offices with modern communication links might change the way we get to work and travel. Life will not be the same.

Bill Domjan, Melville

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired traffic engineer.

The massive project to build a bridge or tunnel from the North Shore of Long Island would need a complete and thorough public vetting.

This should include the communities that would be most severely affected during construction and thereafter.

Laura Schultz, Syosset

Editor’s note: The writer is president of Residents for a More Beautiful Syosset, a civic group.

Dangerously distracted pedestrians

A photo with the Jan. 9 news story “Traffic deaths decline” shows three people crossing Queens Boulevard, the infamous “Boulevard of Death.”

Two out of the three people appear to have mobile phones in their hands. They apparently are paying more attention to their phones than their surroundings.

Then we wonder why so many people are still injured and killed by automobiles while walking?

Thomas Smith,