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Long Island Rail Road

Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim and Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine send joint letter to state representatives

Huntington riders may experience some problems with upcoming station work. File photo by Rohma Abbas

The spark of hope given to electrifying the North Shore branch of the Long Island Rail Road last November convinced local leaders to take up the charge.

Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci (R) has joined with other town supervisors to urge state lawmakers to moved forward with a feasibility study on the electrification of the LIRR service line from Huntington Station east to Port Jefferson Station. Currently, trains on the line east of Huntington run on diesel fuel.

“It will have a strong affect on Huntington, Smithtown and Brookhaven,” Lupinacci (R) said. “For the commuters in all three towns this is something that’s critically needed in the area.”

“It will have a strong affect on Huntington, Smithtown and Brookhaven, for the commuters in all three towns this is something that’s critically needed in the area.”
—Chad Lupinacci

On April 4, Lupinacci along with Brookhaven Supervisor Edward Romaine (R) and Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim (R) sent a joint letter to New York State Legislature’s Long Island delegation to express their support for the feasibility study due to potential economic and environmental benefits. They cited that the Port Jefferson and Huntington branch lines have the highest ridership, about 18.7 million annually, of any line in the LIRR service territory, according to the most recent LIRR Annual Ridership Report released in 2015.

“For decades this project has been a concept that could not reach the critical mass necessary to become a reality,” reads the April 4 letter. “However, we believe the time is now given the many roadblocks that prevented this project from moving forward have now been solved — including where to site the train cars.”

The letter details the beneficial impacts electrification of the Port Jeff branch would have for each of the townships.

In Huntington, the five stations — Greenlawn, Northport, Centerport, Fort Salonga and Commack — would benefit from additional transportation options and commuters heading east, according to Lupinacci.

Wehrheim stressed in the Town of Smithtown the infrastructural investment is a key pillar in the revitalization of Kings Park, Smithtown and St. James business areas. The town has invested significant funds in this year’s capital budget to these areas.

However, we believe the time is now given the many roadblocks that
prevented this project from moving forward have now been solved.”
— April 4 letter

In Brookhaven, Romaine said electrification of the rails would foster revitalization of Port Jefferson Station and allow for an easier commute to Stony Brook University, which has approximately 40,000 students and staff members. He also noted it would help ease traffic congestion on local roadways in the communities near SBU.

The project has received support from groups such as the Long Island Association in the past, and a more recent push from state Sen. Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson). LaValle met with Metropolitan Transportation
Authority board member Mitchell Paley last November, wherein the sides agreed to pursue a feasibility study to determine the potential cost and impact of electrifying the line out to Port Jeff.

“I believe it’s something we could get done,” LaValle said, in a November interview with TBR News Media. “I think it’s critically important that we can demonstrate to communities with specificity where electric substations are going. Communities need to know that before we make that decision. I’m supporting electrification that starts in Port Jeff but also goes through Smithtown and Huntington.”

Calls and initiatives to electrify the line east of Huntington go back to at least the 1980s. According to an article by researcher Derek Stadler published by the Long Island History Journal in 2016 entitled “The Modernization of the Long Island Rail Road,” in 1984, electrification of the branch was included in a nearly $600 million MTA spending package that was meant to serve as a five-year plan for LIRR improvements. However, the plans were postponed indefinitely just two years later due to a budget gap.

“This is a good time to put it out there. Now you can have serious conversations for next [budget] year.”
— Chad Lupinacci

The establishment of a one-seat ride from Port Jefferson to Penn Station has long been a goal for elected officials and LIRR riders as well, though that would require electrification as diesel engines cannot travel to the Manhattan station. In the mid-90s, a brief pilot program was tested on the Port Jeff line using dual-mode locomotive cars that could run using both diesel engines and third-rail electrification. According to Stadler’s research, in 2000 it was estimated that electrification east of Huntington could cost as much as $500 million.

“You are looking at several millions per mile of track,” Lupinacci affirmed. “This is a good time to put it out there. Now you can have serious conversations for next [budget] year.”

There is renewed hope that with a newlyannounced LIRR president, Philip Eng of Smithtown, that a feasibility study willEd be funded.

“New leadership brings in a different perspective,” Lupinacci said. “I think this is a good situation for us to be in with new leadership taking over the helm.”

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Historian Beverly C. Tyler, third from right, in front of a replica of a Union Pacific engine, takes part in the reenactment of the joining of the rails in Golden Spike National Historic Site. Photo from Beverly C. Tyler

By Beverly C. Tyler

The changes in transportation that began in the early 1800s were dramatic and far-reaching. They made it possible to lower costs of food and fuel, expand settlements, open western New York and the Midwest, and provide employment for thousands of immigrants. Before steam power, transportation on land was limited to walking, riding horses and going by horse and wagon. Canals and steamboats made long distance transportation viable, but canals were a temporary solution. The railroads became the vehicle that united America with steam power.

Wood was the first fuel used by steam trains, but coal was the fuel that made commerce by rail a reality. The early trains, including the Long Island Rail Road, fueled with wood, were only strong enough to carry passengers. Before 1844 the Norwich & Worcester and Boston & Worcester railroads ran a water-to-rail route from Manhattan to Boston. Steamboats left Manhattan at 5 p.m. Eleven hours later, they arrived at Allyn’s Point in Norwich, Connecticut. There the passengers were escorted to the waiting train. Two hours later they arrived in Boston, a total trip of 13 hours, under the best of conditions.

To compete on the route from Manhattan to Boston the LIRR built a rail line west to east on Long Island from Brooklyn to Greenport. Cornelius Vanderbilt joined with the LIRR to provide steamboats for crossing Long Island Sound, between Greenport and the docks at Stonington and Norwich, Connecticut, where trains then took passengers to Boston. The LIRR felt that as this was the longest rail route and the shortest water crossing it would get passengers to and from Boston more rapidly, and it did, with a time of about 10-and-a-half hours. The first train left Brooklyn Aug. 8, 1844. The route was initially a popular success and even had a contract to carry the U.S. mail. The new LIRR and N&W route offered early morning departures which assured arrival in one’s destination city by evening. Thus, for the first time, travelers passing between the two cities could avoid having to spend a night on the steamboat/train connection.

Vanderbilt in his quest against his competitors kept lowering the cost of the LIRR route, and when the board of directors balked at his aggressive stance, Vanderbilt abandoned the LIRR, making it impossible to compete financially. To get needed funds the railroad sold their steamboats Cleopatra and Worcester to the N&W allowing it to compete with LIRR on its own water routes. As a result, the LIRR abandoned its Brooklyn to Boston route in March 1847.

A reproduction of the Central Pacific engine Jupiter in Utah. Photo by Beverly C. Tyler

The LIRR now had tracks running through the center of the Island where few people lived. It would be nearly three decades before the railroad completed lines along the North and South shores to more effectively serve Long Island residents. In the meantime, the LIRR began a campaign to encourage New York City residents to take the rails to the shores of Lake Ronkonkoma as well as connections to stage coaches that would take them to vacation spots on the North and South shores of the Island.

The rise of American railroads coincided with a flood of immigrants. In 1842 more than 100,000 immigrants arrived in American ports, the overwhelming majority in New York City. By 1847, immigrants from just Ireland exceeded 100,000 and over the next decade more than a million Irish came to America. Germans also came to America to escape the wars and revolutions in Europe. As railroads grew and tracks crisscrossed Eastern and Midwest states they needed more and more laborers to lay tracks and do many new jobs associated with this new booming transportation infrastructure. The flood of immigrants had come at just the right time for America.

In Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, railroads connected the waterways of the Great Lakes, and the Ohio, Mississippi and other rivers with port cities, especially New York and New Orleans. During the 1850s Midwest cities grew rapidly as immigrants, cattle, hogs and wheat from the great plains flooded into Chicago and other developing Midwest cities.

By the late 1840s, the telegraph and the railroads were developing together and relying on each other. The possibility of instantaneous information altered the entire logistics of the railroad industry. For the telegraph operators, the benefits were obvious. The telegraph company would hoist its poles along the tracks. The railroad would then provide ongoing maintenance of the telegraph wires.

In the summer of 1862, the federal government, in the absence of Southern elements in Congress due to the Civil War, approved the Pacific Railway Act, with a combination of land grants and bond guarantees, allowed for private interest to begin construction of a railroad to connect across the entire country. It was the California Gold Rush that made the construction work possible and men such as John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan and Joseph Pulitzer made it work.

From the time of the gold rush in 1848 to 1849 the idea of connecting the Pacific Coast to the East via a large railroad had been a dream of both capitalists and politicians. Finally in 1869, the golden spike was driven in the last rail as west met east at Promontory, Utah, where the two trains met, the western train fueled by wood and the eastern train fueled by coal.

In October 2012 my wife Barbara and I dove to the Golden Spike National Historic Site in Corinne, Utah. It is really a desolate area except for the national park. We were there for the last ceremonial reenactment of the year, the joining of the rails across America at Promontory, Utah.

Two reproduction engines, the Central Pacific engine Jupiter and the Union Pacific engine 119 came together as the golden spike was gently driven in and then removed and replaced with an iron spike. Costumed actors and visitors then gathered together for a picture of this monumental event that joined our country together with steel rails and instant communication.

Beverly C. Tyler is Three Village Historical Society historian and author of books available from the society at 93 North Country Road, Setauket. For more information, call 631-751-3730 or visit www.tvhs.org.

In November, state Sen. Ken LaValle gave his blessing to a feasibility study for the electrification of the Port Jefferson LIRR line east of Huntington. File photo

A technological upgrade in Port Jefferson almost four decades in the making got a jolt of life this month.

The Port Jefferson Long Island Rail Road line was electrified as far east as Huntington in 1970, and despite calls ever since, electrification of the line further east to Port Jeff has yet to take place. State Sen. Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) met with Metropolitan Transportation Authority board member Mitchell Pally during November, wherein the sides agreed to pursue a feasibility study to determine the potential cost and impact of electrifying the line out to Port Jeff. Trains used on the line east of Huntington currently run on diesel fuel.

“I believe it’s something we could get done,” LaValle said of electrification during a phone interview. “I think it’s critically important that we can demonstrate to communities with specificity where electric substations are going. Communities need to know that before we make that decision. I’m supporting electrification that starts in Port Jeff but also goes through Smithtown and Huntington.”

The feasibility study would be conducted by the LIRR and MTA, according to LaValle, and he said he’s not sure what the study would cost.

“Conducting a feasibility study makes a great deal of sense,” LIRR spokesperson Aaron Donovan said in a statement. “Additional electrification has long been part of the discussion for future improvements. We look forward to working with Senator LaValle about the possibility of obtaining funding for such a study.”

In November, state Sen. Ken LaValle gave his blessing to a feasibility study for the electrification of the Port Jefferson LIRR line east of Huntington. File photo

Calls and initiatives to electrify the line east of Huntington go back to at least the 1980s. According to an article by researcher Derek Stadler published by the Long Island History Journal in 2016 entitled “The Modernization of the Long Island Rail Road,” in 1984, electrification of the branch was included in a nearly $600 million MTA spending package that was meant to serve as a five-year plan for LIRR improvements. However, the plans were postponed indefinitely just two years later due to a budget gap.

The establishment of a one-seat ride from Port Jefferson to Penn Station has long been a goal for elected officials and LIRR riders as well, though that would require electrification as diesel engines cannot travel to the Manhattan station. In the mid-90s, a brief pilot program was tested on the Port Jeff line using dual-mode locomotive cars that could run using both diesel engines and third-rail electrification. According to Stadler’s research, in 2000 it was estimated that electrification east of Huntington could cost as much as $500 million.

Stadler said in an email he considered the feasibility study “a big step forward,” and said he’s optimistic it could get the ball rolling. However, he added the discussion has heated and cooled in the past as well.

Port Jefferson Village Mayor Margot Garant said during a Nov. 20 board of trustees meeting she and Deputy Mayor Larry LaPointe recently met with LaValle, and the topic of electrification of the Port Jeff line came up as well.

“It would be critical to electrify the North Shore line,” Garant said during the meeting. The village is in the process of examining transportation improvements that could among other benefits, increase LIRR ridership and better coordinate the schedules of the railroad, Suffolk County buses and the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson ferry.

LaValle said the process of obtaining money to actually complete the electrification work wouldn’t be done prior to the feasibility study, though he said he believes funding could be attainable.

“We want to move people as quickly as possible east to west and build the same rate of success as Ronkonkoma is enjoying in terms of availability of trains into not only New York City, but west,” he said. “Before we do that we need to know with specificity — communities need to know what it means for their community.”

The state senator also mentioned discussions with the MTA concerning the possible usage of Lawrence Aviation Industries Superfund site in Port Jefferson Station as a possible LIRR rail yard.

Both LaValle and Donovan declined to share specifics about the timetable of a feasibility study.

This artistic rendering depicts what Huntington Station may look like once revitalized. Photo from Renaissance Downtowns

By Sara-Megan Walsh

Efforts to revitalize the southern portion of Huntington Station received a much-needed push forward last week.

Huntington Town Board members voted to approve spending $1.25 million in bond funds received from the Suffolk County Legislature to conduct an extensive sewer study as part of the Huntington Station
revitalization efforts.

The lack of sewers in Huntington Station is one of the areas that is desperately in need of improvement to make revitalization possible, as the land north of the Long Island Rail Road tracks in Huntington Station is served by the sewer district, but the south side is not, which has limited development and economic opportunities.

“It is the hurdle that prevents development from occurring,” said Ryan Porter, the director of planning and development with Renaissance Downtowns. “It prevents this project from being implemented on the south side.”

Renaissance Downtowns is a nationally-renowned development group chosen by the town to be a master developer of Huntington Station’s revitalization in 2012. Porter said due to the lack of sewer access in the south, the town has been forced to pursue a “dual track” when approaching revitalization efforts. Construction of a mix-used  building at the intersection of Northridge Street and New York Avenue was started this past January while there remain no specific plans yet in place for the south side of town, according to Porter.

The sewer study, which will be conducted by Suffolk County under an inter-municipal agreement, will analyze the existing sewer infrastructure, feasibility and design conditions within Huntington
Station to determine the most efficient way to connect the southern part of the town to existing sewer districts.

The southwest sewer district, which currently serves areas in the Town of Babylon and Town of Islip, currently extends only as north on Route 110 as the Walt Whitman Mall.

Porter said if southern portions of Huntington Station could be hooked into either the southwest sewer district or another system, it would greatly increase the future development potential.

“If an existing building is under performing, [the owner] can only tear down what they have and rebuild the same thing,” Porter said. “There’s very little motivation for people to improve their buildings. If
sewers were available, they could increase the building’s uses which is a financial
justification to rebuild your property.”

Suffolk County has already moved to issue the request for bids from engineering firms interested in undertaking the study.

Huntington Station residents interested in sharing their thoughts and ideas about what they would like to improved or built can visit www.sourcethestation.com. The website contains information on sharing ideas find out about upcoming community meetings.

Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Valerie Cartright and Highway Superintendent Daniel Losquadro stand on the newly paved Quaker Path in Stony Brook. Photo from Town of Brookhaven

Brookhaven Town Highway Superintendent Daniel Losquadro (R) and Councilwoman Valerie Cartright (D-Port Jefferson Station) recently announced the completion of the resurfacing of Quaker Path in Stony Brook, from Route 25A to the Old Field Village Line, just south of West Meadow Road.

“Quaker Path is a main arterial roadway, leading to both Stony Brook University and the Long Island Rail Road Stony Brook train station,” said Losquadro. “I am glad that we were able to provide relief for residents, motorists and pedestrians in this area, while removing this roadway from our high priority list.”

The total cost for this extensive paving project, along a nearly two-mile stretch of roadway, was $413,000. Crews replaced 240 square feet of aprons, nearly 300 linear feet of curbing, 1,350 square feet of sidewalk, and installed three, new ADA-compliant handicap ramps.

“Numerous residents have contacted my office requesting that Quaker Path be paved,” said Cartright. “I am happy that Superintendent Losquadro and I can announce the completion of this paving project, which alleviates major quality of life concerns in this neighborhood. I look forward to continuing to work with the community and the Highway Department to improve roadways in our town.”

The now cleared areas surrounding the train tracks for the Port Jefferson LIRR station will be fitted with new trees soon. Photos by Alex Petroski

By Alex Petroski

Cleaning up is hard to do.

Port Jefferson Village is entrenched in a beautification project that spans large sections of the area, including several efforts in the vicinity of the Port Jefferson Long Island Rail Road station located in between Main Street and Highlands Boulevard. Two years ago, according to village resident Kathleen Riley and Village Mayor Margot Garant, the village requested that LIRR property be cleared of dead trees along the train tracks on the south side of Highlands Boulevard in the hopes of improving aesthetics in the area.

The now cleared areas surrounding the train tracks for the Port Jefferson LIRR station will be fitted with new trees soon. Photos by Alex Petroski

“When this beautification effort started there were a number of dead trees along the said property, and when the LIRR was requested to remove the dead trees, workmen cut down all the trees, dead and alive for a considerably large portion of the property,” Riley said in an email. “When investigated with survey records, it happens that the LIRR cut down trees on Port Jefferson Village property, truly a violation that calls for compensation. Mayor Garant has yet to receive any compensation from the LIRR for the past two years. To her credit she continues to pursue beautification.”

Riley shared a letter she received in early April from Susan McGowan, the MTA’s general manager of public affairs for the LIRR as a response to several letters she sent to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), state Sen. Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) and to Ed Dumas, the vice president of market development and public affairs for the LIRR, since the trees were first removed. McGowan addressed the findings of the survey that the trees were on village property.

“In light of these findings, we will work with the village to address the concerns you raised, and the LIRR will continue to coordinate with the village as our station enhancement project for Port Jefferson Station moves forward,” McGowan said.

Aaron Donovan, MTA deputy director for external communications for the LIRR responded to requests for comment from Dumas on the matter in an emailed statement.

“I’m just going to get the job done; then I’m going to the railroad and ask for restitution — I can’t wait any longer.”

— Margot Garant

“We have received and reviewed all of the correspondence, and we are evaluating what we can do to improve the Highlands Boulevard area,” he said. The village and LIRR officials have met several times in recent months to discuss beautification of the station and the areas near the train tracks.

Since the removal of the trees, the village has obtained grant money to improve parking for the train station in lots on both sides of Main Street, in addition to funds garnered for business improvement projects just steps away from the train station.

“We’re seeking some sort of cooperation from the railroad,” Garant said in a phone interview. “We’ve been dealing with this and other issues for well over two years.”

Garant said the village now plans to plant six-foot tall Leyland cypress trees along the fence line on Highlands Boulevard overlooking the train tracks using unencumbered monies and will then ask the LIRR for restitution.

“I’m just going to get the job done; then I’m going to the railroad and ask for restitution — I can’t wait any longer,” she said.

Riley said she met with Caran Markson, village gardener, Garant and some other community members recently to secure plans for the project, which they hope will begin during April. Some of the other issues raised by the village regarding the look of the areas surrounding the tracks include crumbling walls bordering the tracks, rusted railings and insufficient fencing.

Huntington's south parking garage at the Long Island Rail Road station. File photo by Rohma Abbas
Huntington's south parking garage at the Long Island Rail Road station. File photo by Rohma Abbas
Huntington’s south parking garage at the Long Island Rail Road station. File photo by Rohma Abbas

Starting this week, the second level of the south parking garage at the Huntington Long Island Rail Road station will be closed, for the completion of a waterproofing project.

According to the town, waterproofing is the last phase of the garage’s rehabilitation, which began last year. Waterproofing was completed on the upper levels before work was suspended due to the winter weather. A town statement said it is estimated that the second level will be closed for about five weeks; after that, work will be done on the stair tower and handicap ramps, and then comes the detail work, which includes pavement markings on the third, fourth, and fifth levels.

Parking should be available in the surface parking lot on the west side of New York Avenue between Railroad and Church Streets, according to the statement.

Protestors gather at the Huntington train station on Monday afternoon. Photo from Michael Pauker

Protestors are no longer minding the gap when it comes to the state’s minimum wage.

Protestors flocked to the Huntington Long Island Rail Road station during the evening rush hour on Monday in support of an increase in the state minimum wage.

The group also hit several other North Shore train stations in areas where state senators have not yet committed to supporting New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) proposal for a $15-per-hour minimum wage.

“This state thrives when every New Yorker has the opportunity and the ability to succeed,” Cuomo said in a statement in support of his minimum wage hike from $9 per hour. “Yet the truth is that today’s minimum wage still leaves far too many people behind — unacceptably condemning them to a life of poverty even while they work full-time. This year, we are going to change that. We are going to raise the minimum wage to bring economic opportunity back to millions of hardworking New Yorkers and lead the nation in the fight for fair pay.”

A protestor raises a sign on the platform. Photo from Michael Pauker
A protestor raises a sign on the platform. Photo from Michael Pauker

Members of the group Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, organized the protests with hopes of putting pressure on North Shore lawmakers.

“We’re making a splash during rush hour today to remind our state senators that the economic security of millions of New Yorkers is in their hands,” Rachel Ackoff, senior national organizer at Bend the Arc, said in an email. “Our state and country are facing an economic inequality crisis and raising the minimum wage is essential to help countless families get by and strengthen our economy.”

As for why the group chose to protest at train stations, Ackoff said it is a common ground for all walks of life.

“LIRR stations are the central meeting grounds of thousands of workers heading to and from their jobs each day,” she said. “We appreciated the cheers and thumbs up of the folks we encountered.”

Ackoff said many New York workers who are not making the minimum wage are struggling to support families.

“We’re so outraged by the fact that so many parents in our state, who are working full times jobs on the current minimum wage, aren’t even paid enough to provide for their families’ basic needs,” she said. ““It’s time for our state leaders to take action.”

She zeroed in on specific North Shore lawmakers, including state Sens. John Flanagan (R-East Northport), Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset), and Michael Venditto (R-Massapequa).

A protestor speaks to a passenger at the Huntington train station. Photo from Michael Pauker
A protestor speaks to a passenger at the Huntington train station. Photo from Michael Pauker

Marcellino, who presides over parts of Huntington, did not return a call for a comment.

Bend the Arc has several chapters across the country, and this year, they launched #JewsFor15 a campaign to support the fight for $15, by mobilizing Jewish communities across the country to support local and state campaigns to increase the minimum wage. They said they feel not supporting the $15-per-hour minimum wage is a violation of fundamental values as both Jews and Americans.

“By speaking up for the ‘Fight for $15 movement,’ we are honoring the legacy of our Jewish ancestors, many of whom immigrated to the U.S. at the turn of the century, worked in factories, and fought for higher wages and union rights,” Ackoff said.

Eric Schulmiller, of the Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore in Manhasset, echoed the sentiment while speaking at the Hicksville train station.

“I’m here today because striving for social justice is a core part of my identity as a faith leader and a core part of Jewish communal traditions,” he said. “Jews have been engaged in America’s social justice movements for generations and we’re not about stand on the sidelines now, when countless American families are struggling to make ends meet and economic inequality is growing more and more severe.”

Residents and Brookhaven officials will address ways to improve Route 25A near the Stony Brook train station, above, in the first phase of the study. Photo by Giselle Barkley

After decades of waiting, Brookhaven officials said they were taking legitimate steps toward giving Route 25A a face-lift — starting with Stony Brook.

The town board approved a resolution on Thursday, Jan. 14, to conduct land use studies for Route 25A in Three Village and Port Jefferson Station. The town said it would be holding several meetings over the coming months at which residents can suggest ways to improve the de facto Main Street, especially near the Stony Brook Long Island Rail Road station and where Route 25A meets Nicolls Road.

This three-phase study will start with the Smithtown line to Nicolls Road. The two other phases, including the Port Jefferson Station study, will follow. Route 25A near the Stony Brook train station is part of the first phase.

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) said the town will use money from a contingency fund in its operating and capital budgets to fund the study. The town hasn’t established dates, times and location, but Romaine said meetings will begin once the weather gets warmer in March or April.

“It’s long overdue,” Romaine said about the study. “We will be sending letters to [the Department of Transportation]  and ask them to participate because a lot of the work we’re going to comment on are things [DOT has] to do, like additional sidewalks.”

Several civic leaders across the Three Village and greater North Shore community came out in full support of the land use study on Thursday with hopes of spurring the town board to expedite progress along 25A.

“The intersection of Nicolls Road and Route 25A is really the gateway to the communities of the Three Village community, and quite frankly it’s sort of a hodge-podge of commercial and retail buildings,” said George Hoffman, vice president of the Three Village Civic Association. “We also have a real problem with safety … because the corridor is really lacking crosswalks and sidewalks.”

The town also asked Stony Brook University to participate in this study. Similar land use studies and plans for Route 25A were conducted in 1963 and 1975 according to Robert de Zafra, former president of the Civic Association of the Setaukets and Stony Brook. A third study was conducted around 20 years ago.

Current civic leaders like Shawn Nuzzo, president of the Civic Association of the Setaukets and Stony Brook, have tried kick-starting revitalization efforts for Route 25A near the Stony Brook train station for several years. Nuzzo has often been at the forefront of all discussions relating to upgrading 25A and ushering in a new era of commercial and residential prosperity across the main road.

At Thursday’s town board meeting, Nuzzo said the town was finally taking a different approach when working with civic groups.

“There’s been a lot of false starts with this area because it was based in the past on this old top-down model, where the people at the top were going to tell the people at the bottom what they’re going to live with for the next 50 years,” Nuzzo said at Town Hall before Brookhaven passed the resolution. “But this model now with this corridor study and community visioning, this is a bottom-up model.”

Over the last several years, Stony Brook University students have worked with their professors to propose idealistic and practical ways to improve the area by the train station. The groups have been hosting events with residents at the Bates House in Frank Melville Memorial Park in Setauket and other locations, where they have pitched their plans based on various land studies of the 25A corridor.

Professor Marc Fasanella from Stony Brook University has been leading entire classes on the revisioning of Route 25A and challenging his students with finding realistic ways to make the corridor more appealing visually and logistically.

In a previous interview with Times Beacon Record Newspapers, he said the crux of the challenge was to think outside the box, no matter how outlandish the plans might seem.

“We looked at this as a tremendous opportunity for our students and for the community moving forward,” Fasanella said. “Are we dreaming? Of course we’re dreaming.”

Nuzzo said the area by the train station has united people throughout the community, but the entire corridor, especially near the LIRR, can not only be safer but also more visually appealing to the community.

“This is an issue that transcends political lines,” he said. “This is an issue that has unified both the civic association and the Chamber of Commerce who have historically been at odds with one another. We’re in that redevelopment phase of this corridor and this is really a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a community vision to have something nice for 75 to 100 years.”

Phil Corso contributed to this report.

DWI identity crisis
Police arrested a 21-year-old Center Moriches woman at Linden Place in Port Jefferson shortly after midnight on Aug. 15 for speeding and failing to stay in her lane. According to police, the woman, who was driving while ability impaired, was in a 2012 Honda Civic and provided the officer with a fake name when she was pulled over.

On the fence
A 21-year-old man was arrested on West Broadway in Port Jefferson on Aug. 16 at 3 a.m. for criminal misconduct with the intent to damage property. According to police, the man punched and kicked a nearby fence with the help of two other men, a 24-year-old and a 21-year-old.

Can you hear me rocking?
Police said someone shattered the front windshield of a 2000 Chevrolet Blazer with a rock between Aug. 11 and 12 on Main Street in Port Jefferson. No arrests were made.

The Great Train Robbery
On Aug. 14 at 5:30 a.m., three people approached a man at the Port Jefferson Long Island Rail Road station and threw him to the ground. Police said they stole cash, jewelry and a cellphone. There have been no arrests.

Breaking and entering and exiting
Police arrested a 44-year-old man from Patchogue on Aug. 16 after he pried open the side door of Fox Linen Service on Wilson Street in Port Jefferson Station. The arrest took place at 2:35 p.m. According to the police, nothing was stolen.

Carded
Police said an unknown suspect made several unauthorized transactions on a Mount Sinai resident’s Citibank debit card on Aug. 12.

Concussed
A 49-year-old Port Jefferson woman was arrested on Aug. 12 in Selden, about a month after police said she punched another woman in the face at Portside Bar & Grill on East Main Street down Port. The victim suffered a concussion.

All in a day’s yard work
A man who arrived at a residence on Tyler Avenue in Miller Place on Aug. 14 to do yard work was assaulted by the tenant’s girlfriend.

Feel the Millburn
Someone punched a complainant in the face during a dispute on Millburn Road in Sound Beach on Aug. 12.

Tapped out
According to police, someone punched a man in the face at The North Tap on Route 25A in Mount Sinai on Aug. 15. The victim was taken to Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson to treat his injuries.

Grand larceny, grand pushing
An 18-year-old man from South Setauket was arrested at the precinct on Aug. 12 and charged with grand larceny. Police said he threatened a teller at the Chase bank on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook and demanded money. The man was also charged with obstruction. According to police, the man pushed away and attempted to grab an officer who was trying to get information regarding another investigation.

The case of the forgotten bills
While paying for items at the 7-Eleven on Old Town Road in Port Jefferson Station, a woman forgot a bank envelope with money on the counter. The incident happened at 6:18 p.m. on Aug. 14. Police said when she returned for the envelope at a later time, it was gone.

Left unlocked
Someone took a pocketbook and a wallet from an unlocked car on Longview Avenue in Rocky Point on Aug. 13, at 1:30 a.m. The case is still under investigation.

Police said an unknown male took a Cobra dash cam from an unlocked red 2002 Mitsubishi on Monticello Drive in Shoreham. There have been no arrests made in relation to the incident, which happened on Aug. 13 at 3:19 a.m.

According to police, someone entered a 2010 Honda on Dare Road in Selden between Aug. 12 at 3 a.m. and Aug. 13 at 10 p.m. and stole a Dell laptop. The case is under investigation.

Someone stole cash from a 2008 Toyota RAV4 between 11 p.m. on Aug. 13 and 1:15 a.m. on Aug. 14. Police said the car was unlocked and parked in a Port Jefferson Station driveway.

That’s an order
Police said a 23-year-old man from Mount Sinai was arrested at 11:45 a.m. on Lyon Crescent on Aug. 13. According to police, the man violated an order of protection.

Verbal argument escalates
A female driver had a verbal argument with a male operating another vehicle on Holbrook Road in Centereach on Aug. 14 at 8:37 p.m. The male got out of his car and punched the rear-driver side of the complainant’s vehicle.

Jam-packed
A 46-year-old man from Sayville was arrested in Stony Brook on Aug. 14 and charged with petit larceny. Police said the man stole socks and a backpack from Marshall’s on Nesconset Highway at about 3:30 p.m. He was arrested at the scene.

About to blow
An 18-year-old man from South Setauket was arrested by police on Aug. 13 at noon and charged with attempted second-degree grand larceny by extortion and second-degree falsely reporting an incident. Police said he called up the Chase Bank on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook and threatened to blow the bank up in an attempt to get money. The attempt was unsuccessful, police said.

Harassed
A man told police that a male suspect pulled a door on Ringneck Lane in Setauket on Aug. 13 at about 3 a.m., threatening physical harm to him. Police said the complainant said the suspect threatened to fight him. There have been no arrests.

A pair of petit larcenies
Two women, both of Bohemia, one 46 and one 16, were arrested on Aug. 15 in Setauket-East Setauket and each charged with one count of petit larceny. Police said the women took assorted merchandise from Walmart on Nesconset Highway in Setauket-East Setauket and left the store without paying for the items. The incident happened at about 7 p.m., police said.

Is that a red light?
A 26-year-old Stony Brook man was arrested by police on Aug. 15 at about 3 a.m. and charged with driving while intoxicated, a first offense. Police said the man was driving a 2000 Jeep and ended up driving through a red light at the intersection of Route 25A and Nichols Road. Police interviewed the defendant and found him under the influence. He was arrested at the scene.

What interlock device?
Suffolk County police arrested a 46-year-old man from Mastic on Aug. 15 in Smithtown and charged him with using a vehicle without an interlock device. Police said the man was driving a 2006 Ford van without the device, despite a court order. He was arrested at 10 a.m. at the LIE westbound on Commack Road.

Can’t stay in the lines
A 22-year-old Kings Park man was arrested in Smithtown on Aug. 13 and charged with first-degree driving while intoxicated. Police said the man was driving a 1997 Mercedez Benz northbound on St. Johnland Road in Smithtown at about 2 a.m. when he drove onto the shoulder and failed to maintain his lane. He was arrested at the scene in the vicinity of River Heights Drive.

Crash ’n dash
Police arrested a 22-year-old woman from Brentwood on Aug. 13 and charged her with operating a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage. Police said the woman was driving a 2015 Honda Civic on Oser Avenue in Hauppauge, when she went through a steady red traffic light and crashed into a 2010 Nissan, damaging the vehicle. There were no injuries. The incident occurred at 6:37 a.m. and police arrested the woman later at Veterans Highway and Old Willets Path in Smithtown at about 11 a.m.

One bump too much
A 27-year-old woman from Kings Park was arrested in Smithtown on Aug. 13 and charged with first-degree operating a motor vehicle impaired by drugs. Police said the woman hit the rear bumper of a vehicle stopped in front of her on East Main Street in Smithtown at about 9:08 p.m. She was arrested at the scene a short time later.

Wheeled away
A pair of people told police two bikes  left in a wooded area on West Main Street in Smithtown on Aug. 15 were gone when they returned to them. The incident happened sometime between 6:30 and 7:17 p.m.

Party foul
Police said a man went to a house party on Queen Anne Place in Hauppauge on the evening of Aug. 15 and was beaten up by a group of 15 men there. Cops said the man didn’t know the people at the house party but asked if he could enter and was granted permission to attend. He told police that the men approached him and began kicking and punching him in the face and head. He went to St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown for treatment of injuries. The incident happened at about 9:45 p.m.

Ttyl, ATV
Someone stole a 2008 Yamaha Raptor ATV from the front yard of a home on Old Willets Path in Smithtown sometime between 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 13 and 3 p.m. on Aug. 14. There have been no arrests.

Graffiti mystery
Police received reports of two separate incidents of graffiti on Lake Avenue in St. James last week. Cops said that someone made graffiti on the Eddy’s Power Equipment Inc. building sometime between Aug. 12 and 14. Police got another report of graffiti, this time on a building and PVC fence, sometime between Aug. 13 and 14.

A fit at Flowerfield
Someone smashed a glass mirror of a restroom at Flowerfield in St. James, broke a paper towel dispenser, emptied a fire extinguisher in the hallway and stole the fire extinguisher from the business. The incidents occurred between Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 13 at 7 a.m.

Fleeting feeder
Someone stole a bird feeder from a location on Lake Avenue in Saint James sometime between 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 12 and 2 p.m. on Aug. 13.

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