The following Letter to the Editor was published in Newsday on October 16, 2016. You can read the original here.

I appreciated Newsday‘s balanced reporting on the issue of Long Island’s downtown redevelopment, but feel that more can be done on the regional level to ensure these growth strategies benefit more than a select few. It is encouraging to see some of these areas make economic gains.

However, not enough developers or policymakers are talking about ways to reduce the extravagant, Manhattan-like rents being charged, or how to best increase the low overall transit usage by those who live in these transit-oriented projects.

There is a marked disconnect between who developers are saying will benefit from their projects, what is getting approved and built, and who actually benefits in the end.

What Long Island truly needs to thrive are high-paying economic opportunities for the region’s eager and educated younger workforce, and housing at rents they can actually afford. Until the drivers of cost are addressed, the region will continue to become more economically polarized and less competitive to other suburban counties and the five boroughs.

Rich Murdocco
Editors’s Note: The writer blogs about Long Island land use at