The following are quick hits of editorial analysis from The Foggiest Idea on the local and regional developmental issues that matter. For more, be sure to LIKE TFI on Facebook.
NEED FOR THOUGHTFUL GROWTH IN KINGS PARK AND BEYOND
Recently, Newsday‘s editorial board criticized Assemb. Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) for trying to get local town officials in the area to develop a comprehensive plan for sewers, potentially delaying construction of a new sewage treatment plant in Kings Park.
While the editorial board is correct to caution against legislative inaction stalling the progress of sewering in Kings Park, we must remember that proper comprehensive planning efforts evolve to meet changing dynamics within the greater community.
This dictum applies with Smithtown and their intent to sewer both Kings Park and St. James.
Once sewers are in place, these areas will not only be primed for growth, but any changes will resonate across economic, social, and environmental conditions region-wide.
Smithtown’s plans for the Gyrodyne site, already a subject of inter-municipal controversy due to concerns about overburdening infrastructure in neighboring Town of Brookhaven, would further amplify any impacts from projects in St. James and Kings Park. This is why additional consideration from policymakers is necessary and appropriate.
Unfortunately, the reality is that every development project on Long Island is interconnected in ways that transcend political boundaries.
As such, it is critical for policymakers to properly coordinate growth in a comprehensive fashion – even if that means a temporary delay for worthwhile economic efforts.
WITH PIPELINE REJECTION, GAS THREATENED TO STOP FLOWING FOR NEW PROJECTS
As reported by the New York Times, New York State regulators have denied an application for a $1 billion natural gas pipeline that environmentalists said would set back the fight against climate change.
The Foggiest Idea‘s Take: While green and sustainable energy is critical to our region’s future, both current demands and technological limitations necessitate the construction of this pipeline. Both Williams Transco and National Grid must work to exceed NYS DEC’s expectations, while at the same time working with policymakers to further invest in new renewable resources.
While the expansion of natural gas usage is imperfect, for now it is a necessary evil as greener tech becomes more affordable and available. Build the pipeline – but the region must have a green exit plan for the years ahead.
LIRR TO ROLL OUT NEXT-GEN TRAINS BY END-OF-MONTH
According to reports in Newsday, the Long Island Rail Road’s first new trains in nearly two decades are set to roll out later this month.
The Foggiest Idea‘s Take: While the retro-awful M3s dating from the mid-1980s will likely remain in service (duct-tape and all) for the foreseeable future, the all-new M9s pulling into the station should be a refreshing sight for the region’s beleaguered commuters.
Exciting things are on the horizon for these first new cars to enter the LIRR’s fleet in twenty years – One day, they will likely serve passengers at the LIRR’s new concourse at Grand Central Terminal and on newly electrified lines from Riverhead or Stony Brook.
COUNTY LAND DEAL NIXED ONCE AGAIN IN MIDDLE ISLAND
As reported by Newsday, Garden City-based developer Wilbur Breslin has rejected Suffolk County’s latest offer to buy land he owns in Middle Island, dealing a setback for plans to build a park on the property.
The Foggiest Idea‘s Take: As the developer seeks more money for a long-blighted property, the residents of Middle Island are stuck with an overgrown eyesore on Artist Lake – an important water body that is integral to the health of the Carmans River.
While total preservation of the 75-acre site is ideal, ensuring that at least a portion of the property is protected from development is a workable compromise. The stonewalling of the County by the builder is curious – especially with the Brookhaven Town commenting that offers from the county to preserve a piece of the property is counter-productive. It would seem that a development proposal is in the works for the site. Time will tell if it’s sound planning.
The Town of Brookhaven should step in and work with both the County and builder to reach a compromise that ensures a significant piece of this land is protected, and the builder can take advantage of his legal as-of-right options.
THEN AND NOW
Pictured: The “club sandwich” triple intersection located at the beginning of the Cross Island Parkway when the route first opened in June 1940, and the same view today.
The images highlight not only the longevity of many of the region’s public works that were built during the Moses era, but just how old the infrastructure that underpins New York’s transportation network truly is.