Nassau County Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) blasted Long Island Railroad officials today for omitting the Syosset Rail Road station from its list of locations that will be adjusted to bridge the gap between the platform and trains. Syosset has a 15-inch gap and is the most problematic because of the large curved platform. Other stations on the LIRR’s top priority list have 11 inches or less.
“Is there a reason why the Syosset Rail Road Station is exempt from your priority?” Legislator Jacobs asked in a letter to LIRR President Raymond Kenny. “Everyday I read that you are prioritizing stations according to the severity of the gaps. Isn’t 15 inches a priority?...I am extremely upset and baffled by your schedule of improvements and your lack of concern at the Syosset site.”
Jacobs has been in the forefront of the LIRR gap issue, and brought it to the attention of officials last summer. She has turned over hundreds of petitions signed by concerned commuters protesting the LIRR’s poor record in dealing with this safety issue.
Back in August, Jacobs criticized LIRR officials when they announced that they would be installing a$1.5 million “monitoring system” to address the problem.
“Anything short of that same type of installation is totally irresponsible and unresponsive to the protection of public safety,” said Jacobs. That is why she will be asking Syosset residents to sign a petition expressing their dissatisfaction with the LIRR’s proposal and to write letters to LIRR President Kenny.
“Surveillance cameras will not protect a person from being injured, or possibly killed,” Jacobs said in August. “The LIRR knew about this problem since 1970.”
Jacobs instead proposed that the LIRR install moveable gap fillers to serve as a bridge between the train and platform. Filler bridges are used at several stations in New York City.
Last summer a teenager died when she slipped into a gap while waiting for a train at another station.
Meanwhile, Jacobs continues to collect signatures from angry commuters and send them to LIRR officials.