August 11, 2006

Jacobs calls LIRR’s proposed ‘Gap Solution’ unacceptable

Calls on LIRR to install "extensions" on dangerous platforms

Presiding Officer Jacobs points out 15 and 1/2 inch gap at Syosset train station.


Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs points out the 15 and 1/2 inch gap at the Syosset train station.

Nassau County Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (Woodbury) today called a proposal by Long Island Railroad officials to install a $1.5 million “monitoring system” at the Syosset Rail Road station an “unacceptable” solution to the danger posed to passengers by the 15-inch gap that exists between the trains and platform. This week a teenager died when she slipped into a gap while waiting for a train at another station. The 15-inch gap at the Syosset station is most problematic because of the large curved platform.

Dermody announced the proposed safety measure today, but Legislator Jacobs fired off her third letter in as many days to Dermody to express her disapproval. I her third letter she wrote:

“I was just informed that one of your “solutions” at the Syosset rail road is the installation of $1,500,000.00 of surveillance cameras that would be able to allow you to see if, and how, anyone falls into the gap.  This is totally unacceptable as a solution. Obviously, we need the same protection that exists on many New York stations, where extensions come out from under the platforms to close the gaps on the train.  Anything short of that same type of installation is totally irresponsible and unresponsive to the protection of public safety.

Surveillance cameras cannot prevent a person from falling through the gaps.  Surveillance cameras will not protect a person from being injured, or possibly killed.”

Jacobs is instead proposing 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.

“Syosset’s gap problem needs more than the stop-gap measure proposed by Dermody,” Jacobs said. “The LIRR knew about this problem since 1970.”