At NYC hearing, residents blast Cross Sound truck freight plan

(Credit: file)
(Credit: file)

Several North Fork residents last week trekked into New York City Wednesday to publicly criticize a proposal to add 3,000 more freight trucks to local roads by diverting more traffic across the Long Island Sound into Orient.

Their comments came at a New York Metropolitan Transportation Council public hearing. The council oversees long-term use of federal transportation funds.

At issue was the Cross Sound Enhancement, a proposal included in the NYMTC’s larger regional plan that would spend federal funds to upgrade the Cross Sound Ferry to allow more freight trucks to travel along state roads toward the Long Island Expressway.

On March 14, residents and elected officials universally denounced the plan at a meeting of the Orient Association. Those comments were echoed at the meeting Wednesday, with president Robert Hanlon describing the bad conditions of local roads that would further deteriorate if freight trucks were added.

Mr. Hanlon called on the NYMTC to remove the project from all of its long-term plans and work more closely with the community before drafting further ideas.

That same day, Congressman Lee Zeldin urged NYMTC in a letter to scrap the proposal.

“This plan is ill-advised, as it obviously fails to properly assess the North Fork’s road system,” the letter reads. “The North Fork road system cannot accommodate an additional 3,000 trucks per year that would travel the 30 miles of rural road between Orient Point and the entrance of I-495.”

Mr. Zeldin called the plan a “serious safety issue” to residents on the North Fork, adding he will “work hard to prevent this scheme from unfolding to the detriment of my constituents.”

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with Daniela Knoppik