2011-05-04 / Features

Gianaris: ‘Idling Trains Hurt Quality Of Life In LIC’

BY JOHN TOSCANO

Continuing his fight to improve the quality of life in Western Queens, state Senator Michael Gianaris (D–Astoria) has called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to cease immediately the idling of Long Island Railroad trains at the Long Island City rail yard in Queens.

Gianaris charged that the idling trains pollute the air with the excessive amount of fuel they waste while sitting idle and disturb the neighborhood with the loud noise of their running engines.

“It is unacceptable that the MTA wastes expensive fuel while transit fares rise and services are being cut,” Gianaris stated. “Just when we thought we succeeded in ridding Long Island City of earsplitting noises caused by the MTA, we find they are replaced with the loud sounds of idle train engines.

“Our community’s quality of life should not continually be compromised by inconsiderate actions of the MTA.”

Gianaris, whose district includes Astoria, Long Island City, Jackson Heights and other contiguous communities, wrote a letter to MTA Chairman Jay Walder requesting the establishment of an antiidling policy in order to preserve the health and quality of life of Long Island City residents.

The lawmaker pointed out that permitting locomotives to run their engines while immobile exacerbates problems with pollution and noise in an area that is already overwhelmed by the sounds and fumes of the adjacent Queens Midtown Tunnel.

Residents should not be forced to endure the unnecessary din and ingest the exhaust of diesel engines, Gianaris stated, particularly as the residential population of Long Island City continues to grow rapidly.

In October 2010, Gianaris and other elected officials succeeded in reducing noise pollution caused by the MTA in Long Island City by funding equipment to lessen the extreme noise caused by a fan that ventilates the subway tunnel under the East River, Gianaris recalled. The noise coming from the idle trains at the Long Island City rail yards, however, has thwarted those noise-abating efforts, the lawmaker pointed out.

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