2012-01-18 / Features

Noise Relief Comes To Forest Hills LIRR

By Jason D. Antos

The sound of loud speaker announcements, horns and door chimes warning passengers of closing doors and platform gaps that have disrupted the lives of residents near the Forest Hills Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) station has come to an end.


Since 2008, people living near the station have been affected by the sudden increase of noise pollution.

Many Forest Hills residents have complained in recent months that combined with an increase in speaker volume and the LIRR tree removal programs, geared to track maintenance and train safety issues, have depleted what little sound barrier remained.

This first line of defense against the series of high-pitched noise to fall came in 2008 when the LIRR demolished a crumbling, graffiti covered wall that ran along Burns Street between Continental Avenue and Tennis Place.

According to a spokesperson for the LIRR the company has ordered that the external speakers be shut off at certain times due to persistent complaints and has also reduced the door chimes sound by 10 decibels. This was achieved by closing the chime shutters and the installation of a muffling device. However, there are currently no plans to do any replanting of trees near the station.

Railroad officials began lowering the volume of some platform announcements in October between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Along with the outcry of numerous community members, local elected officials, including Congressmember Bob Turner, Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi and Councilmember Karen Koslowitz have been instrumental in trying to correct this problem.

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