When Superstorm Sandy disrupted train service in certain regions of Long Island, some residents took to the roads. That move revealed critical inadequacies on Long Island’s highways, according to Bob Yaro, President of the Regional Plan Association.
“One thought is that Sandy was a really good piece of education for all of us,” said Yaro during the Long Island Index, a symposium on Long Island . Yaro went on to describe how the influx of drivers led planners to predict that if the flow of traffic stayed at that level long term, it would require 10 additional lanes on the Long Island Expressway and the Southern State Parkway.
The Long Island Index is organized by the Rauch Foundation and is focused on discourse about challenges in the Long Island region.
The Long Island Index stresses the importance of keeping the East Side Access project on schedule; it will connect the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) to Grand Central Terminal and give commuters an easier, shorter trip to destinations on the East Side of Manhattan. The schedule to complete the project has changed in the past.
The Index also supports adding more LIRR tracks and extending the main line, LIRR’s main artery for train traffic. Currently, the LIRR has track that stretches 120 miles, from Manhattan to the tip of Montauk.
LIRR continues to cope with losses from Sandy. The Metropolitan Transit Authority said losses from Superstorm Sandy were 267 million dollars.