The vehicular access gate at Tunnel Street in Floral Park will remain permanently, but the village has been granted a license agreement by the LIRR to install safety measures, officials said Tuesday night.
For over a year, the village had been campaigning for keeping the pedestrian gate at Tunnel Street, a narrow entryway adjacent to the Hempstead Line that connects the north and south side of the village for pedestrians.
In its 2017 environmental impact statement, the LIRR said “a new universal crossover would be installed on the Hempstead Branch just east of Tunnel Street to improve operations and avoid conflicts with the new third track connection at Floral Park Station.”
MTA officials have previously said the vehicular gate is necessary for switch access and emergency purposes and a forum was held last December with Hector Garcia, senior director of external affairs, to address some of the concerns.
Included in the safety features are a landscaped buffer at the tunnel to slow down cyclists and traffic blocks to slow down LIRR employees in vehicles entering and exiting the truck gate
Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald said in a letter to residents last week that as part of the agreement, the village can begin beautification projects in the area, which will be maintained by the village.
“The residents on and around Tunnel Street have endured a lot during the Third Track Project and we thank them for their patience, understanding and assistance in this process,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald specifically thanked Gerry Bambrick, village administrator, Tuesday night for his work on the matter.