Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Hubbub Over Nassau Hub Reaches Crescendo

Nassau County Legislature Considers Plan For Nassau "Hub"

According to an online story in the Long Island Press, the plan for the much talked about Nassau Hub -- connecting mall to Mineola, campus to coliseum, and park to parking lot by means of a light rail line -- has found its way to the Nassau Legislature’s Planning, Development & Environment Committee. [SEE, Study of Nassau Hub Completed.]

The Hub project, an issue exhaustively studied by the Long Island Neighborhood Network and offered up repeatedly by the Suozzi administration, is designed to relieve congestion, reduce pollution, and connect central areas of the County now only accessible, if at all, by automobile.

County officials appear committed to the Hub, and New York's Senators Schumer and Clinton have already secured nearly $12 million in transportation appropriations.

While all agree that something must be down to alleviate congestion -- if not complete gridlock -- in an area already seriously overdeveloped, the plans (and there have been a good number of them) have been mired in a maze of dissent, with politics, NIMBYism, the myopic vision of planners and civic leaders, and the greed of developers stalling the process and clouding the issues. [SEE October, 1998 article in Garden City Life, The Hubbub About The Hub, which highlights but a few of the points of contention. Little has changed since then!]

Even Paul Vitello, long associated with Newsday and now with the New York Times, had someting to say about the "new suburbia" everyone's been talking about. [SEE, Trying to Redesign the Paved and Low-Rise Core of Nassau.]

From redeveloping the Coliseum to populating what was once Roosevelt Raceway -- and getting people from here to there and back again -- plans have become as complex and convoluted as the problems they have long sought to solve.

Whether the Nassau County Legislature can make any sense out of this mess, let alone reach a consensus about what needs to be done concerning Nassau's central core, remains to be seen. Given the Legislature's recent history of dysfunction, and their apparent inability to reach concensus on almost everything, we wouldn't be planning a trip to, through, or around Nassau's hub by light rail, bicycle, or foot path any time soon.

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