Editorial: Tribulation of transport | TBR News Media

During his State of the County address, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) outlined an ambitious vision for a state-of-the-art North Terminal at Long Island MacArthur Airport that would connect to both a newly erected convention center and the main line of the Long Island Rail Road.

“Every major area should have a major regional airport and no one can deny that Long Island is one of the great areas in the country,” Bellone said.

While Bellona is correct that Long Island is a great area and could benefit from a modernized airport terminal at MacArthur, TBR News Media staff would like to remind the county executive that there remains still a lot of work to do before this dream. may never materialize.

In its current form, Long Island’s prehistoric transit system is completely unprepared to support Bellona’s grand vision. Look no further than the Long Island Freeway to discover the backward state of transportation business on the island.

If one is lucky enough to be on the road at a time when the highway is not jammed with cars and trucks, there is still the herculean task of avoiding potholes. Out-of-state residents are horrified by the medieval conditions of this road – and the carnage inflicted on their tires and front axles.

The LIRR offers little alternative. As the nation’s and the world’s railways have modernized and accelerated their services, Suffolk County residents are returning home at a slow pace aboard rickety carriages. Driving the LIRR today is uncomfortable, exhausting and, frankly, not worth the ticket price.

Our airways need a modern renovation, but so do our railways and our roads. Policy makers and regional planners need to consider these projects in parallel. Airports and train stations are not stand-alone facilities, but part of a larger integrated transport ecosystem. It is this ecosystem that needs an overhaul.

It makes no sense for Suffolk County residents to avoid potholes en route to their state-of-the-art regional airport. It is equally absurd to bring 20th century train carriages into a modernized transportation hub.

In Suffolk County, leaders are giving us bold visions of change without a road map to get us there. Our various transit systems are remnants of a bygone way of life, artifacts of a time when the county had far fewer people.

The challenges of stillness are real, likely the result of failed planning decades ago. Our residents need relief at this time as their freedom of movement and quality of life are dangerously hampered.

TBR News Media sees the benefits of a modernized terminal at MacArthur and thinks Bellone’s idea is a good one. But there is still a lot of work to do before we get there.