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Hevesi wants barriers for Fresh Pond trains

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi wants the New York Metropolitan Council to require freight trains at the Fresh Pond Terminal to be quieter. Photo courtesy Bob Holden
TimesLedger Newspapers

State Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) is calling on a city body to install sound barriers near the Fresh Pond Terminal in Ridgewood so residents will not have to hear loud freight trains passing by the neighborhood.

Hevesi also urged the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council to compel train operators to buy more technologically advanced locomotives that emit quieter noises as the group formulates a regional transportation plan.

The Fresh Pond Terminal in Ridgewood processes all freight shipped out of Long Island, according to Hevesi’s office.

“Tracks to reach this terminal are directly behind my constituents’ homes, causing quantifiable quality-of-life issues,” Hevesi said. “Budgeting for small capital expenditures, such as sound barriers along the existing tracks, would go a long way toward mitigating the problems my constituents are experiencing now and avoiding health and quality-of-life issues going forward. I would like to see ... sound barriers or other capital improvements that would begin to immediately address these concerns.”

Residents who live near the terminal complain of excessive noise from idle trains that they say make it almost impossible to sleep.

The NYMTC plans to create 10 so-called “regional growth areas” — two of them in Queens — that would support increased train traffic.

Hevesi called on the body to consider the problems facing residents, including increased noise, air quality and environmental issues, as it moves forward with a plan.

“While it is logical to assume that rail traffic will increase on these corridors as a result of this plan, mitigation of noise, health and environmental problems should be addressed in the present, not in the future, after the regional growth areas are established and traffic levels have increased,” the assemblyman said.

Hevesi also said trains that pass through the terminal are outdated.

“I believe that we should make every effort to use locomotives with technology that is the most efficient, has the cleanest emissions and operates at the lowest decibel level,” he said. “In this way, we would be decreasing the amount of energy it takes to ship freight via rail, decreasing health risks associated with diesel emissions for those that breathe the air daily along the track and have the least noise impact possible in these residential neighborhoods.”

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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M301 from Hollis says:
Wow, after almost a century of being there, someone has a complaint? Here's an idea, move the tracks under ground...yea, that's the ticket..and in the meantime, everyone in the area can have their taxes doubled to pay for it.
Best bet is to find a quiet place to live f you don't like noise. like outside NYC.
Nov. 25, 2011, 11:56 am
Joe from Queens says:
That's in the whole city ! Noisy trains run erevy were ! Suck it up or move away !! The city is broke because of all these dum ideas ....
Nov. 25, 2011, 4:06 pm
Harry from Middle Village says:
Hey "M301 from Hollis" genius, CSX and NY&A are moving mostly garbage– and a lot of it– through the rail corridor. The most garbage in 100 years. And because the railroads are shipping so much of this trash they must use longer trains. They don't have enough room in the Fresh Pond yards. So they are using our backyards as a rail yard to test brakes, switching, idling etc. Perhaps you don't mind that noise at 2:00am but normal people, not from Hollis, do.
Try commenting on something you know about.
Nov. 25, 2011, 4:08 pm
Susan from Glendale says:
Hey Joe, "dumb" is spelled d-u-m-b. A word you must have heard quite often in your lifetime.
Nov. 25, 2011, 4:12 pm
Cecil from Maspeth says:
Harry,

You always have the option of moving if you don't like the train noise and other "ills" associated with rail activity. This issue comes up in the papers from time to time, and it always seems to be your neighborhood complaining. Guess what? NOBODY HAS ANY SYMPATHY FOR YOU!

The rail line was there BEFORE you were born. Whose genius idea was it to buy the house you live in, knowing full well the trains were already there? (and knowing trains, by their nature, are noisy machines). You could always try moving to Jackson Heights, you know... by LaGuardia. Oh wait, then you'd complain about aircraft noise. Maybe there's a remote island in the Pacific Ocean somewhere. Wait, then there's the migrating birds waking you up in your hammock tied to the coconut trees. Man, you just can't win can you?
Nov. 25, 2011, 5:16 pm
Harry from Middle Village says:
First of all Cecil, the rail line never used our backyards to work on the trains. Now they are doing it. The trains went through that was it. How dare you tell us that we don't deserve a night's sleep. You sound like another idiot railroad groupie who never got over playing with his caboose.
Nov. 26, 2011, 3:15 pm
Cecil from Maspeth says:
Nope, just pure common sense:

Live next to a train line = You will hear train noise

And ultimately it is YOUR choice to live where you live. Why do you choose to waste our time (and the media's time) by your incessant complaining? Do you really think we want to hear it and/or care? What do you expect us to do?

I hear train noise too, it comes with the territory. It's a tradeoff for the privilege of living in New York. I accept it for what it is, knowing that I can always move if I can no longer stand it or put up with it.

I guess I lack the selfish sense of self-entitlement that you feel you have. I don't expect the entire world to change around me just to appease me, especially when I WILLFULLY live where I do.
Nov. 27, 2011, 8:50 am
Susan from Glendale says:
Well gee Cecil from Maspeth. How about all of the complaining I'm reading about folks from Maspeth complaining about all of the trucks coming through their neighborhood? You guys chose to live near the LIE and in and around an industrial neighborhood. I'm reading more about the Maspeth Truck Bypass fiasco than I'm reading about the railroad problem.

Harry's right on, you do sound like a RR groupie. Stop telling people about what they have or don't have the right to complain about.
Nov. 27, 2011, 4:32 pm
Cecil from Glendale says:
Spot on Susan! You're right, I do CHOOSE to live where I do, but you won't find me complaining about conditions in the neighborhood because I have free will to relocate if the neighborhood no longer appeals to me or begins to irritate me.

If things here ever became intolerable to the point I felt I could no longer put up with noise or traffic, I'd take the initiative and RELOCATE instead of being stubborn and bullheaded, complain although no one wants to hear it, and then expect the world to bend and bow to my every wish.

We are fortunate enough to live in the greatest city in the world, but we should accept it for what it is. What's next? The skyline of Manhattan is too tall and is ruining the sunsets? Please...
Nov. 29, 2011, 12:59 pm
m301 from Hollis says:
Harry, perhaps, you don't know where Hollis is. You have a 2 track freight line by you? That's nothing!
Come to Hollis an stand by the tracks in the morning and see if there isn't any noise. You think storing trains is bad? Come listen in the middle of the night when they move them back and forth in Hollis yard.
To qoute you sir "Try commenting on something YOU know about."
Honestly those tracks are there for their use. That garbage isn't somebody else's garbage, it's ours. Perhaps you would prefer truck full of garbage parked on the street. Then you might have something to complain about.
Dec. 13, 2011, 10:02 am

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