Claim Children Travel Along Tracks In Elmhurst
Children in Elmhurst have been taking advantage of a hole in a fence across nearby Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) tracks, according to a local resident—and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has informed the Times Newsweekly that it is investigating the hazardous condition.
Elmhurst resident Paul Neuendorf, who lives near the fencing, contacted the Times Newsweekly regarding an 80-foot hole in the fence separating the south end of the street at 45th Avenue and 90th Street from the railroad tracks which he claims has existed since October 2012.
The tracks are part of the LIRR’s Port Washington branch; in fact, the old Elmhurst station, which closed in 1985, is two blocks west of the location.
“We have a chronic condition of kids running on the tracks,” Neuendorf stated.
He noted that those youngsters include students from Newtown High School, located only a few blocks south of the location.
Neuendorf claimed that Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) representatives had been notified of the hole several times, yet the agency has yet to make repairs.
“They never came down to do anything,” he stated.
Last year, he noted, trees along the line were cut down, further weakening the boundary between the road and the tracks.
Neuendorf, a member of the Newtown Civic Association, stated that he had contacted City Council Member Daniel Dromm in an effort to spur the MTA to get the fence repaired. Alex Florez of Dromm’s office confirmed that the lawmaker’s office had alerted the agency to the issue.
“This is not the first time this section of fencing has been vandalized, nor the first time the LIRR has addressed the problem,” MTA spokesperson Salvatore Arena told the Times Newsweekly in a Wednesday, Jan. 16 email. “We repaired the same section of fencing about a year ago after the community brought the situation to our attention. So, we will again be dispatching a team to the site again to determine what further repairs are necessary.”