Senator Flanagan Works To Expand Edgewood Oak Brush Plains State Preserve

John J. Flanagan

January 15, 2008

Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) today joined with Senator Owen Johnson (4th Senate District) and Senator Caesar Trunzo (3rd Senate District) to introduce legislation that will preserve open space while protecting Long Islanders from further traffic problems.

The proposal seeks to transfer the land that has been set aside for the Long Island Truck & Rail Intermodal (LITRIM) Facility into the Edgewood Oak Brush Plains State Preserve. The transferring of this land, which was formerly part of the vast Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center property in Brentwood, would then be preserved for years to come.

The LITRIM project along the Sagtikos Corridor, which included parts of Brentwood, Deer Park and Dix Hills, has caused great anxiety for area residents who are concerned that it would adversely impact traffic in the surrounding communities.

Additionally, approval of three major construction projects in the area by town officials in the time since the LITRIM project was originally put forth has basically rendered the area unsuitable for such a significant project.

This transfer was first raised in a letter the three senators sent to New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Astrid Glynn in August. The letter outlined their collective concerns with the LITRIM project and sought to get NYSDOT to consider moving the project.

In the August letter, the three elected officials called on New York State to set an example by refraining from adding to local traffic problems.

"The LITRIM project, when combined with retail projects that have been approved by local authorities, would have produced significant traffic congestion on already overburdened roadways and impacted the lives of those in the area. That is why I joined with my colleagues to call for its withdrawal in August and why I am proud to join them again in sponsoring this legislation today. When signed into law, this transfer will protect the rights of the residents of this area and preserve sorely needed open space for all Long Islanders to enjoy," stated Senator Flanagan.

"As the creator of the Edgewood Oak Brush Plains State Preserve in 1987, I am pleased that we are now taking this critical next step toward ensuring more green space and mitigating future traffic congestion in the Brentwood, Deer Park and Dix Hills area," added Senator Johnson.

"I am very pleased that we’ve worked together to preserve this critical natural resource. We will be working to get this legislation passed during our 2008 legislative session," said Senator Trunzo. "I worked with Senator Johnson to create the Edgewood Oak Brush Plains State Park Preserve. Following up with this proactive step will preserve the brush plains for future generations and protect motorists and residents from increased traffic risks. This is a powerful example of state and local government working together with vision for our communities."

The bill is expected to be sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman Phil Ramos (6th Assembly District). It must pass both houses of Legislature before it can be submitted to the Governor for his consideration.