Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,I,C,WF-East Northport) today announced the introduction of legislation, of which he is a prime co-sponsor, that will require the state to transfer land that was formerly part of the Pilgrim State Hospital to the Edgewood Oak Brush Plains Preserve. This legislation is a joint, bipartisan effort by Raia and Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D - Brentwood). New York State Senators Flanagan, Johnson and Trunzo also have introduced identical legislation in the senate.
Raia said that back in 1987, the Citizens Task Force on the Pilgrim and Edgewood State Properties that established the Oak Brush Plains State Preserve also recommended that certain lands contained within the hospital grounds be transferred into the preserve.
“More than twenty years have passed since the preserve was created and Pilgrim State Hospital land has still not been handed over to the preserve,” said Raia. “It was not until recently that there has been a move to ensure more green space in and around this land because it has become overburdened with traffic congestion. The increase in volume is being caused by three major construction projects coupled with the planning of the Long Island Truck and Rail Inter-modal (LITRIM) project, which has changed the outlook of this property.”
“The LITRIM project was put into place with a goal of reducing long haul traffic on the Long Island Expressway,” said Raia. “I believe the concept of developing alternative methods of freight movement on and off Long Island is a noble goal, but should not come at the expense of overburdening local roadways and greatly inconveniencing local residents who are only trying to go to and from their homes.”
Raia said he will work with his colleagues in the state Assembly and Senate to ensure safe passage through the rough roads of the state Legislature.