Safety concerns arise over LIRR service gate in Farmingdale

Posted: Updated:
FARMINGDALE -

Community members in Farmingdale say a gate leading to Long Island Rail Road tracks is constantly left open, and they fear potentially fatal consequences.

Heather Venturino lives near the tracks in Farmingdale and says LIRR workers unlock the gate on Fairway Drive and drive in, leaving the entrance to the tracks open. Venturino says it happens several times a week.

News 12 Long Island was at the site at 10 a.m. and witnessed an LIRR van pull up, unlock the gate and pull in before leaving it open. Neighbors worry a child could enter and approach the deadly third rails nearby.

“This is a big problem, and an accident waiting to happen - a tragedy waiting to happen," says Venturino.

Workers told transportation reporter Drew Scott that they were working when he asked if leaving the gate open was dangerous. They then asked that he leave the property and called him a derogatory term.

The railroad employees closed the gate but did not padlock it. Wire was used to keep the gate propped open.

News 12 asked the MTA why crews often left the gate open. The agency’s only response was that “complaints were under investigation.”

The railroad says new warning signs will be installed at the site next week and that it's instructed workers to be courteous at all times.

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