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County Executive Reveals Economic Development Plan

Future plans include Bus Rapid Transit lane down Nichols Road.

Describing the Suffolk County government as "facilitators" and "collaborators," County Executive Steve Bellone revealed his five-point plan today to grow the county's economy and retain the young demographic. 

Bellone and other presenters discussed future plans centered on the county's various transit hubs, including the Ronkonkoma Hub, and the Patchogue LIRR station.

The plans, unveiled at the H. Lee Dennison Building in Hauppauge, also include the development of a Bus Rapid Transit service that would quickly shuttle commuters from the north shore of the county to the south shore.

"We cannot grow our economy in a sustainable way by adding more cars to the road," Bellone said. Among the corridors he suggested was a designated bus lane that ran along Nichols Road from Stony Brook University, to the Ronkonkoma Hub, and further south to Patchogue.

Other roadways under consideration for a BRT lane include the Route 110 corridor from Babylon to Huntington and the Sagtikos Parkway run from Deer Park train station to Kings Park.

Bellone also revealed a plan to add a second railroad track that would run from Ronkonkoma to Farmingdale and service local commuters.

"Adding a second track will make intra-island commuting possible," Bellone said, adding that one of the challenges facing the county is the fact that many businesses that create jobs exist independently of mass transit. The executive said the county would provide the infrastructure necessary to physically connect businesses and downtown districts so that residents can travel around without having to use a car.

Bellone emphasized that the county would act as a support system for existing projects underway by various municipalities.

"The plan simply seeks to build upon the great things that are happening already," he said. "The county should never be in the business of forcing things into communities."

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