Urine, Drugs, Vomit, Graffiti, Garbage: WELCOME TO THE LONG BEACH, NY LIRR STATION! (updated)

I keep hearing about the deteriorating conditions of our historic LIRR Station and parking garage. Is it getting worse? One reader who sent in the following photos, told me this:

“Most of the hallways smell disgusting, people drop trash, throw-up, piss and it’s never cleaned.  The drug dealing and pot smoking is ridiculous. And now we have a fresh coat of graffiti in the overpass.  Mind you this all happens right next to LBPD headquarters!!!  This kinda stuff can have a real impact on people thinking about  moving to LB, think “broken windows theory”.

Here are photos of freshly painted graffiti:

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 10.30.09 AM Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 10.29.44 AM Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 10.29.57 AM
This next photo (sorry that it’s blury) shows a drug baggie, which are always scattered around the station
Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 9.54.32 AM
Here is a photo of the stairwell, which has dried up throw-up in numerous spots. You can’t really dust for vomit, so there’s no telling how old it is. unnamed-5
“This is no quality of life for what we pay to live here and the insane fares that LIRR charges, which are going up by AGAIN, by the way.
Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 9.59.43 AM
I am not a LIRR commuter, but I know the conditions at our LIRR are dismal. Has it gotten worse? What is going on at our LIRR station? How can we improve this situation?
UPDATE: Here is another vomit photo form a reader who tells me:

Took this snapshot on my way home tonight. I only know it’s vomit remains because I remember when it first appeared early last month. The whole side of the door was covered in puke and it stunk.

Someone propped the door open and the rain washed most of it away over the course of a few days.


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152 thoughts on “Urine, Drugs, Vomit, Graffiti, Garbage: WELCOME TO THE LONG BEACH, NY LIRR STATION! (updated)”

  1. The reader who sent the photos in hit it right on the head. I was extremely disappointed and disheartened to see the graffiti this morning and I hope that it can get cleaned up quickly.

    The condition of the LIRR station is abhorrent and, frankly, embarrassing (for all of the reasons mentioned in your post). What kind of “first impression” is this for people coming to visit our city?

  2. It’s true. I commute every day and park in the garage — it’s DISGUSTING. I’ve seen everything from broken glass, discarded food, feces (YEP) to just plain ol’ garbage. It smells and it is absolutely nasty. And just as the post said — all of this is happening RIGHT next to the police station, which is alarming.

  3. As a commuter, I would definitely recommend taking more caution the later the train one takes as it gets more “dicey” as the evening progresses.

  4. It’s not gangs it’s just teenagers being teenagers. They have nothing else to do in this city so this is what happens. Everyone relax a little bit

  5. Sadly, while this is true for the Long Beach LIRR station, even Rockville Centre LIRR suffers the same ill. As a recent transplant from RVC – you can even find drug baggies in the park where kids play soccer in a very residential community on the south side of the village. So – while it depresses me to no end and does not imply that I have come to a place of ‘acceptance’ for these types of things – it is not exclusive to Long Beach, I am afraid; it is every where.

    I do like the idea of cameras but there needs to be enforcement which means the City of Long Beach must have the resources to handle the increased enforcement.

  6. don’t fool yourself sean. gangs have a big presence in long beach. there are crack houses, stash houses and dope dealers. walk around that area and see how many people see if your alright. ask a cab driver.

  7. Agreed but they have no skills. I’d like to set these kids up with some classes at one of our art studios bc their tags are shitty.

  8. Nothing else to do? Learn an instrument, build an app, volunteer, surf (get a wetsuit), get a job, play a sport, try out for a play, homework, study, paint, lift weights, train for a marathon, learn a language – or spray paint and trash your town.

  9. You can’t get much more blatant than doing this stuff right across the street from police headquarters. The people do things in that train station with little fear of getting caught by the police. Kids sit on the stairs and in the overpass smoking pot even as commuters are walking past. But why should they worry? When was the last time you saw a police officer patrolling the station?

  10. The urine trash and the fact that the place looks like a bus stop from total recall is upsetting

    The most upsetting is the trashy level of art these kids feel compelled to throw onto the walls, we celebrate mediocrity and this is what we get. The kids are absolute idiots too who don’t have a clue that “im smoking weed and a train is approaching that train is going to have people walking right by me in the next couple minutes” and they stand there and just don’t care at all.

    The rest of these are symptoms not problems.

  11. Ease up on the LBPD. They have little to do with the train station.

    The station is maintained by the LIRR and policed only by the MTA PD. The parking garage is owned by the LIRR and leased to the City, which is responsible for policing it.

    If you report a crime at the police station, where dozens of robberies occur each month, you will be referred to the MTA Police. If they have no patrol available, they will request that the LBPD respond.

    Anyone remember what a dump the LIRR station was in the 1970’s?

  12. The Train station is supposed to be patrolled by the MTA Police. However, as far as I know there is no legal impediment or regulation that would prohibit the LBPD from patrolling it as well or enforcing NY state law on the MTA Property. Now I’m not 100% sure on this (so if anybody knows for sure let us all know) but I believe the garage and bus station area are City of LB Property.

    Let’s face it how hard could it be to have an officer pass though station occasionally or have one of the officers from our esteemed detective bureau walk through in plain clothes and bust a few of these kids smoking pot or at least scare them off. I am a big fan of “Broken Windows” policing. If the little things are ignored the big things always seem to follow and generally the area being ignored will expand.

  13. I am a daily commuter and the situation has gotten worse in last year and particularly in last several months. I have alerted the City mgt to this recently and was told that the message was passed on to the LBPD. If you see what I see, contact your City Manager and Council Members. The more they hear, the more likely it is that it will be attended to.

  14. So Sean, the shoot outs that happen RIGHT NEXT TO LBPD HQ are just teenagers being teenagers? Dealing drugs out in the open is “no big deal” . Dude where’d you grow up da bronx? For what the PD gets paid we should have NO CRIME in LB, NONE!!!

  15. This is one thing that can’t be blamed on Long Beach Police.

    There was quite an issue about jurisdiction several years back. While the LBPD can assist when called, patrol jurisdiction at the train station belongs to the MTA Police.

    It’s up to the City Council to pressure the MTA or State to clean up the crime in that dump.

  16. Where did you grow up, Mayberry? I don’t see how some bad graffiti is related to a shootout? You’re grasping at straws. Too much crying on this page, all you can do is worry about yourself and your own kids. Start there.

  17. Nope, I grew up in da Bronx! And I thats why I see the slippery slope this community is sliding down! Your move. P.S. my kids, in check.

  18. I’m glad this finally came up. I’m not sure why I never sent you an email about this topic, but in the past year there has been multiple instances of human feces, twice weekly piles of vomit, gutted cigars, graffiti, etc

    Last month someone managed to vomit on the door that connects the top level of the garage to the bridge that cross the platforms. There are still chucks stuck to the door. I had the privilege of avoiding touching it while I opened the door this morning so I know it’s still there.

    There is a very nice woman who I see there every morning sweeping up and saying hi to everyone, but she leaves the vomit and shit alone. I guess shes hoping that if she leaves it someone will see it and complain.

    The city has mysterious taken care of a lot of other issues highlighted on this site. I really hope cleaning up the train station gets added to that list.

  19. Why do all of you use the overpass at all? It’s not like you have to change tracks like in Jamaica. Just go up the steps behind the station to your posted track. I’ve been taking the LIRR for decades and never needed the overpass. I don’t drive there, so is it that it’s some kind of fast shortcut to the parking ramp? (Rushing home to go jogging?) The LIRR Station got along for about 80 years before the overpass was built. Does going up all those nasty stairs provide some kind of shortcut? Not being sarcastic, just really don’t understand the overpass. I always thought the overpass was an ugly “urban renewal” waste of money. And definitely an “attractive nuisance” for bums.

  20. These are the Democrats’ Americans that are being shuttled into Long Beach with free Section 8 apartments and free Medicaid bus and train passes. Your City Council says we need more of them. They even hired Sustainable Long Island to spearhead a movement to herd more of these Democrat-voting animals into Long Beach. They may shit in the halls, write graffiti on the walls and piss in the radiators like they do in the Bronx, but we can depend on them to vote Democrat!

  21. I remember when indigents “lived” all day in the station until the cops would roust them every couple of hours. And guys with their shirts off would be “bathing” in the sinks. They were always polite and offered to let you wash your hands if they were taking too long. And behind the station there was that skinny little blonde girl selling drugs while a big black guy observed from a distance. The whole station was filthy and it felt like a visit to a third world country. Actually Eddie, I may be recalling the 80s. Was it worse in the 70’s? I just re-read the “Mark of a murderer” article that the film “City By The Sea” was loosely based on. Anybody who thinks this town is at a new low should read some more of our history. eg-

  22. How do you get one of those free train passes? I’m paying almost $300 a month just for the LIRR.

    I’m a young professional who is not too proud to get in on some of these hand outs. It’s what all the cool kids are doing these days!

  23. As usual Jodi is spewing tripe that he can’t support with documentation. Heaven forbid we stay on topic. The station has been a “gathering spot” for the sketchiest element of LB for the last 20+ years through Dem and Rep administrations. Complain to the MTA and they will do a halfhearted attempt to clean it up and move the miscreants along. But there is never sustained follow up. No one ever steps up and assumes responsibility. Maybe Tagney can stop counting his money long enough to work with the MTA police to formulate a plan.

  24. Nothing new, LBPD hasn’t enforced vagrancy laws at the LB LIRR station in the 30+ years I have been here. Luckily I don’t commute anymore, I took the train a few weeks ago, I could barely get in the door at the station as 3 thugs were crowded around it blocking/jostling anyone who entered. That’s been going on for decades. No one cares.

  25. @ Sam I actually think the *inside* of the station is better the past few years, in terms of riff-raff. I think it’s simply due to the installation of cameras several years ago. Most of the old malingerers certainly could not afford bail and probably moved on. You can even get clean seats in the waiting room during mid-day. Unfortunately I see virtually no cops pass through any more, so God help us if some kind of violent crime starts up.

    As for the overpasses, I’m glad I don’t have to use them. Sounds horrible. But I bet as mentioned above, cameras would be a big help. This may sound cruel, but maybe if they opened up parts of the walls up there, it would be less inviting for hanging out. The cold wind would probably encourage folks to move through that overpass quickly.

    You’re right about folks blocking the station doors. A lot of them are standing inside watching for their bus to pull up. I don’t know if I’d call most of them thugs, but they sure are rude jerks.

  26. They do not enforce “vagrancy laws” because they have been challenged as overly vague and unconstitutional.

    What exactly do you mean by “thug”?

  27. Don’t jump all over me for saying this but I think a lot of you might be missing something here. By pushing those who you find undesirable (“thugs” “vagrants” “democrats”) out of the station you are only shifting a problem from one spot to another which does not address the problem (poverty, mental illness, lack of social services) but only shifts it out of your eyesight so you do not have to deal with it.

    The stairwell cannot have cameras (they’ll be broken) and the smell (both pee and bleach) will always be there because of the structure. If anything, get air flow movement in that stairwell.

    And if it makes you feel any better- the police are totally aware of the people, the names and the status of all the regulars at the station. You can move someone along for not having a ticket but you cannot arrest or give tickets to people for “loitering” and “vagrancy laws” are unconstitutional.

  28. You can move people along (and ticket if appropriate) if they are drinking in public, blocking bike racks, and cursing their heads off. I’ve seen this all in the last several months, many times — in the station and at the bike racks. If they move some place else and do the same thing, the police can do the same thing.

  29. Allison, when are you moving to Far Rockaway to live with the scumbags you value so much? We certainly don’t want them here. The train station and its parking lot are private property for the use of LIRR passengers. Anyone loitering there without a ticket can be arrested. The “underserved” thugs you defend don’t have tickets. They ride free because they get free Medicaid as well as free rent and bus rides paid for by us. That’s the scum that pisses and craps in the station and use their $804/monthly welfare “pay” for drugs and beer. They may be an asset to folks like you, but most Americans see them as leaches and self-propelled trash. Why aren’t you living with them? Probably because they’ll eat up your bleeding heart liberal ass.

  30. @Allison. The “thugs” to which Sam refers are the three Blacks who robber a trainman and gouged out his face with a broken bottle behind the station.

    Please don’t riot if they get arrested.

  31. The Long Beach station of the LIRR is the responsibility of Long Beach, we have gone as far up as the head of the LIRR to find out the answer and were told that the MTA police will step in if the problem cannot be handled by Long Beach and the LBPD. The parking structure should also be maintained by Long Beach – the checks for the parking structure go to Long Beach. Garbage has now been in the front stairwell since the weekend and that’s only because Diane probably has a few days off, she is the only one who you see on a daily basis cleaning. As far as cameras go, they were in place when the garage was first built and were vandalized immediately along with any good lighting. I have been fighting this fight since 2006 and still have all the emails to prove it (more attention was paid to these issues with the last administration, a powerwasher was immediately purchased and the stairwells were cleaned weekly, the graffiti was painted over immediately as well).

  32. As part of the LBAPD, we do patrol the stations at night. Unfortunately, our hours are only 7:00pm-11:00pm, M-F. Once we leave, they come right back. It’s disgusting. As a commuter, I drive to Oceanside to commute from there…it’s much nicer. It’s a shame that this is the first thing people see when they come in from out of town.

  33. there are plenty of things for kids to do around here besides destruction of property. most bored kids get a hobby, like bicycling or skating or reading or art. the graffiti is totally unacceptable, it needs to be cleaned up and whoever is caught doing it should be prosecuted

  34. actually, graffiti, urine, etc are directly related to public safety. its a well-known, accepted theory in social psychology. Its called the Broken Windows THeory. Basically areas with broken windows, trash, graffiti become centers of more dangerous crime because its a signal to people that no one cares, no one is watching, & laws are not enforced. Making this place look like Mayberry will actually keep people safer from violent crime, as well as make our town a pleasant place to walk. check it out, maintenence is a really easy & effective way to keep people safe! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory

  35. You can’t simultaneously “not have a ticket” and ride free because you get medicaid. If that’s part of their welfare, then they’re riding legally.

  36. also I’d like to note that the last time I was waiting in the LIRR indoor station, the only low-class disruptive activity was by a female employee with a CSEA orange vest on. I dont know what her role is, but she seemed to be on payroll in the station. She had buddies hanging around & they were loud & vulgar. No one was working on anything that I could see. I actually left with my kids, to hang out in the cold, because I couldn’t take anymore of the loud volume cursing. Who hires these people? Who supervises them? Maybe they should be cleaning something. you its a problem when the conduct of employees of the city is making the train station into a place you can’t wait with your kids

  37. The City hires them to fill affirmative action quotas. They are suposed to be cleaning the garden outside the station. Instead, they loiter around with their Hempstead pals, cursing and screaming and drinking in the waiting room. Allison’s friends, I think. Be careful about what you say or they’ll burn down the place.

  38. are you a lawyer? many laws are challenged for “vagueness” as unconstitutional. but they remain on the books and are generally enforceable. i doubt that the people peeing in the stairwell are going to bring the LBPD to court. And the train station property is not public in the same way the street corner is, so it is much easier for police to enforce loitering regulations.
    the issue here isn’t one of philosophy on how to solve all social ills. we don’t have to make the LB train station a comfortable place to loiter, deal drugs, & deface property. let those interested in that type of activity take it elsewhere until they are chased out of town.
    i happen to be a lawyer & i hear all too often very bogus “constitutional” reasons that police can’t do their jobs. Law & Order is not an accurate picture of the law of NY. The constitution protects freedoms in a very specific way, & “discrimination”, and “freedom” are pretty narrowly defined.

  39. here you go, this is still on the books for the TOwn of Hempstead. Whether its a town, county, or LB regulation that would be applied, im not sure. But there are a dozen activities in here that are barred by the code which can be applied to those causing trouble. Not counting those doing drugs in public…. http://ecode360.com/15509744 I really don’t think the LBPD has to worry about ending up in the Supreme Court fighting with lowlifes who are peeing in the stairwell over whether the “disorderly conduct” charges were constitutional.

  40. So glad this topic has come up! I am a commuter and the station is a disgrace. I always wonder why more isn’t done to improve the conditions. It makes for a terrible first impression.

  41. Unfortunately, kids are becoming experts at locating and dodging cameras. But it can’t hurt, it can only help. If the city wants to attract people to live here, they must take some action.

  42. The racist police are afraid to rouse the Blacks dealing drugs and pissing in the station. They are Black after all and should be allowed to do this. It’s culture. Afraid Al Sharpton and Allison will lead a riot here.

  43. That’s not teenagers being teenagers. That’s teenagers being disruptive disrespectful irresponsible humans. Not acceptable. Cameras and police presence and consequences required. No excuses.

  44. It happens everywhere. When nothing is done about it it just keeps happening until whomever is doing it moves on to bigger and “better” things. People of all ages should be held accountable for their own actions. Enough is enough. Keep ALL of Long Island beautiful. We pay enough AND we should care enough. SMH

  45. How about people email and call the City Mgr and Council and the Police about better policing the Train Station rather than going on here about Blacks and animals and Section 8 and Sharpton?

  46. The theft of bikes should also be addressed. I had my average bike stolen last month, locked up directly outside the taxi stand (not that I expect them to police the station). I’ve been lucky I suppose to leave a bike there almost daily for 8 years with no theft. There are always plenty of cut locks left on the racks, so I think theft is common. I did file a police report with both LBPD and MTA and noted the unsafe and unsanitary conditions of the entire station. The MTA said they do have outside cameras and would “review tapes.” I have never seen MTA or LBPD at the station, never. Both departments told me bike theft has been on the rise – so why aren’t they doing anything?
    All the bike areas are COVERED with bird crap, layers of it. I can’t see how this is not a health concern.
    The inside of the station, bathrooms, waiting seats are usually smelly and dirty also.
    There are comment cards in the station to MTA – I filled one out with most of the concerns in this thread, actually got a call thanking me for input. Get one at the window – bombard the MTA – copy and leave one for City officials too

  47. Please consider using the Long Beach response app for this and other issues in the city. Send pics of the station and garage under “Transportation Issue.” You will get an email confirmation of complaint and they are supposed to follow up with resolution.
    I used it a couple of times over the summer for sanitation and street maintenance – cleaning crews were sent within 2 days of complaint.

  48. Shameless plug: Long Beach Streets NY is a good group to connect with concerning anything and everything transit, streets, accessibility, safety, etcetera etcetera.
    You all may have better results being strategic and working as a group to address issues.


  49. @Eddie- Links or references to this crime please. I can’t find any mention of such a crime on the web, or even in the older archives from the NY Times.This is an important thing you’ve told us about, we really need to know what to beware of. Thanks.

  50. I’ve been asking for the bike racks to be moved to reduce bird pooh on the bikes and one was slightly pulled forward (the bus station ones) but otherwise nothing was done.

    If there were as many automobile thefts as there are bike thefts this whole city would lose their collective shit.

    The working cameras at the LIRR station are on the platform.

    Did you guys know that the City of Long Beach is responsible for the train station and that the LIRR is responsible for the platforms? Next time you buy a ticket look up and notice the ceiling is about to crumble. Its a historic building thats falling to shit. Normally I care less about aesthetics and more about safety and service however the station is the first thing visitors see and I want them coming back spending their money here. I also want residents to like their train or bus experience so they are more likely to leave the car at home and commute.

  51. Eddie your post is filled with errors. For one the LIRR responsibility is for the trains and platforms, the rest is the city of long beach(train bridge, stairs, hallways and the parking garage). And FYI there are cameras already in the stairwells and the parking garage. The graffiti was probably done by the kids who hang out there, not gang related.

  52. I can verify. Late nights coming home I do see the car making laps in the parking structure.

    I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone on the platforms or overpass, but you are keeping my car safe so I appreciate that.

    Thank you for your service.

  53. I think the comparison to OSides station is unfair – just because it’s open air, unlike LBs which is covered. It kind of paves the way for this. That being said, LBs station is pretty deplorable and ironic to be next to the police station.

    The whole debate about MTA/LBPD is nonsense- whoever is in charge – the people vandalizing, dealing drugs, living in, etc. are confident in the LBPDs apathy.

  54. Jareth , please research the link between tagging graffiti and gang related activities, the linkage is fairly direct!!! We are not talkabout “creative type graffiti”. This is straight up gang shit.

  55. Thug: “a tough and violent man, especially a criminal” is the dictionary definition, look it up. What type of person, in a group of three, stands at the entrance to a train station and jostles or otherwise crowds a person trying to get in the door to buy a train ticket? You are condoning this behavior? Go down to the station one day and check it out for yourself.

  56. Heads up, beware the Long Beach response App! The permissions required give the democrats access to all your phone/personal info. I wouldn’t down load that app even if I could win a million dollars!

  57. I almost forgot my reason for coming on. The graffiti has a coat of paint over it! Hopefully they do another coat, but its good to see this was addressed.

  58. I am there everyday, either commuting into work via train or taking the bus or just walking through to check on the bus stations. Yes, I do that. Pictures, bike counts, and waiting for the transportation fairy to post maps and schedules.

  59. If you think “Blacks” are the sole source of drug dealing in this city then you have clearly never gone to the Whales Tale for coke or scored heroin in the West End. Far more drugs flowing West than the evil marijuana dealt in the train station.

    Bravo to you for bringing up a specific race and not hiding behind stereotype buzzards. Admitting your bias is the first step in realizing you have a problem.

  60. Eh, don’t assume that Frank. Do a little research on the info and permissions you are giving app developers. It’s kinda scary. And it is way more than they already have.

  61. Beachguy, you mention apathy as an LB problem. I hope you were including the apathy of our population rather than just pointing to our government.

    WE don’t get out a strong majority to vote. WE don’t attend City Council meetings to voice opinions. WE don’t show up to volunteer for good causes. And, if you follow the recommendations of Beware, WE shouldn’t even send in a written request for action because it requires a “scary” app.

    Politicians, regardless of party, respond to a maelstrom of voices.

    I agree the LIRR problem should have been solved years ago, without even one complaint from the community. But since it hasn’t, I think the complaints of many would lead to action.

    Here’s a test: call/mail/use the “scary” app to voice your LIRR complaint to the City and the LIRR. I will mention it at the next City Council meeting. WE need to voice our opinion in constructive ways.

  62. Since this is a historical building, shouldn’t the Historical Society and the Landmark Association be involved in making sure one of our historical landmarks is being taken care of and preserved? With some effort and TLC, it could really be transformed into a wonderful building in LB. I met with the LIRR Community Relations department, and have spoken with them numerous times about doing a clean up, re-painting, weeding, getting a LB map/mural up, flower boxes, etc. This obviously doesn’t solve the bigger issues addressed here on this thread, but it could be a start.

  63. Just went through the permissions granted and there really isn’t anything on there that I am worried about. Perhaps they have changed since the last time you looked? I know I didn’t download it until recently so maybe you are thinking of a prior version.

    It’s more dangerous pay for dinner with a credit card.

  64. Jessie, great comment! Can you inform us what the LIRR Community Board said and committed to in response to your suggestions? Do you feel follow-ups are needed to get your ideas implemented?

  65. Yes, they painted it but it’s only one coat ad you can still clearly see the graffiti. Well guess this is what you get from government workers, bare minimum and lack of attention to details.

  66. Yet, funny enough we pay them well and they get good benefits, union security, and great retirement plans. I need to give up and just get a government job.

  67. I have spoken with them numerous times over the course of two years. One of the gentleman actually came out to meet with me, and we toured the station together. I pointed out that since Sandy, nothing aesthetically has been done. The paint is peeling, the soffits were falling off, weeds, etc. He wrote everything down, gave me his card with email, etc and disappeared. I contacted his Supervisor again – tried to arrange meetings, and no response. I would be happy to restart/attempt to start the dialogue again. Perhaps more of community push would make them more accountable? For what it is worth, the LB Dept of PW was very open to meeting with them as well. I would love to see a BIG, SPRING push to clean up the station along with the Waldbaum’s Shopping Plaza. A street mural of LB greeting beach-goers, flowers, cool beach signage/flags … it may be little, but it goes a long way.

  68. Ed – Here is one proposal we sent to LIRR after meeting with them,in Oct 2013.

    Hi Hector,

    Thank you again for meeting with me last week. Just to recap …

    We, Project 11561, would like to propose a beautification day for the LIRR station. We can have a group of volunteers ready and willing and would love to get this set for October 2013.

    Here are the proposed actions:

    Clean up ALL garbage, sweep
    Power wash, scrub any/all walls, flooring, steps that are dirty
    Paint the station
    Paint the tan posts/chains black
    Pull weeds, old dead shrubs, etc.
    Plant new flowers, plants. (We will have to look for donations, etc)

    We would love to discuss a mural on some side of the building.

    I look forward to hearing from you as to next steps.


  69. Response from MTA to complaints…

    Dear Mr. Smith,

    I am writing in response to your e-mail concerning your recent observations while traveling from the LIRR’s Long Beach Station.

    Your report was shared with the LIRR’s Branch Line Manager for this station and with the MTA Police Department. For your information, MTA Police work with local law enforcement to monitor activities at LIRR stations.

    The police can and will remove and/or arrest individuals who are violating the law. Customers who witness activity they believe to be illegal and wish to file a complaint may contact the MTA Police to do so. In keeping with the MTA’s “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign, we encourage customers to be attentive to their surroundings. If you witness activity you believe is illegal, you may contact the MTAPD directly at 212-878-1001, or in an emergency, call 911.

    We are disappointed that we did not provide the service you were expecting and we hope that your travels with the LIRR will be more satisfactory in the future. The LIRR is committed to providing safe, secure and reliable train service to our customers, and we will continue to strive to improve our operation.

    M. Zinkowski
    LIRR Public Affairs Department

  70. The LIRR will permit volunteer groups to do exterior cleaning and decorating at their stations, and will assign their union forces to oversee the work. Many other communities do this, so if you’d like to take over the maintenance of the exterior of the station, they’ll be happy to let you. They’ll probably let you pick up the chunky vomit also, and will provide a supervisor to assist in point out its locations. They just love community volunteers.

  71. Jessie and LIRR Response (Mr Smith), it appears that both of you took good initial steps in bringing these problems to the attention of the LIRR, but the LIRR only took token actions. It would be helpful if others wrote as well, since the LIRR doesn’t understand the gravity of the problem or the response needed. I’ll write a letter over the weekend to the MTA Chairmen, highlighting how angry and concerned the LB community is. I will also bring this up at the next City Council meeting.

    And Jessie, I can commit a small group of people to help on a volunteer day. Probably you can as well. We may not be able to do everything you listed the first day, but we can probably accomplish a lot, and then keep working at it. When you want to meet (next City Council meeting?). We can lay out a good plan.

    But, we must continue to press the LIRR to take action, and not pass it all off on volunteers.

  72. I’m sorry, but I can’t believe a person would volunteer to clean the LIRR station; when they price gouge LI’ers, profit off of tax payer dollars and pay employees very well.

    I understand you want to live in a clean town, and since you know your public officials either don’t care or are just not going to do anything to fix this, so you take it upon yourself, but I mean, really? Do you volunteer to cook and clean at a restaurant, too?

  73. W E Tom- you don’t get it do you? The LIRR employees are either getting OT to pay their lawyers for defending them regarding the fraudulently obtained disability pensions or else they are busy meeting with their accountants going over the tax implications of their moving out of state when they retire.
    How in heavens name can you expect them to do their jobs for which they are very handsomely paid when they are tied up in these meetings?
    Don’t worry though , the LIRR will send someone on OT to supervise the volunteers doing what should be done by their fellow employees.

  74. West End Tom, I can understand that you don’t want to volunteer when you think City organizations don’t do something you feel they should do. But, I can’t understand why you demean others who do volunteer. This summer a group of volunteers and others substantially cleaned up Beech St and Park Avenue. And the City followed-up with us to finish the job. I hope you agree that this is the cleanest the West End has looked in years. Volunteers and the City worked together to do this.

    Regarding the LIRR, read the last line of my post: we must continue to press LIRR to take action, and not pass it all off on volunteers. And, not all the items listed by Jessie are the responsibility of LIRR e.g. Planting flowers.

    Volunteers can accelerate change and do things government can’t or won’t. Why do you fight that? And, seems you would prefer to keep on complaining about a problem that’s been around for years, rather than take action to effect change. What’s your plan to improve the LIRR station and what, if anything, will you do….other than to complain here and demean volunteers?

  75. @Eddie…I didn’t demean anybody, and I stand by every thing I wrote.

    I completely empathize with someone who would be pushed to the limits of disgust of the LIRR station, but there’s a fundamental difference between volunteering to clean the LIRR and the West End: the obscene amount of money the LIRR takes from people, once as tax payers and then as riders in the name of a public benefit corporation; while offering worse service and a deplorable station.

    I’m sure you’re aware of their rampant corruption.

    There’s a difference between volunteering to beautify a community and clean the piss and vomit out of the lobby of a business that has been swindling LI’ers for way too long.

  76. If municipal employees are being paid to do a job and are derelict in their duties I condemn so called volunteers who are doing no more than enabling this theft of people’s tax dollars.

    Does the City of LB have paid employees whose duty it is to clean the streets?
    If so why are volunteers doing the cleaning? Where are the employees who are being paid to do it?
    If there are no employees being paid to clean the streets then volunteering to do so is commendable and is saving everyone their hard earned dollars.
    It’s the same with the deplorable LIRR station and the adjacent parking facility.
    There are many businesses that struggle in the winter months , particularly restaurants.If people feel the need to volunteer why not identify some of them and volunteer to clean their toilets, dishes, pots and pans and mop up their floors?

  77. Beachguy, thanks for condemning me and other “so called volunteers”, and accusing us of “doing no more than enabling this theft of people’s tax dollars”. And thanks to you and West End Tom for providing guidance on where I should volunteer.

    So, what’s your solution? And please don’t offer up some little-chance-it-will-be-accomplished wish list. Propose something that yields real results, and what you’ll do.

    I’ll continue to pursue my “condemnable volunteering” actions, since they’ll result in a correction of the problem. And this will be done while still pursuing the LIRR leadership to fulfill their responsibilities.

  78. Hey Beachguy, why not send a resume to the LIRR? Then you too can have a pension and earn a living wage.

    Oh yea, it’s easier to blame them and Long Beach City employees for your underachievement.

    Keep reading Newsday and voting Democrat.

  79. Since you asked…

    The solution involves letting it get so bad everyone complains, instead of a few people improving it, and then everyone else on the barrier island goes about thinking it’s taken care of.

    I’m not sure the average LI’er realizes the LIRR is a private enterprise.

    Of course, this still might bring about no response from the MTA or LB and you’re left with an even crappier train station.

    Either way, I believe volunteering to clean it is probably the fastest and most likely way it will ever be improved, but I see how it will work against your efforts to get increased service from the LIRR and interest from the greater population of residents.

  80. West End Tom, don’t you think things are bad enough NOW to warrant scores of letters and complaints to the MTA? What more do we need to see beyond “Urine, Drugs, Vomit, Graffiti” and these photos to get letters written?

    I hope you’re not suggesting we need an assault or killing before people will act. The drug/ loitering issue is dangerous, and demands immediate action.

    We had about 45 people comment on this blog…how many will contact the MTA? I will write my letter to the MTA Chairman this weekend.

  81. I do think they are bad enough. But apparently it’s not enough graffiti, urine and vomit to mobilize the majority.

    Why not write news organizations as well? You can post pictures to their Facebook walls.

    If you thought I was implying that we need violence in the LIRR station to motivate others, you completely misunderstood me.

  82. Sent to the council (you can also see this on the LBStreets page)
    Hi Council!

    Lots of LIRR and bus station complaints circling around social media (SeabytheCity, Facebook/Project11561). I am simultaneously thrilled that the stations are receiving mass vocal concerns and irritated that the concerns in question have not been remedied by now.

    I have been quite aggressive at times in pushing for an overhaul of our municipal buses and station. Some of the issues addressed include:

    · Schedules older than the entire fleet of buses while the LIRR and NICE change their schedules seasonally
    · Poorly constructed timetables without a map marking stop
    · Lack of adequate shelters or bus stop signs
    · Infrequent routes
    · No monthly passes or transfers for non-LIRR commuters
    · Lack of accountability in money collecting
    · ADA compliance failures
    · Bird poop accumulating over bike racks
    · Not enough bike racks
    · Poor lighting
    · Highest crime area for bike thefts in the city
    · No one answering the phone at the station

    Now add these accessibility and safety issues to the aesthetic concerns of garbage, drug baggie’s, urine and vomit in the overhead walkways- the residents collective voices must be heard.

    We want visitors and residents to continue taking the train, buses and biking but when the city lets it all fall apart by making it increasingly difficult and dangerous to access our transportation hub, our city is taking leaps backwards while the rest of the country’s most vibrant cities are embracing multi-modal transportation systems.

    It is a problem that there is no head of our DOT and we have no Transportation Committee or Advisory Board. No one answers the phone both figuratively and literally.

    I am proposing that the City Council consider forming a Transportation Committee for taking in the collective concerns of residents concerning transportation issues while working on progressive transportation planning not just within our city but alongside our neighboring towns. We need to sit at the table with the LIRR and NICE to improve the station. We need to sit with our Police Commissioner to work on safer streets. We need to know that this city is taking every measure possible to have safe,accessible streets for ALL users and transportation modes.

    This would also be a good time for me to tell you all that I have been aggressively seeking crash data, accumulating over 200 confirmed crashes involving pedestrians/bicyclists in our city since 2009. That number does not include unreported crashes. If you ask me, traffic violence is a silent epidemic in this city and I aim to bring a strong visual for everyone to see just how threatening our streets are.

    As the person behind Long Beach Streets NY, the only advocacy group in this city pushing for safer accessible streets for cyclists, skaters and pedestrians and an awareness of transportation equity, I’m going to be aggressive about this because it is time.

    Thanks for reading.

  83. Next week I will be posting details on a new campaign collaboration between LB Streets and the LI Bus Riders Union, who just recently got power to appoint a bus rider the the County Transportation Advisory Committee and an addition $2million dollars put back into the County bus budget. This group is responsible for securing Sunday bus service in Suffolk County and holding a constant fire under NICE’s ass since Nassau buses were privatized. Solid group, great people, and they will be basing their next campaign out of Long Beach-starting with the bus station.

  84. West End Tom, I’m sorry if I gave the wrong impression regarding your intent. I understand that all of us have the same goal: wanting the problem solved now. But, we have different solutions.

    My concern is that too few people will take action to correct the problem. How many letters will be written to the MTA/LIRR? How many will show up at the City Council meeting to voice their complaint?

    Your recommendation to highlight the problem in the newspaper is excellent. Who will do it?

    I will try to work with LIRR President and our City Council before blazoning this in the newspapers (we don’t need all newspaper readers having that image of Long Beach). But, if there is no action soon, that path can be followed.

  85. Hey Allison, I’m not trying to conquer the world, only beautify the West End, and help others in the City smile more often.

    Contact me at edglister@gmail.com to initiate the conversation and see what we can do together. FYI, I am fighting virus/flu, so meetings aren’t possible now.

  86. Dear Condemned Volunteers- if you sincerely believe that by performing the tasks that municipal employees are being paid to do will have a long term positive result then by
    all means go ahead.
    But I disagree.
    Better to start a petition drive, pack City Council meetings , collect pitchforks and torches for the march on City Hall IMHO.
    There are endless legitimate charitable organizations that are crying out for help in the form of volunteers who are instead cleaning the streets and the LIRR station while paid employees are derelict in their duties.
    If , in fact, there are no people being paid to clean the streets and the station then let’s form a cadre of volunteers to perform these jobs thus attaining two objects at once -clean facilities and decreased taxes.
    And kudos to Allison in her untiring efforts to identify these many issues and to try to light a fire under the seats of those allegedly in charge.
    Maybe Ed and Jay can work on getting a bus schedule together that makes sense in stead of scraping vomit off the streets and walls.

  87. Jay- it’s time to take a break. Time for a stroll on the beach to clear your head.
    I’d be there but am busy taking your advice by sending my CV in to the LIRR and the City of LB. I’m applying for the job of cleaning the LB station and the parking garage.
    I really hope I get it since I won’t have to do anything besides collect my paycheck and watch my pension grow. After all, there will be a group of volunteers doing my job for me.
    I like to plan ahead so maybe you can give me some advice. How can I maximize my pension? Maybe I can falsify my time slips by claiming a lot of OT and unused vacation and sick time.

    Then I can find a doctor to say I’m disabled and go out early on disability. What do you think? Any tips?

  88. @Ed, hope you’re feeling better real soon!
    @Beachguy, you are sounding really envious of those public employees. Have you sent your resume? Give it another try if they turned you down. Never too late.

    And while I certainly agree that volunteers shouldn’t be doing the jobs we pay civil servants to do, they certainly make this a better place for us all to live.

    It’s that spirit that can really help this town.

  89. Beachguy, those LIRR station cleaners get $26/hour, full benefits and half pay retirement at age 50. AT 62 it goes up to full pay. And their foreman makes $41/hour — almost as much as a conductor. Pass the drug test and maybe you can get hired too. I know, I know, you’re a millionaire investor and you just bash those public workers on principle. No jealousy at all, right? Hahahahah.

  90. Eddie, thanks for your kind wishes.

    Beachguy, I can laugh at your barbs and condemnation of me and other “so called volunteers”. But your insinuations that City workers “don’t have to do anything besides to collect a paycheck” is unfortunate hyperbole at worst or a poor attempt at comedy at best.

    And check out your facts before you condemn. This year in the West End we cleaned several houses of worship, homes of the elderly, community gardens, and the fronts of several businesses. Clearly, the City had no responsibility for these.

    And, the 100 tree pits we cleaned, I’m not sure these were even a City responsibility. Are you? And, how many days a week do you expect City workers to clean the streets, and at what cost? Guess what, no matter what your answer, people drop garbage all the time. “So called” volunteers supplement a City work force.

    I will say that I agree with your POTENTIAL solution of petitions, City Council appearances, and protests. But, let’s see if that happens. I’ve been to and spoken at 8 of the last 10 City Council meetings. I look forward to seeing you and others at the next City Council meeting to discuss the LIRR. If you want to speak with me I’ll be seated in the “condemned” section of the room.

  91. FYI, I wrote letter to LIRR President and copied MTA Chairman. It was 2-page letter, with photo attachments. Key requests:
    – Assign an objective member of staff, or an independent party, to view current situation.
    – Use an evaluation matrix to quantify the current status, to help identify remedial plan.
    – Establish a remedial plan to improve the Safety and Cleanliness of the Long Beach station to “Exemplary”, based on new and improved metrics.

    Requested community input to metrics. Requested communication ti City Council. One goal is to confirm when LIRR vs City is responsible. Seeking coordinated solution.

    Mentioned prior attempts by LB people/organizations to get action, but photos confirm there hasn’t been satisfactory progress.

    I’ll inform you of any responses.

  92. Unfortunately, Ed, the LIRR’s response will be a three paragraph form letter about their improved on-time performance.

    The Railroad only responds personally to political requests.

  93. Eddie, sadly, you may be correct. But, let’s see…he’s a relatively new LIRR President and he has to recognize that what we described is not good for his ridership. Further, I think he’ll sense that follow-up actions will occur unless action is taken.

    But this action is not only about the LIRR. I’ll bring it up at the next City Council meeting. And, if any of us see something we don’t like (or worse, if there’s criminal behavior) we need to keep reporting it.

  94. I’ve also sent emails out so let’s keep each other in the loop. We could be more strategic as a coalition rather than individual groups sending out emails.

  95. I can’t imagine the LIRR admitting *in writing* that they are negligent or have made any kind of important mistakes. Seems like that would be inviting a class action suit from us all. I’m sure the LIRR knows how to sidestep allegations after 100+ years in business, over much more serious issues like this. I’m sure their lawyers would tell them to just shut the f*** up. (Wonder if any of those lawyers are ex-Nassau politicians.)

  96. Dear Valued Customer,

    The Long Island Rail Road strives to provide Breakthrough Customer Service to each and every one of our valued customers. It is most unfortunate that the situation described does not appear to live up to our goals. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience to you.

    I have forwarded your letter/email to our Manager of Customer Services for his investigation.

    Thank you for bringing this important issue to our attention.


    Ms. Moleep Al Muslim
    Manager – Customer Satisfaction

  97. Great that you wrote. And while the LIRR response seems like a pass-along, tell us if you get any follow-up contact in 5 days, or, if there is no response. Time to inform LIRR President if there is no response.

  98. Here’s the reply I received today. Looks like the LIRR is really on top of these things!:

    Dear —,

    The President has asked that I investigate the concerns you made in your letter dated December 2, 2014. The Long Island Rail Road strives to provide Breakthrough Customer Service to each and every one of our valued customers. It is most unfortunate that the situation described does not appear to live up to our goals. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience to you.

    I have forwarded your letter/email to our Station Appearance Supervisor for his investigation. Thank you for bringing this important issue to our attention.

    Fawn Rosen – Salahodeen
    Executive Manager – Customer Communications

  99. Showed photo’s to Legislature Ford this morning. She seemed sincerely concerned about this and I believe she will be taking the steps necessary to reach those at the LIRR and in LB who can make the changes necessary to prevent this station from continuing to be a shit can.

  100. Jay, your letter to the LIRR President is a good addition to those sent in the last week by 4 or 5 of us. That’s great. More would help.

    Please update us in 5 days if there is or isn’t an answer from the “Station Appearance Supervisor”. If not, the President needs a follow-up. Maybe Legislator Ford should be informed of responses/non-responses. And, what about the safety issue?

  101. She is in the loop on this and I sent the photo’s. She has already reached out to the LIRR I am pleasantly surprised by her immediate reactions and overall genuine concern. Surprised bc I was unaware of how proactive she was because she flies under the radar (no photo opp’s). I sincerely wish that I had reached out to her soon as I was unaware of how bicycle, train, and bus savvy she was. Pretty cool.

  102. This thread is about a typical failure in rendering a basic municipal service for the citizens.
    Unfortunately it epitomizes the way the City is run , or perhaps more properly, is not run.

    Anyone who visits other beachside communities up and down the coast can see some wonderful places and some others that are deplorable.
    LB appears to be in the middle and muddles along seemingly without direction.
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If it wasn’t for the BW, beach , ocean and the temperate climate that goes with it, how many of us would live here?

  103. Here’s an update from Tuesday’s City Council meeting. I gave the Council members a copy of letter to LIRR President, which included the SBTC photos and requested LIRR and LB to jointly solve the sanitation and safety problem.

    In response, at the City Council meeting, the Public Works Commissioner committed to:
    – Power-wash interior stairways
    – Power-wash exterior of bird guano, and affix spikes atop roof edge to prevent bird nesting
    – Paint walkway floors with material that prevents urine from being absorbed in concrete
    – Painting over graffiti
    – Changing locks of interior areas to prevent inappropriate use of facilities over night.

    The Police Commissioner mentioned that he spoke with Taxi company, reminding them that the station is not to be used as as public toilet. He also commented on the frequency of Police Officers going to LIRR station.

    I asked Council to make sure this wasn’t a one-time effort, since it required continuing focus.

    By the way, no response yet from LIRR President. I asked Legislator Ford to intervene with LIRR.

  104. As a LIRR commuter, thank you for taking the initiative on this. I was at the meeting in support of our LBFD and wanted to try and speak with you but it was a bit chaotic. I started this campaign back in 2006 and still have the emails, those in charge took a tour with me and took the proper steps to maintain things, they purchased the power washer and the stairwells were powerwashed weekly. I had also suggested they should never have installed windows in those stairwells so that it would not turn into a place to find shelter.I had also reached out to Denise Ford and she made all the phone calls to the top to get the relevant information of who is in charge.
    The cameras are not in service, and I don’t see how locking the doors would be a good idea for someone who commutes, what if we get locked in or out?
    I thank you very much for taking this to the city council and LBPD.

  105. KCE, thanks for initiating the LIRR correspondence. Sorry we couldn’t meet after the City Council meeting. Maybe next time.

    Happy that you got to see that taking up an issue at the City Council can make a difference. We’ll likely need some follow-up, but good to hear the initial commitments.

  106. KCE, I wish I had known you did this sooner as I would have reached out to you for assistance before taking photo’s and posting on Long Beach Streets NY Facebook page, meeting with Denise Ford, emailing the LIRR, and reaching out to the city…I would have sought your advice and teamed up!

    I am glad that Ed spoke at the Council meeting (I was at work) as this brought the issue out in the open, on record.

    In an effort to not overlap each other, to save time and to be more strategic with power in numbers….moving forward it would make sense for us to coordinate our efforts.

  107. My efforts were years ago and they were addressed then. This time around you kind of lose steam after calling and complaining and it all falling on deaf ears. I’m happy others have noticed and taken initiative, things work better with teamwork !

  108. The LIRR Director Corporate Communications responded to my complaint letter to the LIRR President. Here are key parts of the 2-page response:
    – “As part of our maintenance regimen, the Long Beach station is cleaned twice daily each weekday…Stations also periodically receive Heavy Duty Cleanings and, during warm-weather months, we perform hot-water, high-pressure spray-washing of station platforms and staircases. Subsequent to your correspondence, Station Ooerations personnel performed a thorough cleaning of the station and we will continue to monitor conditions.”
    – The next 6 paragraphs describe planned painting and other updates to the station interior during winter months, improved signage, as well as infrastructure investments to promote storm resiliency.
    – “With respect to safety, the MTA Police Officers patrol Long Beach station daily during both the AM and PM Peak periods, and summonses have been issued to individuals who were found to be in violation of the law…If customers witness activity they believe to be illegal, they should contact the MTA PD directly at 212-878-1001.”
    – “In addition to enforcement, the a LIRR and MTA Police also coordinate and perform homeless outreach.”
    – “We will continue to be vigilant in addressing quality-of-life issues for customers at our stations.”

    While this letter addresses some of our complaints, it’s clear that continued communication is required if the LIRR and the a City fail to maintain a clean station and surrounding infrastructure, and provide a crime-free environment.

  109. Ed — thanks for your efforts. We need to keep on them and more importantly in my view we need to keep on the City Council and Manager to keep on them.

  110. FYI, the Department of Public Works has initiated a clean-up program around the LIRR station every Monday and Friday, from 8am to 10am.

    That should result in improvements. If not, report it…and don’t accept anything less than a clean LIRR station and surrounding area.

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