Study: Belmont Park project will increase traffic in Elmont area

ELMONT — A new state report suggests the proposed arena and entertainment complex at Belmont Park will increase traffic congestion in the already-busy area, even with additional Long Island Railroad trains running to and from the site.

The $1.2 billion project includes plans for an 19,000-seat arena for the New York Islanders surrounded by retail, restaurants and a multitude of other entertainment venues.

The recent environmental impact study examined factors including transportation, water resources, noise and air quality. It found that transportation was the main concern.

The study says most of the traffic challenges will happen on the Cross Island Parkway and Hempstead Turnpike.

The study says the development would generate more than 4,000 vehicle trips around the site during weekend peak times. This is in comparison to more than 800 during weekday mornings. State officials are pointing to public transportation in hopes of limiting traffic issues.

Two additional LIRR trains from Jamaica station to Belmont station would bring fans to the arena, according to the report.

Public hearings on the environmental impact will be held for three days starting Jan. 8 and written comments will be accepted through Feb. 11 for anyone would like to weigh in.