Editor's note: This letter is in response to a letter published last week about noise in Forest Hills caused by the LIRR.
I don't know what federal rule the LIRR is misinterpreting on horn sounding when a train bypasses a station platform without stopping. It is done to warn potential riders to stand clear of the edge of the platform that the train won't be stopping. It has nothing to do with the time of day or night.
The LIRR engineer has no idea if anyone is there beforehand because he can't see them until he's in the station. It's a safety issue. Perhaps Mr. Levinson is confused about grade-crossing rules, which there are none in Forest Hills.
Door chimes are not loud on the new M7 cars; they beep while the door is in the closing mode. These are not bells and they are built into the door closing circuitry, they cannot be "turned off." The old M3's, which I doubt LIRR runs overnight, do have ear-piercing alarms. There are not many of them around.
Train announcements are made for the sight-impaired. These are computer generated and the MTA wants them activated. They are clearer than most train crews' manual announcements, just like in the subway.
When it's dark, station signs could be difficult to see when you're on a train with tinted windows, even for someone with 20/20 vision. Helps a person who is sight impaired, they don't have to be completely "blind". I also find it heard to believe the MTA rep used the term "deaf". I'm sure he used the politically correct term: "hearing impaired". Some folks are not completely deaf.
There are mandated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rules. Maybe the LIRR rep did not explain the rules adequately. The LIRR was running trains long before Mr. Levinson moved into the neighborhood.
This is what happens when you choose to live near a train station. He ought to be grateful as a traveler he is within walking distance. All over New York City there are folks living right outside elevated structures (Forest Hills is not on a structure, the 7 line is for example) with trains scheduled every 20 minutes all night, far more than in Forest Hills. They deal with it.