Hicksville, where the Ronkonkoma and the Port Jefferson LIRR lines converge into the Main Line, is the busiest rail hub on Long Island, and also one of its largest centers for bus travel. By the early 2020s, three new infrastructure projects that will further increase Hicksville’s potential to become a major employment center will be completed: East Side Access, which will connect the LIRR to East Midtown in Manhattan; a third track on the Main Line, which will enable more reverse and intra-island commutes; and a second track to Ronkonkoma, which will improve capacity and reliability on the LIRR’s most crowded line. A $121 million dollar renovation of the Hicksville Station is already underway.
With ample room to add new development on parking lots and underutilized properties near its multimodal train and bus stations, Hicksville is poised for growth. Community-based revitalization plans for more commercial space, new homes, parks, and community services in downtown Hicksville look promising.
Proposals in the Fourth Regional Plan would help Hicksville build on these plans. Statewide inclusionary zoning, for example, would ensure Hicksville’s new homes support a mix of families. Recommendations about street redesign could make Hicksville more walkable, green, and healthy as the area is redeveloped. Large commuter parking lots could be converted to stores, offices, homes, and parks, and integrated into Hicksville’s downtown if the city is able to take advantage of technology-enabled shared car services and driverless cars instead of being overwhelmed by the traffic they could bring. With its central location and access to research facilities, technology companies and workers from throughout Nassau, Suffolk, and New York City, Hicksville could become the hub of an innovation economy on Long Island.