New York State awarded The Trust for Public Land $444,000 to kick off the design process for the first phase of the QueensWay. The money is part of a larger grant from Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative. The Daily News reports that the funds will go toward designing a “Northern Gateway” in Rego Park. (The 3.5 miles of abandoned railroad tracks run from Rego Park to Ozone Park.) This is the next step in the design process, as Friends of the QueensWay released preliminary renderings for the park in October.
Proposals for the QueenWay include outdoor nature classrooms, exercise stations, a commuter route, a bike trail, an arts hub, a rock climbing wall and food concessions. The plans still face opposition, though, as some local pols and residents would rather reactivate the rail line for transportation.
Happening tomorrow — Saturday, April 26th from 10 am to 2pm — Friends of the QueensWay will lead its second annual community clean-up day along the abandoned rail tracks. The QueesWay proposal, of course, is to transform a 3.5 mile stretch of long-abandoned LIRR tracks into a greenway. During last year’s clean-up event, volunteers cleared a half a mile of overgrown weeds, trash and debris. If you are interesting in lending a hand this year, meet at Forest Park Drive, about 1/8 mile east of Woodhaven Boulevard, at 10 am. Volunteers should wear sturdy footwear and clothing appropriate for light duty trash removal. Gloves, materials and water will be provided.
Friends of the QueensWay released preliminary design concepts for the QueensWay, the proposal to turn abandoned LIRR tracks into parkland, earlier this month, now DNAinfo details the proposed amenities and activities for the site. The entire 3.5 mile stretch would have bicycle and pedestrian paths. There are also proposals for outdoor exercise areas, performance space, community gardening, art paths, learning trails. A recent feasibility study even suggests a zip line, an adventure playground for kids, a canopy walk as well as a giant slide that would go around an old railway tower in Forest Park (!!!).
As for privacy concerns, the feasibility study recommends landscaped mounds and rows of trees and shrubbery to block out the nearby houses. There are also plans to monitor the park area, with proposals of security cameras and Park Enforcement Patrol officers. Friends of the QueensWay is taking even more design considerations during this second round of community workshops, and they plan to release a final design in June. The next QueensWay workshop is actually scheduled for tonight, Wednesday, March 26th, 7 to 9 pm at the High School for Construction Trades, Architecture and Engineering, 94-06 104th Street.
The Friends of the QueensWay and Trust for Public Land just release two design concepts — check out the other after the jump — envisioning a greenway for a now-abandoned stretch of Long Island Railroad tracks. These two designs will be presented as part of the upcoming community workshops held on Monday, March 24th and Wednesday March 26th. All the details about those meetings are here. At these public workshops, residents will have the opportunity to provide input on a variety of initial design concepts and issues.
The QueensWay feasibility plan is still in its very early stages, and these renderings are just suggestions of what’s possible. (Here’s another slew of fun renderings imagining the possibilities along the QueensWay.) The meetings will not only tackle design suggestions, but also issues of safety and privacy, open public space and possible activities and events for the QueensWay. Here are the issues discussed during the first round of community workshops.
Friends of the Queensway and the Trust for Public Land announced the second round of community workshops for the Queensway feasibility and planning process, the proposal to transform 3.5 miles of Long Island Rail Road tracks into a greenway. At the workshops, the QueensWay facilitators will present preliminary design concepts (wonder if they’ll look anything like these?), ideas contributed by residents during the planning workshops in November, and many other issues touching upon open space in Queens. Here are some issues that already came up in the series of community workshops held in November.
The first workshop of the month will be on Monday, March 24th from 7 pm to 9 pm. It’s at the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School, 91-30 Metropolitan Avenue (that’s two blocks east of Woodhaven Boulevard). Make sure you enter through the yellow entrance. Workshop #2 will be on Wednesday, March 26th from 7 pm to 9 pm. That one is at the High School for Construction Trades, Architecture and Engineering, 94-06 104th Street (one block south of Atlantic Avenue at 94th Avenue). Both workshops are free and open to the public.
Yesterday the Emerging New York Architects Committee announced winners for its Design Idea Competition, in which participants were asked to envision the future of the QueensWay. Advocates are pushing to transform the 3.5 mile stretch of Long Island Rail Road tracks into a greenway, with a feasibility study now underway. According to Curbed, more than 120 QueensWay proposals from around the world were submitted — although they won’t be used, they are certainly inspirational. The Emerging New York Architects Committee will feature the top designs in an exhibit at the Center for Architecture starting July 17th, 2014.
Above, the winning proposal by Carrie Wilbert of Paris, France. It’s titled “The Queensway Steps.” Click through to see the five runner ups.
Image source: QueensWay – the elevated train line in question from the 1950s
On Friday night, the LIRR line that could become the QueensWay or additional transit got some love from WPIX Channel 11 here in NYC. The piece was pretty balanced, with time given to both the people that would like to see a High Line type park (“We would love to turn it into a linear culture greenway that spans from Rego Park to Ozone Park.” -Andrea and Travis of Friends of the QueensWay) and the people that would like it turned back into a working LIRR line (“I think the High Line is a great idea as long as it doesn’t exclude the opportunity to bring back rail and transportation options for southern Queens.” -State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder). (more…)