The city has reinvented “parking” in Dutch Kills.
Elected officials united on April 4 to officially unveil a new park in the community, Dutch Kills Green at Queens Plaza – which was a former John F. Kennedy Airport commuter parking lot. The space, which is one-and-a-half acres large, extends along Queens Plaza North and Queens Plaza South and from Northern Boulevard and Queens Plaza East west to 21st Street in Long Island City.
The project broke ground in 2009, and includes 489 new trees, wetlands, landscaped medians, artist-designed benches and a great deal of open space. Pedestrian, bicycle and roadway improvements were made as well, with the installation of new crosswalks and sidewalks, countdown pedestrian signals and improved lighting aimed at enhancing the overall traffic environment
While looking towards the neighborhood’s future, the project also commemorates its past by incorporating an active reuse of historic millstones – previously embedded in a traffic island of the parking lot – allowing residents to appreciate the borough’s agricultural significance.
“The opening of the park at Queen Plaza represents the ongoing transformation of an area which is the gateway of Queens,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents L.I.C. “That gateway should be as inviting as the people of Queens. This park is an expansion of a neighborhood green space that will be an oasis for residents and workers alike. This is a great day for Dutch Kills, Queens Plaza and all of L.I.C.”