Tag Archives: Friends of the Queensway

Preliminary design concepts released ahead of QueensWay community workshops


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of Friends of the QueensWay and Trust for Public Land

The Friends of the QueensWay and Trust for Public Land just released preliminary design concepts that will be presented as part of upcoming community workshops involving the proposed high line-style green space.

The two released renderings are an example of the variety of initial QueensWay design concepts that will be shown at the workshops, which will take place on Monday, March 24 at the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School (MELS) in Forest Hills, and Wednesday, March 26 at the High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture in Richmond Hill.

A feasibility and planning study for the project is in the very early stages of the design process, and the upcoming workshops will try and compile more input on the preliminary design concepts as well as additional ones.

They will also cover other issues, including open space in areas of the borough that are currently underserved; a new neighborhood park that enhances and links to Forest Park; and ideas on how to support adjacent play spaces for children, such as little league fields.

QueensWay advocates would like to transform a 3.5-mile portion of the abandoned Rockaway Rail Line into an elevated pedestrian and bicycle pathway, which would run from Ozone Park to Rego Park. The idea has sparked controversy among the surrounding community. Transportation advocates want a revitalization of the railroad line, while others want nothing at all.

 

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Transit committee finds new support for restarting Rockaway Beach Line


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Jeff Liao

One by one, members of the Queens Public Transit Committee (QPTC), an organization focused on improving transportation in the borough, thanked Community Board 5 (CB5) last week.

The board voted to support the idea of restarting the defunct Rockaway Beach Line last month, in part to help ease traffic congestion issues on major thoroughfares, such as Woodhaven Boulevard.

The news was significant for QPTC, because the 3.5-mile trail could also be transformed into a park.

“Getting more people like CB5 is tremendous because they realize overcrowding is becoming a major problem,” said Phil McManus, chair of the QPTC.

In November of last year, Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder, who has voiced support for a new train, announced that Queens College will be doing a study of both the train and park ideas.

The Friends of the QueensWay (FQW), a group made up of residents that live near the trail who are pushing to transform the former rail line into a public green space, has argued against restarting the line.

“After over five decades of abandonment and multiple studies concluding that rail reactivation is not feasible, the time has come to utilize the over 50 acres of land that make up the QueensWay,” according to a statement from FQW. “As evidence shows, rebuilding this abandoned land will dramatically improve the quality of life, create jobs and safer streets, and highlight the incredible history and cultural diversity of central and southern Queens.”

FQW also said that the new park will have a much needed bike path, which could be used for transportation.

Not everyone has taken a side though. Members of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA) would like to see formal proposals, instead of making a decision on speculation.

“We want to make sure a lot of concerns are answered. Can’t say that we are for or against,” said Martin Colberg, president of the WRBA.

McManus said the QPTC isn’t opposed to doing both ideas in some capacity, but a FQW representative said that isn’t a possibility.

“I just don’t see that as being realistic,” said Travis Terry, a member of FQW Steering Committee. “I wouldn’t even like to consider that option until there is some proof.”

 

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