Could Long Island City be next in line for a High Line-style park? Though talks about the Queensway, a proposal to turn a disused railway running through Rego Park, Forest Hills, Glendale, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven and Ozone Park into a park, have been floating around for several years already, a similar concept is now emerging further west in the borough. According to the New York Post, the MTA has been coming up with ways to revamp two sections of the Long Island Rail Road line in LIC that haven’t been used since the 1990s, and one of the ideas focuses on turning the tracks into public green space.
The MTA has confirmed that they have filed a Request For Expressions of Interest (RFEI) asking for proposals to revamp the short stretch of the railway called the Montauk Cutoff into some sort of verdant space for public use. According to the RFEI, the now defunct line once “connect[ed] the LIRR’s Lower Montauk Branch, which runs along the Newtown Creek, to the Sunnyside and Arch Street Yards to the north.”
Today, the abandoned line is mainly overrun with flora, making it a prime spot to convert into a vibrant active community space similar to the High Line. However, an exact carbon copy of Chelsea’s most famous park isn’t necessarily what they’re looking for. According to the RFEI, the MTA is open to ideas of all kinds: “Specifically, the MTA is seeking expressions of interest from businesses, nonprofits, community groups, and individuals with innovative adaptive reuse concepts, and detailed implementation and operating plans for those concepts. These concepts can include, but are not limited to, public open space, urban farming, or museum or sculpture garden space.”
Mitch Waxman, a Queens activist, supports the idea, telling the New York Post that the area could be “a magnificent bit of green infrastructure.”
Via NY Curbed