Plans to redevelop an abandoned rail line in Kew Gardens, Queens into the QueensWay, an elevated park similar to Manhattan’s High Line, are chugging along. Today, the Trust for Public Land, the organization behind the green transformation of the 3.5 mile long railway, told The Wall Street Journal that it has successfully raised the $1 million to move forward from the design and planning phase. With this money in tow, the project is a step closer to beautifying the elevated railway extending from Rego Park to Ozone Park.
The Friends of the Queensway, a rallying group in support of the project to transform the disused Long Island Rail Road track, say the project will bring the neighborhood some much needed park space to improve the environment and stimulate local businesses. There are also plans to create bike trails, space for public art installations, and food stalls to celebrate the ethnic cuisine of the area.
However, not everyone is happy with the addition of the new park. Some residents are questioning how the park will bring a new scene of people to their neighborhood. Privacy concerns are on the minds of others too, considering some sections of the will hover around 15 feet above some people’s backyards. There’s even a website called No Way QueensWay with arguments against the whole plan from the funding to an unnecessary bike path.
Last December, the QueensWay project received a $467,000 grant sanctioned by Governor Andrew Cuomo to fund the project. Since then the program has been gaining steam and funding with contributions including a $140,000 grant from the Department of Environmental Protection. Next week the organization hopes to launch into a feasibility plan spearheaded by two yet to be announced New York firms that will calculate the cost of the project.
Images © Friends of the GreenWay