Just two days ago, the QueensWay plan to convert an abandoned rail line in Kew Gardens into a new elevated park secured $1 million in funding towards feasibility research. Today, Friends of the Queensway announced that New York-based firms WXY Architecture + Urban Design and DLANDSTUDIO Landscape Architecture & Architecture will be leading the study. The community group also announced that the project will be a park conversion similar to the Bloomingdale Trail in Chicago, which seeks to turn an elevated railroad into a pedestrian and cycling greenway.
As for the actual feasibility study, WXY will collaborate on the QueensWay concept study and planning investigation with DLANDSTUDIO to focus on the development of resilient urban infrastructure. All the groups involved with the QueensWay project hope it will become a new public artery that connects neighborhoods across Queens including Rego Park, Forest Hills, Glendale, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, and Ozone Park.
To address the concerns of those in the neighborhood who believe the new park will only bring unwanted foot traffic and take away their privacy, the groups also say they will reach out for community input.
“This special project will benefit from deep engagement with community groups and area residents,” WXY partner Adam Lubinsky said in a statement. “From formal community workshops and surveys of residents to open forums and even discussions during local street fairs, we’ll use in-person methods as well as social media to reach a broad swath of diverse people in Queens.
Meanwhile, the Trust for Public Land, the organization in charge of the 3.5 mile long green transformation, says the 250,000 residents living within a mile of the long retired 1962 Long Island Rail Road line will all benefit from this greener space.