It looks like the city is one big step closer to getting its second elevated park. DNA Info reports that the state has just allocated nearly $444,000 to the design of the first phase of the QueensWay, an urban renewal project that would transform 3.5 miles of abandoned elevated railway into a park akin to the High Line. The money was awarded to the Trust for Public Land via Governor Cuomo’s $709.2 million Regional Economic Development Council initiative. The first phase will consist of the design of the “Northern Gateway,” which comprises a 1.5-mile-long stretch starting at Rego Park. The park is set to extend from Rego Park to Ozone Park.
“The section will retain and feature a large number of mature trees, and will include a nature-themed adventure playground, large bioretention basins and other green infrastructure that can absorb large quantities of stormwater, and access paths to adjacent streets,” the Trust For Public Land said in a statement.
The firms WXY Studio Architecture + Urban Design and dlandstudio have created the conceptual designs for the QueensWay. In addition to its green infrastructure, the park may also boast a zip-line and giant slide, a number of sports facilities and an adventure park. There will also be plenty of walking, running and biking paths closed off to traffic. In a previous feasibility study (also funded by the state) it was found that the park would cost $120 million to build.
Naysayers of the park have already come out of the woodwork. A number of locals would rather see the railway reactivated as a functioning line rather than a place for recreation. According to the Trust for Public Land, more than 320,000 people live in the neighborhoods within a mile of the proposed QueensWay. The property is currently owned by the city.
The design of the first phase could be ready to go as soon as a year from now.
[Via DNA Info]
Images courtesy of Friend of the QueensWay, WXY Studio Architecture + Urban Design and dlandstudio