Ever since the High Line became an international phenomenon, there have been countless proposals across the city for elevated parks and public spaces made from abandoned train tracks. The latest comes from the Bronx, where Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is asking Mayor de Blasio to transform a piece of unused railway in Mott Haven that is currently a “homeless encampment populated by drug users,” according to the Daily News. Because the “litter-and-needle-strewn” trench is below street level, it’s being called a lowline, after the underground park taking shape on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Earlier this month, de Blasio personally visited the site, and the next day it was cleaned up. Following the visit, the Borough President wrote a letter to the Mayor, saying “My office and all Bronxites are appreciative that this site, which had been home to a homeless encampment and was regularly used as a space for drug sales and abuse, has been cleaned up and its former occupants have been offered assistance.” He continued, “The best way forward on this site is not a temporary cleanup, but the development of a permanent use… [a park] would be a model for the future reuse of the many miles of essentially abandoned railway that is spread across the five boroughs.” He’d also like to see housing built above the tracks at street level, which would be within the current zoning regulations.
The railroad company CSX currently owns the 30 blocks of railway, so the city would have to seize it before any plans could move forward.
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Tags : Ruben Diaz Jr.
Neighborhoods : Bronx