Richmond Hill has mixed feelings about QueensWay proposal
by Jason Cohen
Apr 02, 2014 | 719 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Friends of the QueensWay and Trust for Public Land held a workshop last week at the High School for Construction Trades, Engineering & Architecture in Richmond Hill, where residents had mixed feelings about the proposal to transform a defunct rail line into a High Line-style park.

The groups presented dozens of images and discussed how the project will benefit the community. The renderings were based on ideas collected from residents during a series of workshops held last November in Woodhaven, Forest Hills and Ozone Park.

The designs tried to address privacy issues, one of the main concerns raised by residents living along the proposed park.

The proposed QueensWay would provide bicycle and pedestrian paths along a nearly 3.5-mile stretch of the abandoned LIRR Rockaway Beach Line. Other ideas include outdoor exercise areas, performance space, community gardens, zip line, and dog park.

While there has been support for the project, a few residents expressed their displeasure. Magdalena Chen, who has lived in Richmond Hill for 27 years, doesn't feel it will benefit the community long term.

Chen asked if the Friends of the Queensway has spoken to all of the people that the proposal would affect.

“Before anything else goes on, why go through the process if these people don’t want it?” she asked.

However, Ivan Mrakovcic and Travis Terry of the Friends of the QueensWay feel differently. Mrakovcic said this is a community process where people have been engaged the entire way, while Terry said it will greatly improve the community and provide a safe place for families.

“This is the buzz of the neighborhood,” he said. “Many people are looking forward to it.”

Anne Greene has lived in Richmond Hill for the past six years, and always wondered what was going to happen to the abandoned rail line. She and her husband Paul love parks and hope they begin construction soon.

“I really hope this project moves forward,” she said. “We see a lot of benefits for it. It’s hard to imagine it not improving the community.”

Philip McManus and Ronald Carroll Queens Public Transit Committee and people at the workshop

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