Thursday, December 27, 2012
$500K state money to study Queensway
From the Wall Street Journal:
The effort to remake a 3½-mile stretch of abandoned railway tracks into the Queens answer to the High Line took a step forward this week as the state put up about a half-million dollars to study the project.
But the Queensway plan favored by park advocates and local groups faces significant hurdles: Is the site contaminated? Can elevated tracks abandoned for 50 years still support walkers and cyclists? Will a project stretching from Rego Park to Ozone Park attract the Chelsea-size checks that helped bring the High Line to life?
The proposal for an elevated park paired with bike trails, fitness zones and ethnic-food stalls got its first nod from the state when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday gave the Trust for Public Land a $467,000 grant to study the project.
"That is the first step toward making the Queensway a reality," said Christopher Kay, chief operating officer of the Trust, the nonprofit group helping spearhead the new park.
But even if the elevated tracks turn out to be free from environmental or structural issues, huge challenges would remain as nonprofit backers work to clean and revitalize a site that has suffered from a half-century of neglect.
In its current incarnation, the Queensway features "a great representation of cultural diversity from the beer cans that you find," said Marc Matsil, a local official with the Trust.
I thought the state was broke. The governor all of a sudden has money to piss away on a feasibility study for something we all know isn't feasible? With this money, the acquisition of the Brinckerhoff Cemetery could have been funded 4 times over.
Beer cans as a reflection of Queens diversity...gotta love it.