Friday, August 29, 2008

Rockaway Line greenway just a pipe dream?

It's been dormant for 46 years, but the debate continues to rage over what to do with the old Long Island Railroad Rockaway Beach Branch Line.

"This is a nice, very, very pleasant bucolic woodland setting as is. You see almost 50 years of growth here. At the same time, you can see how it's been abused. You can see a lot of garbage, trash, abandoned objects strewn ab," said Jordan Sandke, former chairman of the Rockaway Branch Greenway Committee.

Greenway Committee Looks To Revive Abandoned Rail Line

The group wants to turn the 3.5-mile stretch of abandoned tracks into a greenway that could be used for biking or jogging. They're getting help from a number of groups including Parks and Trails New York, an initiative sponsored by the New York State Department of Health.

"This has been in the dark for too long. I think people once they realize that it's here and the opportunities it has, it's really going to be something that people celebrate," said Martin Daley of Park and Trails New York.

The old line ran from Forest Hills to Rockaway Beach, through Forest Park. Some still hold out hope the MTA will revive the line, cutting down on commuting times, especially from the Rockaways.

Here's their website: Rockaway Beach Branch Greenway Committee


Anonymous said...

Who the hell in there right mind wants tweeds and who knows what else migrating through above there back yards and swimming pools.

Those 2nd generation + New Yorkers are terrorized enough all summer by the reeking smell of curry and greaze.
They kept there houses due to the privacy.

You have to toss all your curtains, carpets and run an ion generator for 2 weeks to get it out.

Or 2: Run an AC and buy filters 24-7 all summer
Who need this new sh*i !!

Anonymous said...

Look at the websight most the people who are for this dont even live near the people affected.

Quote "This website designed with the assistance of students at Newcomers High School, Long Island City, NY"

THEY NEED TO GO HOME, back to Nepal, Beantown, Ohio whatever

Anonymous said...

I think restoring rail service is a great idea.
It would bring economic development and more commuting options for those who live near the tracks.
That being said if the railway will not be restored, the greenway is a perfect idea.
I know that I would use it all the time when the weather is above 65 degrees and religiously during the summer.

Anonymous said...

Restoration would require an enormous amount of effort and community convincing. The Greenway would require a strong case on how the area would be protected and monitored , as the community would be worried about security along the path.
The best solution would be to clean up the majority of the line that cuts through woodhaven and HB, but enhance parts that already serve the community, like the Little leagues..
The city can allow the leagues to expand on their land for no cost and preserve the rest for either a community park or a small reserve. The tracks are an eye sore and getting worse by the day. Give back to the community and stop dreaming about trains and bikes.

pbrg said...

I think this is a fantastic idea. CEntral Queens is sitting on a jem of available parkland. To let this land sit unused collecting trash is insane. The racist and ignorant comments on here can and should be completely ignored.

I live in Rego Park and would use such a Greenway regularly for recreation and to go shopping on Mretroplitan Avenue, Trader joe's Home Depot and neighborhoods south. Children would have a safe way to reach the several schools adjacent to or nearby such a Greenway and thousands of New Yorkers would have a beautiful new way to commute to subway lines or as part of a ride all the way to Manhattan.

Studies show that urban Greenways increase proeprty values and have either no net effect on crime or result in decreased crime and vandalism as the proeprty is now open to regular observation. This is one project aht QueensCrap should really get behind.

Anonymous said...

As a teenager, I hang out around the Rockaway Branch (the Whitepot Junction) area quite often. In all of my years of prowling that stretch of woodland, building makeshift skate parks and trekking the vegetation, there's one thing I can unanimously conclude, the area has potential but potential that'll require a Herculean amount of work to actualize.

First of all, the Whitepot Junction is much, much wider than the rest of the line, it's practically a small forest. This would make for an minuscule park which could be connected to the adjacent Little League fields.

At the moment, White Pot Junction is a breeding ground for criminal activity. There's a sealed-in tunnel by the edge of the stretch (where it borders the highly-active Penn Station-bound line). That tunnel's the site of swarms of graffiti as well as a bit of drug activity.

There's a camp ground of homeless individuals at Whitepot and even beyond that, there's a squalid festering of discarded beer cans, fire remains and the occasional heroin syringe.

The area has also had a rape and an attempted murder.

All of this being said, one of the most disturbing aspects of Whitepot Junction is a cult which operates within the area. There are possum nests at Whitepot and this cult, whatever their beliefs may be, sacrifices them at night. I used to believe this as an urban legend until one night I encountered them myself. 6-10 shady individuals were all crowded in a patch at Whitepot around a fire engaged in some sort of ritual. It was a demented and terrifying experience.

All of this must be taken into account when working upon Whitepot which has become an almost impermeable coniferous forest overgrown with poison ivy and miscellaneous shrubs.

It'll be a massive project to clear this area out.

The rest of the line doesn't worry me as much. Where it passes through Forest Park, it could be connected to the park trails. The only serious work that's to be done is clearing out the overgrowth and completely rebuilding the corroding, deteriorating ruins that are the overpasses.

I'm sure the Little League and Forest Park administration won't be too amused by the boom of a renewed line. The active LIRR already plays out musical symphonies for my neighbors and me throughout the day and night.

In addition, laying down tracks, a 3rd rail, signal boxes, intercepting towers and so forth would make for a massive project that the city's unlikely to take up on in these times.

I apologize to the residents of Rockaway but I'm sure there's another solution to their transit problems (e.g. connecting the line over Jamaica Bay to the general NYC transit system making for a relatively cheap and efficient commuting solution.

I'm all for a Greenway. But Greenway, Railroad or what not, change is inevitable. The abandoned branch is an epicenter for crime and the detriment of the borough's infrastructure.