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Proposal To Build Park Along Train Tracks In Queens Moves Forward

3 1/2-Mile Park Would Run From Rego Park To Ozone Park
Part of the elevated track that would be part of the QueensWay in Forest Hills. (credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

Part of the elevated track that would be part of the QueensWay in Forest Hills. (credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There’s an effort under way to transform a stretch of abandoned train tracks in Queens into a park.

The project has drawn comparisons to the High Line, the elevated park built along old train tracks that runs through part of Chelsea.

As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, the site of what some would like to turn into QueensWay is hard to see as you drive along Yellowstone Boulevard in Forest Hills.

The tracks and rusty old overpass are overgrown with trees and leafy bushes.

The QueensWay would run three-and-a-half miles on an embankment from Rego Park, down in a ravine through Forest Park then on into Ozone Park. It would be longer than the High Line.

The tracks – which were part of the LIRR Rockaway Beach branch – haven’t carried a train in about 50 years, Silverman reported. About a third of the tracks are elevated.

In a speech to the Municipal Arts Society last year, Marc Matsil with the Trust for Public Land said the park would capture the culture of one of the most diverse places on earth.

“What Urban Greenway Project in America offers the culinary talents and arts of so many ethnic neighborhoods at food stands and food courts,” Matsil said. “QueensWay will incorporate public art, cultural programming and culinary venues.”

The plan for the QueensWay includes a bike path, something the High Line does not have.

“There’ll be an ability, first of all, to bike for three-and-a-half-plus miles and to connect the neighborhoods to Forest Park and to each other. And that’s basically the goal,” Matsil told 1010 WINS on Tuesday.

The trust has raised $1 million. Later Tuesday, it’ll announce it has picked two companies to study whether the QueensWay is practical and how much it might cost.

The feasibility study will begin next week.

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