A Queens resident is making his case for a public park in a gray section of Astoria. The area in question is a "forest-covered urban mountain" that falls between 45th Street and the Rikers Island Bridge access road at Nineteenth Avenue, an area generally surrounded by drab concrete and manufacturing sites. Via LTV Squad, Queens resident Joseph Anastasio proposes that the tree-covered mountain with mysterious originsmost likely an 86-foot-high, 17-acre pile of trash or construction debris from the Lincoln Tunnelbe turned into public parkland. The switch would be a seamless and relatively cheap transition, as the land is already owned by the city.
The property is currently leased to Port Authority, who's considering it for use as a site for construction staging of runway extensions that will soon take place at nearby LaGuardia airport. Anastasio laments that the staging will probably see the lobbing-off of at least 20-30 feet of the top of the mountain and the decimation of more than a few of its trees.
Beyond the industrial manufacturing character of the surrounding blocks, the proposal logistically checks out: the trees are there, the land is already city-owned, and Port Authority can find another place for their staging areamaybe, Anastasio suggests, "barges moored at or near the worksite." This fortuitous opportunity would afford a little slice of public park with views of Bowery Bay and Rikers Island in an area rife with heavy manufacturing. Have strong feelings towards this proposal? Let us know what you think in the comments.
· Astoria Mountain Park: An idea whose time has come [LTV Squad]
· Queens Man Envisions Mountain Park in Astoria [Gothamist]