There's been talk of Queens getting its own High Line-style elevated park for years, and detailed plans for the Queensway, a 3.5-mile stretch of disused railway connecting Rego Park and Ozone Park, were released last year. But that project may soon have some competition: The New York Post reports that the MTA is seeking to revamp a section of disused railroad tracks in Long Island City, and has asking for community input on a park that could look somewhat similar to the High Line.
An MTA spokesman confirmed that the agency has released a Request For Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for the area as it explores all the options of what to do with this parcel of land. When this short stretch of railway, which the MTA calls the Montauk Cutoff, was in use, it "connect[ed] the LIRR's Lower Montauk Branch, which runs along the Newtown Creek, to the Sunnyside and Arch Street Yards to the north," according to the RFEI. But since the Cutoff isn't being used by the MTA anymore, they want to find a way to reuse it:
Specifically, the MTA is seeking expressions of interest from businesses, nonprofits, community groups, and individuals with innovative adaptive reuse concepts, and detailed implementation and operating plans for those concepts. These concepts can include, but are not limited to, public open space, urban farming, or museum or sculpture garden space. But there are some conditions for groups who want to submit plans; namely, they must be able to provide access points for any plans that include public space; they must plan to bring utilities, like electricity and water, to the site; and they must plan for site maintenance. It's obviously too early to tell what may come of this RFEI, but there's no arguing that a park could be a boon for the area. Mitch Waxman, a neighborhood activist who leads tours of the nearby Newtown Creek, told the Post, "This could be a magnificent bit of green infrastructure."
· Queens might soon have its own High Line-style park [NYP]
· A Detailed Blueprint for Queens' $122M 'High Line,' Revealed! [Curbed]