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Abandoned South Bronx Rail Tracks Could Become A Park

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Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. wants to get in on the rails-to-trails action. The Daily News reports that he asked Mayor de Blasio to turn a stretch of abandoned rail tracks in Mott Haven into a Lowline/High Line-style park. The sunken, but not subterranean, tracks have become a drug-ridden homeless encampment that Diaz would like developed into a public amenity. A particularly bad site near St. Ann's Ave. at East 150th Street was recently cleaned up, but Diaz wants more than "a temporary cleanup." "The development of a permanent use would be a model for the future reuse of the many miles of essentially abandoned railway that is spread across the five boroughs."

Railroad company CSX owns the tracks, which run for 30 blocks between Mott Haven and Melrose, and to turn the trench into a public green space, the city would have to purchase or seize the land. At street level, Diaz would like to see housing, and notes that a few developments, like Via Verde and Melrose Commons, have already risen alongside the tracks.

Obviously, a Bronx Lowline—Bronxline? Bronxway? SoBroLine?—is far from reality, but it seems like we can get excited for a rails-to-trails race between Queens and the Bronx. If Staten Island and Brooklyn can come up with some decrepit rail tracks ripe for greening, every borough could have its own High Line (and its own High Line tourists).
· EXCLUSIVE: Bronx Official Asks Bill de Blasio to Turn Drug Den into New 'Lowline' Park [NYDN]
· Exploring The Bronx Waterfront As Redevelopment Looms [Curbed]
· Could a High Line-Style Park Be Coming to Long Island City? [Curbed]
· All Lowline coverage [Curbed]
· All Queensway coverage [Curbed]