Though some have issues with the way it has changed the neighborhood around it, you'd have a hard time arguing that the High Line has been anything but a wild success story. So naturally there are now a bunch of similar park reclamations being proposed around the city. One that seems like it might go somewhere though is on the abandoned LIRR Rockaway Beach Branch, where a proposed park has recently been dubbed The QueensWay. They even have a Twitter account!

How's it going? The Trust for Public Land has agreed to help seek private funding for the project, which aims to turn the 3.5 mile stretch of tracks (abandoned for 60 years) into a public park with pedestrian and bike paths. Here's how the online petition to the City Council (1,100 signatures and climbing!) describes the project:

An incredible opportunity exists to transform this abandoned, unsightly and in many places hazardous space into a beautiful 3.5 mile public park extending south from Rego Park to Ozone Park. A multi-use path would provide a recreational and commuter corridor through Rego Park, Forest Hills, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill and Ozone Park. It would link these communities with Forest Park and the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway and to nearby bike lanes leading to the recreational spaces of Rockaway Beach and Jamaica Bay, including the Shore Parkway path, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and Gateway National Recreation Area. It would also connect at least five subway lines and numerous commercial districts, shops and schools. Greenspace, sports facilities and community gardens could be created for family recreation and for use by the several schools along the route. A safe bicycle route parallel to Woodhaven and Crossbay Blvd.'s would exist so that people could ride to school, go shopping, visit friends, reach public transportation or simply enjoy a sunny day.


Considering just how long these tracks have been left fallow (and just how unlikely it is that any rail service is going ever return to them) it is hard to come up with a good reason not to turn it into a park. Next up in making the dream a reality? Getting private donations to fund a $500,000 feasibility to make sure that the structure could actually take on so many visitors.

Of course, a park on former tracks in Queens probably wouldn't attract the same kind of tourist attention and insane architecture around it as the High Line, but it would help Mayor Bloomberg keep his PlaNYC promises to make a greener city. For more pictures of what the line is like now, you'll want to head here or here or here.