A revived interest has developed over a 3.5 mile stretch of old Rockaway Beach Branch railroad that lies abandoned in Central and Southern Queens. Since rail service ended over 60 years ago, it has become a dumping ground for garbage, abandoned cars and other debris, and is one of the largest tracts of unused land in NYC.
Since 2005, community boards have been trying to transform this abandoned space into a public park and bikeway extending south from Rego Park to Ozone Park. Now with the new interest and success of NYC’s Highline the project has started a petition that every resident in Queens simply MUST sign. The revival plan includes a multi-use path that would provide a corridor through Rego Park, Forest Hills, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill and Ozone Park. Greenspace, sports facilities and community gardens could be created for family recreation and for use by the several schools along the route. Abandoned NYC has a good set of photos for you to see what the space looks like now.
Some people oppose the building of a greenway in favor of a larger transit system that would run into the Rockaways. The City and MTA have indicated that they do not intend to reactivate this rail line anytime in the near future as the cost of reactivating the line would be massive as there remains no usable infrastructure.
We have written before about how to get involved with making your neighborhood a nicer place to live so here is how to get involved with the greenway:
Friends of The QueensWay is organizing the effort to revive this track. Sign and Share the petition