in 10 Easy Steps!
1. Please sign our petition and share it by all means possible. Karma points included ;)
* Interstate and International signatures welcome!
* Queens Residents & New Yorkers: please download & print the petition to collect signatures at local events: Petition for a Queensway
Why this is Important
A 3.5 mile stretch of the old Rockaway Beach Branch railroad right-of-way currently lies abandoned in Central and Southern Queens. Over the past 60 years, since rail service ended, it has become a dumping ground for garbage, abandoned cars and other debris, and is one of the largest tracts of unused land in an area populated by hundreds of thousands.
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.
The City and MTA have repeatedly indicated that they do not intend to reactivate this rail line anytime in the near future and in some places ball fields and parking lots have been built over the rails. This, combined with strong opposition from those who now live along the line, and the high cost of rebuilding an active rail line make it very unlikely that a railroad will ever be reactivated. Rather than leave this land to continue to degrade and fill with trash for another 60 years, action should be taken now to preserve this gem bringing greenspace to more Queens families, and improving recreation, the economy and the quality of life of those living along it.
2. Tell us how would you improve on these ideas. What are your dreams for Queens? Write 500 words or less and email it to us! Blog about it. Tweet your heart out (and RT us too!)
3. Please share the https://www.facebook.com/groups/queenshighline group on your facebook profile (cut and paste the link into your status) and invite your friends to join (see that little box on the top right of the group? Enter your friends names to add anyone you think would be interested).
4. Follow us on Twitter: Queens High Line and use hashtag #QueensHighline when tweeting (You will also see a number of tweets you can retweet) And also The Queens Line
5. Read, comment & subscribe to: http://www.queenshighline.blogspot.com
6. Become a fan of RBBG's page: https://www.facebook.com/RBBGreenway
7. Ask all of your friends, family, colleagues, significant others to forgo a monetary gift for any and all occasions and instead contribute a thoughtful comment, idea or vision to this very worthy project ;).
8. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
9. Contact your local media about our efforts. We want more people to know and care about this.
All in all, we're re-creating the community life that has been dwindling over the years with busy households who have hardly any time to enjoy a meal together. This is especially poignant right now where the new graduates, unemployed and underemployed (aka the 99%) are searching for something more substantial in their lives.
I certainly miss the days when children played hopscotch, basketball, hide-and-seek and other games with each other in the streets, when the ice cream truck could be heard blocks away, and we lined up for what seemed like forever with sweaty dollars and hungry bellies awaiting swirly cones with rainbow sprinkles.
Shall we, once again, embrace the beauty of the slow life, where we stop to savor the sweet moments, among the blur of this fast-paced city?
Thank you all for being part of this group, for sharing the vision, for using your voice for good and to create a cleanER, greenER, more sustainABLE Queens.
Let's make this happen!