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Mayor Adams Announces $35 Million Investment in Phase One of New Linear Park in Queens

September 16, 2022

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Met Hub Section Represents First Phase of QueensWay, a Comprehensive Plan to Reimagine Abandoned Railroad Corridor and Vacant Land as 47-Acre Linear Park

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced a $35 million investment for design and construction of the Metropolitan Hub (Met Hub) in Queens — phase one of a new multi-phase greenway and park project called QueensWay. This phase of the project will transform a vacant, city-owned corridor in Forest Hills into a five-acre park with 0.7 miles of greenway, providing residents with new open space, improved access to recreational amenities, outdoor education opportunities for students, and a safe transportation corridor connecting people to schools, businesses, and 10 bus lines. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) will manage the construction of the Met Hub in collaboration with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks). The funding includes $2.5 million from the New York City Council.

“New York is a five-borough city, and every borough deserves high-quality park space. That’s exactly what we are delivering with this $35 million investment in one of our vital neighborhoods in Queens,” said Mayor Adams. “QueensWay phase one will convert abandoned railroad tracks that have been used as a dumping ground into a linear park that will make this community safer, healthier, greener, and more prosperous. The community has been asking for this for decades, and I am proud to stand with them to show how we ‘Get Stuff Done’ for New Yorkers.”

Conceptual renderings of the QueensWay Metropolitan Hub. Credit: Trust for Public Land and Friends of the QueensWay

Conceptual renderings of the QueensWay Metropolitan Hub. Credit: Trust for Public Land and Friends of the QueensWay

“The QueensWay, which will open new parkland and add greenway miles, demonstrates our commitment to expanding access to healthy open spaces and safe options for mobility,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “We’re incredibly proud to be supporting this community-led proposal and want to thank those residents, students, commuters, and recreationists who rallied for this project for years.”

“Now more than ever, New Yorkers are calling for open and green spaces, and this first phase of the QueensWay will deliver a beautiful new one for local Queens residents and visitors alike. Once complete, I am confident that it will be a tremendous neighborhood asset and catalyze local economic development for years to come,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “My gratitude to all the partners who nurtured this project’s vision for years together with the community.”

“One of our main goals at Parks is to expand our thriving parks system, and, thanks to this new $35 million investment from Mayor Adams for phase one of the multi-phase QueensWay project, countless New Yorkers will have access to a brand-new green space and greenway in their neighborhood,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “This investment in the Met Hub and the future QueensWay strikes to the core of several of this administration’s top parks priorities, including safer transportation in and around our parks, more parkland and green space, and connecting more New Yorkers to a park within walking distance of where they live, and we’re so excited to work on this project with all of our sister agencies in the future.”

“NYCEDC is committed to improving the city’s greenway efforts, and this exciting new project in Queens will provide residents with much-needed open space that also serves as a safe path to walk or bike,” said NYCEDC President and CEO Andrew Kimball. “We thank Mayor Adams, Trust for Public Land, Friends of the QueensWay, Assemblymember Hevesi, and all the elected officials and organizations who have shown their support to transform this unused land into a greenway that will connect New Yorkers to schools, businesses, and mass transit.”

Once complete, the QueensWay will include a 47-acre park and seven miles of greenway from a converted unused railroad line. The project will cover the Queens neighborhoods of Rego Park, Forest Hills, Glendale, Forest Park, Woodhaven, and Ozone Park. The proposal was conceived by the Trust for Public Land and Friends of the QueensWay. The project concept is the result of an extensive community outreach that included public and stakeholder workshops, information tables at local community events and festivals, and more than 20 public tours.

“Queens has a demonstrated need for more extensive and accessible open space, and the QueensWay is uniquely poised to fulfill those needs,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “The QueensWay will promote recreational and cultural opportunities while also connecting communities and facilitating alternatives to the car. Queens communities experience many glaring inequities in parks access and transportation opportunities, and the QueensWay is the perfect way to address both of those issues.”

“Green spaces serve so many important functions in our communities; they serve as places for relaxation, exercise, and meditation and as sites for gathering, commemoration, and observance. That is why I welcome this major Metropolitan Hub investment in giving our communities’ residents even more access to necessary green space,” said New York State Senator Leroy Comrie. “Thanks to Mayor Adams, his team, and all the community advocates, especially the Trust for Public Land and Friends of the QueensWay, for partnering to help make today’s momentous announcement possible.”

“As someone whose district will contain a majority of the QueensWay, I thank Mayor Adams profusely for kickstarting its construction after seven decades of inaction,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “We all saw how the High Line overnight became one of the hottest destinations in the entire city, for New Yorkers and tourists alike, who flock to all the surrounding businesses. Now Woodhaven, Ozone Park, Glendale, Richmond Hill, Little Guyana, Rego Park, and Forest Hills will have their own linear park that will produce the same economic renaissance. My constituents are already blessed with the idyllic Forest Park, and the added greenspace of the QueensWay is icing on the cake. This project is also expected to generate $2.2 million for our community just from people visiting local businesses.”

“We are facing a once-in-a-civilization public health challenge to save our planet from destruction within, and today’s investment by Mayor Adams, in a linear park in Forest Hills, Queens, is a big step in meeting this challenge,” said New York City Councilmember Lynn Schulman, chair, Committee on Health. “For many of the 2.3 million people who live in Queens, access to public parks and open space is limited, and in many cases, it is hard and dangerous to access by foot and bike. The QueensWay will provide much-needed green space while acting as a main artery of the borough, connecting six distinct neighborhoods and providing safe and easy alternative transportation to 12 schools, seven subway lines, and one commuter line. In addition, its design will reflect the cultural diversity of the borough, which is made unique by a large and diverse immigrant population.”

“We thank Mayor Eric Adams, Speaker Adrienne Adams, Councilmember Lynn Schulman, and the City Council for investing in the community’s vision to build the QueensWay and make productive use of city land that has been vacant for decades,” said Carter Strickland, vice president, mid-Atlantic region; and New York State director, Trust for Public Land (TPL). “The QueensWay will not only increase parks space and safe, active transportation options in the places that need it most and for over 300,000 people who live within a mile, but also make our whole city more equitable, resilient, and livable for millions of other residents and visitors. Trust for Public Land has worked with Friends of QueensWay, elected officials, foundations, volunteers, and other community partners over many, many years to develop the plan for the QueensWay and initial design for the Met Hub section. By finalizing the Met Hub design so that it is shovel-ready, the city will be ready to break ground to create a community benefit in just a few years, and TPL could not be more excited.”

“This is a historic and remarkable moment for those living, working, and visiting central Queens. Today, after decades of grassroots advocacy, the work begins to transform these seven miles and 47 acres of greenway into space our communities can enjoy,” said Travis Terry, president, Friends of the QueensWay. “When the QueensWay is completed, community organizations and schools will be enhanced; neighborhoods will be re-connected; social and cultural programs will emerge; local businesses will get a much-needed boost; environmental conditions will improve air quality and reduce flooding; and children, seniors, and residents will finally have a safe and beautiful place to bike, jog, or take a stroll. The Friends of the QueensWay is extraordinary grateful to Mayor Eric Adams, Councilmember Lynn Schulman, and all the dedicated elected officials, civic leaders, and volunteers who helped make this investment towards central Queens and parks equity possible.”

“On behalf of the oldest and largest business association in Queens, I am delighted to stand here with Mayor Adams to celebrate the funding of phase one of the QueensWay,” said Tom Grech, president and CEO, Queens Chamber of Commerce. “This transformative project will create much-needed green space in the heart of our borough, making Queens an even greater place to live, work, raise a family, and start a business. We thank Mayor Adams for funding this important project, which will benefit the local business community and residents alike.”

“Since the release of RPA's Fourth Regional Plan in 2017, we have advocated for the reuse of the Long Island Rail Road’s Rockaway Beach Branch as QueensWay, in order to bring much-needed park space and pedestrian and cycling connectivity to many Queens neighborhoods,” said Kate Slevin, executive vice president, Regional Plan Association (RPA). “QueensWay is the right choice for this line and a smart investment of city dollars — it will attract local economic development while serving visitors and residents alike. Congratulations to the many local and citywide groups who have worked for years to advance this worthy project and to Mayor Eric Adams for his commitment.”

“At a time when parks and open spaces have become more important than ever to the city’s long-term economic prosperity, the QueensWay will help strengthen the borough, boost the quality of life in multiple neighborhoods, and increase the city’s competitiveness,” said Jonathan Bowles, executive director, Center for an Urban Future. “This is a crucial investment in the city's economic future.”

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