Queens communities renew efforts for High Line of their own

December 02, 2011 09:17AM

The Rockaway Beach Branch LIRR tracks and the High Line

Queens residents have renewed efforts to Turn Old Rockaway Beach Branch Long Island Rail Road tracks into an outer borough version of the High Line, the New York Daily News reported.

The tracks, which run above street level for 3.5 miles from Rego Park to Ozone Park, have been out of service for nearly 50 years, and have already become overrun with trees and vegetation.

“It’s green, yet it has economic development opportunities,” said Andrea Crawford, chairwoman of Community Board 9, who met with city officials to discuss preliminary plans for the transformation. “It would tie us in with other rail-to-trail projects happening all over the country.”

Similar proposals surfaced in 2007, and had the support of several communities, but were ultimately rejected by Forest Hills residents who feared they would negatively impact private properties. However, the Forest Hills community board, CB 6, said it would be willing to consider a new proposal. [NYDN]