Pol looks to satisfy all sides in QueensWay park debate

Plan suggests linking up A train, LIRR and leaving track south of Myrtle Avenue untouched

Aug.August 08, 2014 06:15 PM

A new proposal from State Assemblyman Michael Miller looks to please advocates of a High Line-esque park, commuters and homeowners in the neighborhoods of Forest Hills, Kew Gardens and Ozone Park.

Miller’s plan calls for using a one-block stretch of the spur, or secondary track, at the end of the A train in Ozone Park to link subway riders with the Atlantic Avenue Long Island Rail Road line. The remaining 3.5-mile spur, which runs from Rego Park to Howard Beach, would remain untouched south of Myrtle Avenue. The stretch north of Myrtle, meanwhile, would be transformed into a park along the lines of the High Line in Chelsea.

“There’s something that should be appealing to everyone involved,” Miller told the TimesLedger. “South of Myrtle Avenue, they want to see nothing … Forest Hills and Kew Gardens, those are people that really want a parkway.”

Still, the plan drew fire from nearly all corners of the debate. The Friends of the QueensWay argued that cost will keep the rail bed from moving trains, while the Queens Public Transit Committee said the compromise offered only a starting point.

Eventually, the committee said, it wants to see additional phases connect southern and northern Queens either by rail or subway. Transit bloggers, meanwhile, pegged Miller’s proposal as a “not in my backyard” strategy that moves the QueensWay beyond the boundaries of his district and picks up only a few blocks of his territory for a rail line that “solves no one’s mobility concerns.” [TimesLedger]Julie Strickland

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