The QueensWay Feasibility Study examines the conversion of a former Long Island Rail Road transportation corridor into public open space. Along its 3.5 mile length, the QueensWay transforms from elevated embankment to ravine to elevated viaduct. The adjacencies along the QueensWay also shift. Little League fields abut the site along the Northernmost end. The site crosses through big box stores, subway lines, commercial corridors and residential neighborhoods. Forest Park, parking lots, and school bus storage camouflage the site. Large roadways act as barriers, limiting access to Forest Park.
The potential of the QueensWay will be defined not only by the vibrant communities alongside it, but also by the QueensWay vision’s ability to work with and explore the former railway line’s physical structure. The history of land development in Queens is largely defined by the numerous rail lines that criss-crossed the open tracts of land in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Broadly speaking, the three main segments of the QueensWay - northern, central and southern – each have their own physical character which shapes the relationship to the surrounding communities in terms of vistas and enclosure, natural and urban experiences along the route. As a result, the issues related to safety, security and privacy of adjacent properties are directly tied to how the former railway line moves through the landscape.