Cap the Van Wyck with parkland deck

In lieu of the present Kew Gardens interchange project on the Van Wyck Expressway in Briarwood and the present and future negative environmental impact of this widening construction, such as air and noise pollution, I propose that a landscape architecture design firm be consulted on the feasibility of a capping project for a parkland deck over the expressway from Hillside to Hoover avenues within the borders of Briarwood.

Presently, Briarwood has lost hundreds of trees as a result of this $148 million boondoggle and shall witness increased air pollution with any increases in vehicular traffic through this intersection, with concomitant increases in asthma and cardiovascular disease rates. Even a minimal capping project would lead to a projected increase in parkspace and tree coverage in Briarwood.

I propose that an application be filed for a $20 million U.S. Department of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant to presently fund this project concurrent with the Kew Gardens interchange project. The technology is available for a capping project which would use ventilation to recycle carbon emissions and disperse them from Briarwood, a dense population community with Archbishop Molloy High School and the Queensborough public library at the Main Street juncture with Queens Boulevard and Van Wyck Expressway.

Briarwood must cease to be a doormat for Robert Moses’ inspired urban renewal for expressway expansions at the expense of public rail transportation and the viability of the local ecosystem. Now is the time to insure that Briarwood has a Van Wyck parkland deck in lieu of a trail of toxic smog which we are breathing.

Joseph Manago


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