An entrance to one of the borough’s biggest parks is getting a multi-million dollar makeover that will bring bike and walking paths, exercise equipment and more to the public space.
Forest Park’s Glendale entrance, located on Myrtle Avenue and Union Turnpike, is currently an under-utilized and easy-to-miss concrete walkway under the Jackie Robinson Parkway overpass.
A NYC Parks Department project, funded by Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, seeks to change that.
Community Board 5’s Parks Committee Chairperson Steve Fiedler took board members through a presentation outlining the city’s vision for the space at a general meeting on Dec. 13.
Spanning about eight acres, the project includes plans for a ten-foot-wide shared cyclist and pedestrian pathway at the entrance.
After a certain point, the shared lane will diverge into separate walking and cycling paths. The walkway will be approximately 17 feet wide and the two-way bicycle lane will be 10 feet wide. The two lanes will be separated by a three-foot strip.
These paths will lead to the picnic area, which will also see improvements, near the Forest Park Bandshell.
New park grills, picnic tables and hot coal bins will be added to the picnic space. Mulch and ADA-compliant pavement will also be installed.
Bike racks, exercise equipment, trash bins, drinking fountains, benches and lighting will also be placed in spots throughout the project area.
CB5 Chairperson Vincent Arcuri said the board will approach the Parks Department about installing blue light emergency stations at the site to enhance safety. The board will also push the city to install lighting every 30 feet instead of 40.
Board members also expressed concerns about the initial shared bike and walking lanes at the entrance. Expanding the space to accommodate separate paths, Arcuri said, should be explored.
According to the NYC Parks website, the project is still in the planning stage, which is expected to be completed in April 2018. The construction timeline is yet to be established.
In August 2016, the Councilwoman and the NYC Parks Department held a visioning session to gather residents’ input on how to re-imagine the Glendale entrance.