City moving forward with proposed Queens Greenway connecting parks for cyclists, pedestrians

QN_FMCP underpass
The city has completed a conceptual planning study that would connect Flushing Meadows Corona Park to other green spaces to the east in a route for cyclists and pedestrians. (Courtesy of NYC Parks)

Queens elected officials are enthusiastic about the city’s proposal to link park space across the central and northeast areas of the borough. NYC Parks and the Department of Transportation announced the completion of a conceptual planning study that identifies gaps in the existing greenway routes and ways to improve and transform key green spaces into both a destination and a thoroughfare to increase access.

“From Flushing Meadows to Alley Pond and beyond, parks are critical cornerstones of our communities, connecting Queens families to nature and to one another,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “With the Destination: Greenways! plan we can better connect our northern and eastern Queens neighborhoods, improving the well-being and quality of life of thousands of residents in the process.”

The proposal would create a route for cyclists and pedestrians from Flushing Meadows Corona Park through Kissena Park, Cunningham Park, Alley Pond Park and Joe Michaels Mile in Bayside.

“This initiative will create a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists to travel and visit the landmark parks with friends and family, especially as we get closer to the warmer months,” Councilwoman Vickie Paladino said. “Flushing Meadows Corona Park was home to two World’s Fairs and remains a refuge for families to spend time away from the bustling city streets. Especially along waterfronts, these greenways will promote greater accessibility for the community.”

State Senator John Liu, an avid cyclist who last June rode his bike more than 160 miles from Bayside to Albany, supports the city’s proposal.

“Queens parks are places of refuge and recreation for our neighborhoods, but they’re fragmented and cut off from each other,” Liu said. “Connecting parks and open spaces throughout Queens via greenway has been a longtime dream of our community, and today we are one step closer to making that dream a reality.”

Community input was essential to the conceptual planning process. At public meetings held in fall 2020, residents expressed their desire for improved safety and maintenance while increasing connectivity between parks.

“The Destination: Greenways! has served as an inclusive tool to solicit feedback from the community and I’m glad the NYC Parks and NYC DOT have returned to provide us with updates from studies previously conducted to propose meaningful improvements,” Assemblywoman Nily Rozic said. “Safety and accessibility improvements to the greenway throughout Queens are long overdue and I look forward to learning more about the next step in the planning process with neighbors and advocates alike.”

NYC Parks will host a Queens virtual meeting Tuesday, Feb. 8, via Zoom beginning at 6:30 p.m.

“More than ever we need to look at ways to effectively transform and improve our green spaces such as Flushing Meadows Corona Park as we create a more resilient city for all,” Councilman Francisco Moya said. “Destination: Greenways! has been an example of creating a process that not only provides a roadmap but that also integrates community input, I look forward to the continued work on this.”

If funded, the implementation of this project will improve approximately 20 miles of quality open space. In Queens, the plan integrates greenway routes into neighborhoods that have been historically disconnected from each other.

“Greenways are an important way to provide vital park space for the community to enjoy, while also creating thoroughfares for pedestrians and bike commuters,” said Councilman Shekar Krishnan, who also serves as chair of the Committee on Parks and Recreation. “I’m excited that the Department of Transportation and NYC Parks are making progress toward expanding greenways in historically underserved areas of Queens.”