I wrote a column for last week's Leader-Observer voicing concerns about the proposed QueensWay in which I voiced concerns over the cost and how it would impact the maintenance of the existing park land. I wrote:
"Take a brief walk between the Bandshell and Oak Ridge and you will find sidewalks that are crumbled and in many spots, completely gone; roadways and paths that are eroded and have long been in need of maintenance."
The existing GreenWay, that runs through Forest Park and intersects the land proposed for the QueensWay, is poorly lit and in many locations, a poorly maintained mess. We took a walk along one stretch today to take some pictures -- this sidewalk is right around the corner from Oak Ridge, not far from the Bandshell and the landmarked Forest Park Carousel. Signs identifying the road as the GreenWay can be seen throughout.
Here, a jogger navigates through rubble - right next to a crumbling set of stairs. Is this what we have to look forward to when the QueensWay is built, less than a 5-minute walk away?
The sidewalk is cracked and drops off on either side. The curb is crumbling and missing in spots.
There have been some half-hearted attempts at repairs here and there -- imagine walking or jogging past this section in the dark.
More "repairs" --
There were loose sections of the sidewalk laying all over the place. And where they were laying, there usually was a nice-sized hole nearby . . .
Such as this one below! An accident waiting to happen.
The pictures help tell the story - but video helps give you a better idea just how bad the conditions are here on the GreenWay.
The street itself hasn't been spared any neglect - we found this reflector laying on the road.
It's one long mess -- and we'd love to see an expensive feasibility study on how the existing park land could be maintained better before spending millions and millions to create more of the same. This GreenWay right here should serve as their "experiment in a bottle" -- fix up this GreenWay and keep it lit -- and then maybe we can look at expanding it.
The pictures and video above represent the reality that exists on the GreenWay in Queens today. It's a far cry from the fantastical renderings released a few weeks back --
Heck, if you're going to concoct a fantasy, why not go whole hog and make it really special!