What’s new — June 2016

We’re still alive! Here’s what you can expect for this month and in the foreseeable future during the summer.

Short-term plan of action

It has been decided that the first area of the greenway that we will tackle is on Conduit Boulevard between Liberty Avenue and 80th Street. More on this soon.

Bike ride to East New York!

East New York area

Join us as we explore Continue reading “What’s new — June 2016”

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SQGW April Meeting 4/16/16

Dear Friends of the Southern Queens Greenway initiative,

Our April meeting will be on Saturday, April 16th at noon. In honor of Earth Day (April 22nd) our meeting will be outdoors in beautiful Rufus King Park weather permitting. Check here for any updates for location.

Tentative Agenda:

  1. Introductions
  2. Read March minutes
  3. Communication
  4. Greenway Map project
  5. Strategic planning
  6. Southern Queens Greenway events
  7. Celebrate Earth Day

Event Date and Time:

Saturday April 16th @12pm

Location

Rufus King on Google Maps

150-29 Jamaica Ave, Queens, NY 11435

Southern Queens Greenway Meeting — March 5th

Dear Friends of the Southern Queens Greenway initiative,

 

I hope you all enjoyed your holidays.

 

You are cordially invited to participate in our first lunch/meeting on Saturday, March 5th at noon. I want to invite you and friends to a strategic meeting to discuss how to proceed with the greenway initiative. In 2015 I met with community groups, city agencies and public officials but I need your help to make the greenway grow. The venue is O Lavrador Restaurant and Bar in Jamaica, Queens. I have included the menu and prices in the link below. At the meeting we will discuss future plans and ways to get active as we move further into 2016 and beyond. Please brainstorm ideas in advance. If you plan on attending please send a message to the Contact page by February 20th so I can make necessary reservations.

Tentative Agenda

  1. Introduction of attendees : Know your audience
  2. Summary of progress since November 2014
  3. Assignment of roles and responsibilities
  4. Future events {brainstorming} to drive interest in the community
  5. Next Meeting and Future Communication

Event Date and Time

Saturday March 5th @12pm

Tentative meeting location:

O Lavrador Restaurant and Bar

138-40 101st Ave

Jamaica, NY 11435

Website for price information

http://www.olavradorrestaurant.com/menu.html

Walk the Conduit

 

 

Walk the Conduit Gallery 8/15/15

 

Trip to the Conduit 6/18/15

Yesterday I had time after work to go for a tour of the Conduit. I documented my experience with a particular interest in the conditions of pedestrian facilities and the overall feel. I made it as far south as the pedestrian footbridge and then ended by the Norwood Ave J train stop by Highland Park. The photos end by City Line Park. Here I provide a narrative for the photo tour. Overall I took over 200 pictures but for several reasons (ie. memory restrictions and redundancy) I cut the total down to 35 pictures.

Google Maps image of Conduit walking tour
Google Maps image of Conduit walking tour

Today the arterial roadway sits directly atop the historic aqueduct that once connected Highland Park’s Reservoir to parts of Eastern Queens and Nassau. The structure provided drinking water for NYC’s early population. The right of way for route 27 was placed on top of the former aqueduct. If you’d like to learn more about the site’s history check out the NYC Parks website.

I started my walk south from the Grant Ave A train and traveled along the southern edge of the median. Further along I crossed under the bridge for Linden Blvd. Not surprisingly there wasn’t much to see aside from: faded pedestrian crossings, poor, crumbling roads, suicidal cyclists and lots of garbage. The historic Federation of Black Cowboys site is still standing. Signs near Tudor Park across the road indicate that horses once crossed over.

Southbound Southbound Southbound Southbound Southbound Southbound Southbound Southbound Southbound Southbound Southbound

Next I crossed over the Pedestrian Overpass. The foot bridge is not an inviting landmark; there were fragments of broken glass scattered along the entrance ramp, a fence covered one segment entirely and there was graffiti everywhere. Presently the bridge is the safest option for crossing the Conduit. Plenty of people opted to run over the six lanes and the grassy median. My guess is that the bridge isn’t practical if your trip is too far North or South.

Pedestrian Overpass Pedestrian Overpass Pedestrian Overpass Pedestrian Overpass Pedestrian Overpass Pedestrian Overpass

Now I head North.

On my way to Cypress Hills I found an ice cream man pushing his handcart on the crumbling sidewalk. It was odd to see him roll the cart with his bike horn when hardly anyone could be seen. Moving along I passed Pals Oval, Indian Field, and Tudor Park. I was surprised to see these ballfields and park spaces were being used with the loud and choked air of passing cars and trucks. Unfortunately for the neighboring community, many facilities, especially Tudor Park, were too close to the Conduit. Tudor Park’s topography is lower than the road. Wouldn’t be surprised if many children developed asthma and other respiratory complications by playing near the trough along Tudor park.

The Ice Cream Man Northbound Northbound Northbound Northbound

Before reaching City Line, the community on the Brooklyn-Queens border, I passed through a miniature forest. The transition is characterized from open field space to trees and abundant wildflowers. Finding a shady spot was an easy task. As expected the little oasis, offering shade and respite from the urban setting, soon ended; I was quickly deposited onto the fringe of the road. Up ahead Conduit Blvd squeezes as it nears Atlantic Avenue. One notable theme for the trip: pedestrian infrastructure in and around the conduit is a joke. In order to reach City Line park you need to cross the southbound Conduit Blvd then cross Liberty Ave. Otherwise start running!

Northbound Northbound Northbound Northbound Northbound Northbound Northbound Northbound Northbound Northbound Northbound Northbound

I want to use this experience to start a conversation with neighbors, community leaders and the city agencies about the future of this road. I undertook this trip in response to the Department of City Planning which asked for a survey of the site. The Conduit succeeds in dividing not only automobile traffic but also the community. Please comment with some changes you would like to see added to the space and, of course, be sure to sign our petition and contact us if would like to get involved.

Update: Springfield Park section of SQGW is complete

IMG_20150423_080837[1]Great news! On April 22nd, Earth Day 2015, Friends of Idlewild (@IdlewildPreserv) tweeted a photo of the Springfield Park section of the Greenway. It runs along Springfield Blvd from 147th Ave to South Conduit Ave. A small yet important step towards connecting Southeast Queens to the NYC Greenway network. NOTE: The update will not appear on the NYC Bike Map 2015 but the markings are there. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony in June. More details to come. Please refer to the Google Map below.

Springfield Blvd Greenway

Southern Queens Greenway is growing and needs your help

Southern Queens Greenway has been making news and needs your help. After being featured in the Nassau HeraldRockaway TimesQueens Press and DNAinfo it is clear Southern Queens Greenway needs your help. We need volunteers who can offer their time as well as diverse skill set. Included below are some suggested skills that would help.

Core areas:

  • Outreach & Petitioning (online and in person)
  • Mapping and GIS
  • Web design
  • Event Planning

Note this list is not exhaustive. There are plenty more ways the Southern Queens Greenway can use your help!

Volunteers should have an interest in one or more of the following:

  • The Community and Civic Engagement
  • Sustainable Recreation
  • New York City/Long Island Parks and Trails
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Safe Routes for School
  • Active Transportation Commuting
  • Public Speaking

If you are interested in making South and East Queens a safer place to walk, run and bike, kindly email us at [info][@][southqueensgreenway][.][com] or use Contact and fill out the form provided. Looking forward to working with you!

Southern Queens Greenway on Social Media

Good news! You can now follow the Southern Queens Greenway from popular social media services. Please “Like” Southern Queens Greenway on Facebook, “Follow” @SQueensGreenway on Twitter and of course spread the word with family and friends who may want to learn more about this exciting new campaign in Queens. Potential candidates include but are not limited to walkers, runners, bikers, environmentalists and Queens residents.

 

Petition is online. Sign! Sign! Sign!

Sign the petition

We are live! The petition is now on Change.org. You can use your facebook account and share with anyone who’d be interested right from the site. Potential sharing candidates are those who enjoy walking, running, biking or anyone who believes that NYers should have safe access to their parks. We are now drafting a strategy to get additional signatures offline. Thanks for your support!

Making route distinctions

It has come to our attention that there is some confusion when recognizing the Southern Queens Greenway amid other recognized trails. The media has covered some of these pedestrian and bike friendly trails so it is important to understand the differences. We’ve been asked if this project has anything to do with the Gateway National Recreation Area. Though the Jamaica Bay trail is both beautiful and extensive it is not the same project. Please see the Google Earth satellite image below. It shows a zoomed in section of the routes from Southern Queens Greenway and Jamaica Bay. The thick black line indicates where the Cross Bay Boulevard bridges the Belt Parkway.

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT QUEENSWAY. Southern Queens Greenway does not interfere with any rail right-of-way. Please refer to the original plan listed under Resources for an in-depth route description.

Through the collaboration of NYC organizations, residents, elected officials and city/state agencies it is our hope that the Jamaica Bay trail and the Southern Queens trail will meet creating a more extensive and comprehensive NYC Greenway.

Jamaica Bay and Southern Greenway