Bike Tour to Roll Along Path of Proposed QueensWay

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska on February 19, 2014 9:00am 

 Advocates for the QueensWay want to turn a 3.5 mile stretch of abandoned railroad tracks into a High Line-style park.
Advocates for the QueensWay want to turn a 3.5 mile stretch of abandoned railroad tracks into a High Line-style park.
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Friends of The QueensWay/ Facebook

QUEENS — A group of cyclists will tour the route of an abandoned rail line that advocates hope to turn into Queens' version of the High Line, complete with bike lanes, the organizers said.

The ride, scheduled by the Friends of the QueensWay for March 15, will start in Rego Park and end at Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park.

“The purpose is to give people an opportunity to see the entire length of the QueensWay and to explore the neighborhoods on the other side of it,” said Peter Beadle of the Friends of the QueensWay and a member of Transportation Alternatives Queens Activist Committee.

During the tour, cyclists will ride either on streets parallel to the proposed 3.5-mile-long former Rockaway Beach Loong Island Rail Road line, which shuttered in 1962, as well as some surrounding blocks.

Participants of the tour, which will be about 7-miles-long, will hike in a few areas of the proposed QueensWay, including in Forest Park, which has access to a portion of the tracks, and will later stop for lunch along Jamaica Avenue, Beadle said.

“We want to give people a sense of what this could look like if we were able to create the park and the bikeway and we want them to get a feel how this line can connect with other locations and amenities in the neighborhoods,” he said.

The initial designs for the proposed park will be presented to the community during an upcoming series of workshops that will be held in March and early April, Beadle said.

During workshops, residents “will have the opportunity to give us feedback about how things should be revised to address the needs of the community,” Beadle said.

The workshops are part of a feasibility study which seeks to estimate the cost of construction, determine the levels of erosion and check the structural integrity of the elevated rail line.

Five Borough Bike Club, which is helping to organize the event, has set the tour's starting points at Union Square (North at Park Ave. at 9:30 a.m.) and at Queensboro Plaza (the ride will start when Manhattan cyclists arrive at about 10 a.m. to Dutch Kills Green).

The main ride will kick off from Rego Park at Shalimar Diner (Austin St. and 63 Dr.), about 11 a.m. and will end at Aqueduct Casino, allowing Manhattan riders to take the A train back. For more information and to RSVP, go here.

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