The Queens GreenWay is the road that goes through Forest Park -- many of us know it as Forest Park Drive -- but it runs from Park Lane South, through the park, past the golf course, past the bandshell, past the carousel -- across Woodhaven Boulevard, past Victory Field and all the way to Metropolitan Avenue. A lot of these problems are a result of not enough funding - this is what we've heard from people who work for the Parks Department. This is not a knock on the people who work at Forest Park - they are doing the best they can with the resources they are given. Our hope is, that with this post, a real discussion can begin on how to get the proper funding for this park.
Also, let us reiterate that we are big fans of parks -- and big fans in particular of this road, as we are of Forest Park. In recent years, however, this scenic route has been in the news -- sometimes, not for the best of reasons.
Giant Sinkhole - Then, a sinkhole that was first reported in 2011 was left to grow worse and worse and sat looking like this all summer. Mind you, this hole - which is big enough to swallow a station wagon - sits across from a major children's amusement attraction.
This hole began to attract attention --
Happily, we have seen a crew working on it - but it would never have gotten done were it not for the media attention it received.
And so, to recap -- we have problems along the Queens GreenWay for more than 20 years (according to the District Manager of Community Board 9); we have rotting sidewalks, missing sidewalks, missing railings; we can't keep the park lit even while women are forced to jog in the dark carrying flashlights during a rape spree; and we have to shame the city into fixing a giant dangerous hole next to a kiddie ride.
So, having lived with these conditions - and having heard the excuse that there isn't enough money to fix all these problems - forgive us for not being enthused by some of the ridiculous "renderings" of the proposed QueensWay, paid for with taxpayer money. Seriously - we paid for this??
Inspired by this piece of mediocrity, I set off to create a parody "rendering" - listen, sometimes you have to laugh, right? At the very least, the following didn't cost you - the taxpayer - a penny. The crappy rendering above cost you plenty.
I don't live near the proposed route - it's nearly 10 blocks away from me - so you can store your cries of NIMBYism. While I'm sympathetic to the complaints from the residents on 98th Street, I'm not entirely swayed by their arguments. I believe something will go in the ROW someday - whether it be a park or a railway.
This is really simple - before you add 3 plus miles of parkland to Forest Park, take better care of the park that exists already. Fix the roads, make sure the children are safe, make sure the lights are on each morning (they weren't last week).
We keep hearing how well maintained the QueensWay will be -- and we see it in their goofy renderings. But the residents in the communities around Forest Park don't need renderings, or plans, or dreams -- we ALREADY have a living blueprint for how the QueensWay will be maintained. And it isn't very pretty. So, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, here are some special "renderings" of the Queens GreenWay for your amusement. Enjoy! And if you enjoy them, sign up for The Friends of the Queens GreenWay page on Facebook!
The Queens GreenWay Renderings
Walking on the Queens GreenWay is fun and exciting - and you never know where your next step will bring you!
Below left is the "underendered" image of the eroded sidewalk across from the bandshell. Most of the sidewalks are busted up and poorly patched together. Below right you can see the infamous sinkhole, or as some people call it, the 2nd biggest hole in Woodhaven.
Here is our special rendering of the Queens GreenWay sinkhole -- why drag your kids all the way to the beach for swimming fun when you can dunk `em right here on the Queens GreenWay!
Running late for work? Well don't run on the Queens GreenWay, as this rendering shows! If that coffee's hot, it's gonna leave a mark. Ouch!
Below left you see the "unrendered" image of poorly patched together sidewalk and roads. What a mess! At the right, you'll see an unrendered image of one of the staircases leading to the Queens GreenWay. There are some steps that need some fixing - and handrails have been disappearing over the years and have not been replaced.
This poor chap wanted to walk on the Queens GreenWay, but as this rendering shows he's fallen and he can't get up!
Families have fun on the Queens GreenWay, as this rendering shows!
The unrendered image of this family scene is below left - that is the Queens GreenWay's idea of fixing a sidewalk. You starting to get the picture? Below right is one of the main roads leading to the Queens GreenWay - a path known locally as Baby Carriage Lane. This path is a mess throughout, but it is especially bad near the top. Over the summer, we saw people stumbling over this patch of road as they made their way to concerts at the bandshell.
But in this rendering, we turn lemons into lemonade! What you call danger, folks on the Queens GreenWay call adventure!
Tennis, anyone? While not sitting directly on the Queens GreenWay, the Tennis Court are just a stones throw away - and there are plenty of loose stones on the Queens GreenWay!
Half of the tennis courts were completely remodeled - but the other half look abandoned, the courts are cracked and grass and weeds have taken over. For Pete's sake - show a little pride and effort - take a freaking weed wacker to this and at least give the appearance of caring. But more importantly - if you're going to have tennis courts, take care of them. Actually, these courts are a great analogy -- money was spent on one half and look at what happened to the other -- just sayin'. At left, is an unrendered look at a typical sight on the Queens GreenWay. Sidewalk boosted up because of a tree root -- and badly patched with asphalt. There's not enough money to fix these kinds of issues.
But, you see, according to the QueensWay advocates, spending 122 million elsewhere is going to cause money to just start flowing on to the Queens GreenWay! No joking!! "Women in danger? Forget them! Let them run in the dark! A dangerous hole next to a kiddies ride? So what? Let them cross the street! Oh, I have to spend 122 Million over here?? Let me also take care of the Queens GreenWay while I'm at it!" Look, the QW advocates are good people - and they have to say that their project will cause money to be spent on the existing park - but they don't really believe that. But they have no choice, they can't say otherwise.
The untouched roads of the Queens GreenWay give archaeologists a unique opportunity to see how Queens natives lived many, many years ago. Here, in this brand new rendering, a team of archaeologists examine ancient writing, which they are having trouble making out. This writing is believed by some to be the work on an evil spirit called DOT, who had the power to screw up entire neighborhoods with little signs. You never know what you'll find on the Queens GreenWay!
Meanwhile, back in reality, the roads that go through Forest Park are not only poorly lit they need some love, as well. Reflectors are loose and laying all over the place, yellow lines are long gone and messages for motorists are unreadable. Below right is another example of the conditions of the roads of the Queens GreenWay - note that this is an active road.
But in this rendering, on the Queens GreenWay we turn those frowns into smiles with our Moon Walk Simulation!
On the QueensWay, so-called "blemishes" are just nature's way of teaching kids to wear helmets. Watch out!
Curses - I can't find my unrendered image of this tree root -- so I went back and took another (at left). And at right is another example of poorly patched sidewalk and erosion - plus a million cracks. And you know what that means . . .
Step on a crack, break your mother's back! So if you believe that, don't walk on the Queens GreenWay!
Some people's trash is other people's treasure - which makes the Queens GreenWay a living Treasure Chest! Some people don't like the bags of potential treasures (as this new rendering shows) - you NIMBYs! There's no crying on the Queens GreenWay!
There has been a lot of illegal dumping on the Queens GreenWay - as this unrendered image below left shows. That's not the fault of Parks -- these derelicts are hard to catch. However, leaving the trash out in the open for month is a problem. The Department of Sanitation would ticket you or I if we did this -- sometimes even in the middle of the night! -- but they have no problem leaving it out on the Queens GreenWay. At right we see a needle we saw on the Queens GreenWay - thankfully, it was only one, not hundreds of `em!
But as this rendering shows, even something as scary as a discarded needle is an opportunity for adventure!
And so, we wrap up this edition of renderings on the Queens GreenWay. Again, it did not cost a penny -- and it was infinitely more real than those other ridiculous renderings because they depict the real, current condition in Forest Park. This is just Part 1, next we'll take a wander over to the other side of the QueensWay and see what it looks like over there!
If you have any comments, or would like to suggest other projects, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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Photos by Joey Wendell