April 16, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
The Department of Parks is planning a new Glendale entrance and walkway for Forest Park in a much scaled-down version of what was initially proposed.
The plans, which now just call for creating a new entrance on the Glendale side of the park and repurposing an existing road bed into a five foot wide pedestrian path, lack the previously planned fitness area, bike improvements, and picnic tables.
Representatives from the Parks Department presented the revised plans at the Queens Community Board 5 meeting on Wednesday night, stating that the $2.4 million allocated for the improvements—$1.9 million from the City Council and $500,00 from the Borough President—was not enough to cover the original plans.
The Department chose to focus on the new north-south connecting pathway, which would extend an unused dead end entrance off Forest Park Drive, near the ramp onto the Jackie Robinson Parkway, connecting it to the picnic, carousel and bandshell areas. The new concrete and asphalt pedestrian pathway would utilize lighting features to increase safety.
“The new scope focuses on providing an entrance, providing that connection that’s safe,” a Parks Dept. official said at the meeting.
Concrete barriers will be installed at the new entrance to prevent cars from driving onto the path.
Board members took issue with the limited scope of the new plan, stating that perhaps the city contractors are overcharging for the work that is being done.
Steven Fiedler, chair of the Community Board 5 Parks Committee, asked the department representatives whether it would be possible to wait until more funding becomes available to do the entire project at once, as originally planned. Parks representatives responded by stating that there is no way for them to know whether there will be additional funding available in the near future.
The Community Board will review the proposed design changes and present their findings during next month’s meeting, where a vote is likely to take place.
The project currently has no set construction timeline, according to a Parks Department spokesperson.