Thank you to everyone who joined us at the Sunnyside Yard Open Space Workshop. See below for a summary of findings!
Date: April 9th, 2019 | 6-8pm
Location: PS199Q | Sunnyside, Queens
Attendance: Nearly 20
This workshop focused on the open space at Sunnyside Yard. An opening presentation was led by Lanie McKinnon of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects and Androniki Lagos of Urbane Development. In addition to reviewing community engagement to date and the opportunities and challenges presented by a potential Sunnyside Yard development, the presentation discussed various types of open space are possible, the scale of parks and green space around the city, and how that relates to the kind of activities and facilities that can take place there. See here for the full presentation.
After the presentation, attendees broke into small groups. Facilitators helped to conduct a mapping activity where participants indicated where they would like to see parks located on the Yard. Each group discussed desired characteristics for the parks, and the kinds of programs, facilities, and amenities they would like them to offer. A representative from each group shared a summary of the activity and discussion.
Key Findings from activities and small group discussions:
Most teams would like to see a central greenway, either in the form of a linear park that connects the east and west perimeters of the Yard, or as a loop of greenspace in the center of the Yard.
Most teams would like to see a connected park or greenway surrounding the Yard that is easily accessible to surrounding communities and helps to seamlessly overcome the elevation of the site. This should include bike lanes and walking/runs trails, preferably separated for safety purposes.
There is interest in a large destination park in Long Island City to combat the lack of open space and pollution in the Western most part of the Yard.
Neighborhood parks should be located near the perimeter of the Yard to increase access to open space for residents of surrounding communities. These can be smaller in size but closer together to create a knitted effect of green space.
Parks should be safe and walkable. For some participants, this means smaller parks that have better sightlines; for others it means better lighting and clearly marked paths.
There is a desire to make Sunnyside Yard a car-free zone. At the very least, it should be pedestrian friendly. This could mean limiting car access to service vehicles only, particularly during peak commute times.
Parks inside the Yard must be truly accessible. One idea is to build green connectors, similar to the Highline, that connect surrounding neighborhoods to the Yard to overcome the barriers of Skillman Ave. and Northern Blvd., which are not pedestrian friendly.
Topography must be varied to reflect the hills and valleys of the surrounding communities.