How the Plan Becomes Reality

Submitted by alehman on Mon, 02/03/2020 - 22:22
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How the Plan Becomes Reality
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The Sunnyside Yard Master Plan is the beginning of a generational effort to responsibly utilize publicly controlled land and take a community driven approach to long-term planning

Given the unique scale and long-term nature of planning for Sunnyside Yard, the Master Plan seeks to deliver public goods to strengthen neighborhoods based on lessons learned through extensive community engagement, rather than maximizing financial gain. The Master Plan is not set in stone, nor is it a shovel-ready project. Instead, it will guide future decisions, ensuring that they are led by public priorities and centered on human needs.

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Station under construction
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Advancing Sunnyside Station

Throughout community engagement, participants consistently expressed that Sunnyside Station is a top priority for Western Queens. The Plan proposes to build Sunnyside Station first to improve transportation options and create connections to the region. To make the Station a reality, the City is committing to a substantial funding contribution.

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Potential Early Investment
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An essential element of the Master Plan is the new regional rail hub known as Sunnyside Station. The Plan proposes to build Sunnyside Station first to improve transportation options for Western Queens and the region and unlock the Yard’s enormous long-term potential.

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The Master Plan also recommends a series of public realm improvements to create a network of public open spaces that weave together existing community visions and City initiatives on both sides of the Yard, while also beginning to address needs for more open space and better pedestrian and bike connections.  Outlined below are actionable public realm investments that could be advanced as first steps toward the larger open space network outlined in the Plan.

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Potential Early-Phases, Public-Realm Improvements Include:

1. A Civic Commons that provides recreation and civic space for Downtown Long Island City and serves as the front door to Sunnyside Station.

2. A Linear Park along Skillman Avenue that utilizes terra firma land on the southern edge of the Yard to create new open space and an improved bike connection from Lou Lodati Park to Thomson Avenue.

3. Two Over-Yard Greenways that create safer and more attractive pedestrian and bike connections alongside the Queens Boulevard and Thomson Avenue Bridges.

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proposed bike lanes
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Establishing a Planning Entity

A key goal of the Master Plan is to ensure that its extensive technical findings and core commitments are preserved, and that, going forward, key decisions about its implementation are always made in consultation with the public.

The City and Amtrak will form a nonprofit planning entity in partnership with community representatives, elected officials, and other key public stakeholders. The mission of this entity will be to uphold the integrity of the Master Plan by ensuring that strong public process informs decision-making about future overbuild.