Between Brooklyn and Queens, New York there is a unique opportunity to promote a connection between the neighborhoods of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and Long Island City, Queens.
Past & present: A history of two communities connected
The neighborhoods of Long Island City, Queens, and Greenpoint, Brooklyn were once connected by the Vernon Avenue Bridge which provided multiple transportation options including automobile, horse carriage, trolley, and pedestrian foot traffic. The Vernon Ave Bridge was eventually demolished for structural reasons, and thus became a lost piece of New York history.
The Pulaski Bridge was constructed a short way up the creek, and replaced the Vernon Ave Bridge in 1954.
A lost connection: Redeveloping a missing corridor
Today, these communities have become disconnected, with Pulaski Bridge being the main point of access between the two neighborhoods. The Pulaski bridge mainly offers automobile access, and is not an ideal route for bikers and pedestrians.
As one of the solutions of the LongPoint Corridor, the LongPoint Bridge will reacquaint these two neighborhoods by creating a path over the creek and across the LIC rail yard.
Newtown creek: Seizing a long-missed opportunity
Two open spaces on either side of the creek serve as reminders of the former bridge – Manhattan Ave Park on the Brooklyn side, and an ad hoc parking lot on the Queens side. Here we see an opportunity to revitalize an underused area in a way that benefits both the community and the environment.
With populations growing exponentially in Long Island City and Greenpoint, now is the critical time to seize a long missed opportunity to provide transportation options and jump-start community engagement before the need becomes too overwhelming.
Lirr-long island city rail yard: Completing the new corridor
The proposed LongPoint Corridor will continue beyond the LongPoint Bridge, past 54th Ave in Long Island City, and will cross over the LIRR LIC Rail yard. Not only is this transportation corridor a necessary addition to both neighborhoods, the connection will feel completely natural. This is because the original layout of both neighborhoods accounted for the need for a bridge spanning the creek at Vernon Blvd. The surrounding rail yard area is not currently living up to its full potential, as can be seen in the large number of loosely managed parking lots.
Transportation: Providing transportation options by offering new access
One of the primary goals of the LongPoint Corridor is to give people access to more transportation options. In addition to creating a pedestrian lane and a separate bike lane, the corridor would grant easier access to both the L train and 7 train.
Current issues to address:
– Need to anticipate the growing number of locals looking for alternatives to driving a car to work
– Need for a separate bike lanes and pedestrian lanes
– Need to give people access to different train stops on both sides of the creek
– 2019 L Train Shutdown traffic density
Pedetsrian focused: Providing a safe and convenient route for bikers and pedestrians
While Pulaski bridge is a functional solution for connecting Brooklyn and Queens, it is a large bridge, utilized mostly by multi-lane traffic. The proposed site for the LongPoint Bridge is one of the potentials locations for the BQX streetcar, and Pulaski Bridge is one of the other options.
The LPC project proposes to implement the new LongPoint Bridge as a pedestrian and bike path route only, while Pulaski bridge will remain mostly an automobile route, with the addition of the BQX streetcar. This map visualizes the current commute of a pedestrian across the busy Pulaski Bridge, from point A to point B.
Longpoint Corridor is the missing piece with the power to reconnect these two neighborhoods and offer alternate commute solutions, the opportunity for community engagement, bring attention to the area’s environmental concerns, and conserve the Newtown Creek waterfront.
1. Manhattan Landing: Coexisting and generating business for adjacent companies
The Manhattan Ave. Landing has a small existing park and adjacent loading dock for surrounding businesses. But with the proposed LongPoint Corridor this area will become an energetic mixed-use space, with businesses spilling out into public spaces, and green spaces becoming a daily retreat for employees, commuters, and visitors alike.
Local storefronts offer retail opportunities and a new outlet for creatives, potentially in collaboration with The Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center.
2. Longoint Bridge: Reconnecting New York City Communities
The Longpoint Bridge has the potential to become a buzzing micro-district for weekend activities and special events, and a pipeline for pedestrian friendly daily commutes with a bike hub. The Longpoint Bridge is a landmark for the gateway into the lively neighborhoods of Greenpoint and Long Island City.
3. Longoint Bridge: A Landmark Bridge and destination for visitors
The Longpoint Bridge is the heart of Longpoint Corridor. By connecting these two borough waterfronts an opportunity arises for a new micro-district that offers a pedestrian focused commute solution in the way the Pulaski does not. In addition to the swinging functionality, the bridge is set to an elevation that allows small vessels to pass under the bridge at any time without opening.
4. Longoint Bridge: A Landmark Bridge and destination for visitors
This bridge is a huge opportunity for kicking off a whole new waterfront revitalization. These two waterfront areas had a very low population in the past with no real need for heavy pedestrian traffic. That has changed in an exciting way. In addition, the bridge operator booth could potentially be stationed in the Pulaski Bridge control center.
5. Longoint Bridge: Bridge Structural Features and Functionality
The Longpoint Bridge will become a local landmark that is seemlessly integrated into the community by its design, functionality, and materials. The design of this bridge makes it both the fastest and least expensive construction solution. This design also offers the option of offsite construction and would only require minimal repairs over time. The diagram spotlights the uncomplicated functionality of the Longpoint Bridge, and shows how simple the installation process can be. The bridge height is set at an elevation that allows small vessels to pass without opening, and the elevation of the platform will rises and fall with the tide, protecting the bridge from flooding.
6. Long Island City Landing: A micro-community for tomorrow’s waterfront
The LPC continues into Queens at the Long Island City landing across Newtown Creek. Multiple buildings offer opportunities to activate the waterfront for retail, food, events and water based activities. Restaurants, coffee shops, MoMA PS1, and newly developed residential areas are just a walk from the waterfront The Longpoint Bridge.
With so many new residential buildings popping up in LIC and Hunter’s Point, it makes logistical sense to have a walking and biking path along the creek to give access to public transportation, or access to the LongPoint bridge into Brooklyn.
7. Lirr-Lic Rail Yard crossing: A down-to-earth commute solution
Vernon Blvd Crossing creates an opportunity to create fluid pedestrian access between Queens and Brooklyn with no obstructions. By creating a track crossing people can easily access not only the Longpoint Bridge create new opportunities for developing and preserving the Newtown Creek waterfront.