Since 2015, RISE has been working to activate demapped sections of Rockaway Freeway to serve as a "wellness corridor" for pedestrian use and local events focused on improving the health and wellbeing of our community.
Overall the freeway underpass is underutilized space that should be planned and designed in such a way that it can benefit the community by connecting both the east and west ends of the Peninsula together and provide a safer and more equitable route that people of all ages can use to get to school, work or home.
In 2015, RISE spearheaded Project Underway, a community-led initiative to actively engage local stakeholders and city agencies in developing a plan to better utilize the demapped roadbed under the elevated "A" line track.
Below is our initial brochure outlining community needs and the hopes for the project in reconnecting Rockaway through alternative transportation and a richer public realm. Follow the link for "A Better Way Thru Rockaway."
After years of collaboration with NYC DOT, the project was renamed, the "Wellness Way", with the intent of activating sections of demapped roadway for pedestrian use and and events focused on improving the health and wellness of the local community.
In the summer of 2020, RISE began piloting a site adjacent to the Beach 60th St subway platform, in partnership with NYC DOT. Events have included a farm share distribution for mix income residents to receive healthy fresh produce; musical performances; public art installations and an outdoor covid test site.
We believe this project will bring safer streets and improve the health of our community. Your support is crucial to the longevity and success of the project. Please take our survey to share your thoughts and check our calendar of events to join in some of these activities.
The Wellness Way Initiative was made possible through a grant from the National Association of City Transportation Officials' (NACTO) Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery Grant Program.