March 27, Staff Report
A portion of a Kew Gardens park that was turned into a parking lot– without public notification–for the benefit of Queens District Attorney employees will be restored to park space in the coming months, according to the parks department.
A contractor working for the state Department of Transportation on upgrades to the nearby Van Wyck Expressway turned a portion of Maple Grove Park into a temporary parking lot for employees of the nearby Queens District Attorney’s Office, said a Parks Department spokesperson.
The contractor had been working on the Kew Gardens Interchange Reconstruction project.
However, community members reached out to the Parks Department to complain that the contractor had turned part of Maple Grove Park in to a gravel parking lot, according to the spokeswoman.
The spokeswoman added that she was unsure how long a portion of the park had been used as a parking lot, but that community members brought it to the Parks Department’s attention recently.
In coordination with the DA’s office, the Parks Department has vacated the lot and is planning to remove the gravel, aerate the soil, add topsoil and lay new seed. Weather permitting, the process will be done over the coming months, the Parks spokesperson said.
There has been a parking shortage in that section of Kew Gardens for many years but it became more severe when a nearby municipal parking garage that included more than 900 spots was demolished in 2014 for safety concerns.
A new parking lot is being built that will have about 300 spots.