Worksman Cycles has called New York City home since 1898. Originally located on the very footprint of the World Trade Center, Worksman moved to Queens in 1979. In the time since then we have grown to love the rich diversity of our neighborhood and its hardworking people, many of when have worked in our factory.
About the only thing we do not love is the former Rockaway Branch rail line, the abandoned, littered eyesore, which runs directly behind our building. We have long recognized the untapped potential developing this could have on the community. Year after year we’ve listened to chatter about developing the property. Now it is time for this talk to turn to into action.
After nearly 40 years, we are very excited to add Worksman Cycle’s voice to the growing list of businesses and families that have come together in support of the QueensWay, a proposal to develop the long-unused property into a linear park and cultural greenway, enhancing the local economy and its businesses along the way.
As a local business, we are keenly aware of the impact we and our fellow businessmen and women can reap from a project like the QueensWay.
To put it into numbers, a recent National Park Service study of three rail-trails across the country, ranging from urban to rural, found that anywhere between $1.2 million and $1.9 million annually was invested into the local economies. This is great news for the bottom of line of the thousands of businesses surrounding the QueensWay. Knowing the extraordinary determination of our neighbors, we are confident that the impact for our community will far surpass these numbers.
Furthermore, the QueensWay will make our community more livable and will connect our neighborhoods like never before. Oftentimes, enjoying some of the city’s great public features requires a significant amount of travel within the borough or even outside the borough. The QueensWay will finally give us our very own one-of-a-kind public park, resulting in more time spent and more money invested right in our own backyard. Opening up access to a safe and direct pathway to the dozens of neighborhoods, unique businesses, restaurants and cultural communities will bring an even greater economic lift to Central Queens.
Finally, I think I can speak for most business owners in saying that we understand the importance of an attractive community in which to live, work and play. Recently, we painted attractive murals on our building as a way to make our neighborhood a little nicer. But the people of Queens deserve much more than just pretty pictures. The QueensWay can bring our community that much-needed attraction, functioning as a catalyst not only for our own businesses, but in making Central Queens an ideal community for residents to live, businesses to operate, and for everyone to play.
I urge my fellow business owners to join us in recognizing the potential and value of the QueensWay in boosting our businesses and breathing new life into Central Queens.
Wayne Sosin, above, is President of Worksman Cycles in Ozone Park. Jeff Mishkin is CEO.