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Some Queens Residents Think Landscaping Project Looks Like 'Graveyard'

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- It's called the "Gateway To Queens," but some say it looks more like a graveyard.

The landscaping project at Queens Plaza is winning less-than-rave reviews from residents. Many think the design is ugly and some say it could even be dangerous.

Then again, to others it's environmentally friendly, edgy and even cool.

"Anything that's an attempt at art is a good thing," one resident told CBS 2's Tony Aiello.

Still, some believe the new landscape design at Queens Plaza has very little merit -- artistic or otherwise.

"It's a garbage catcher. Look at it -- catching garbage," another man said.

There is garbage everywhere, which is collected between the jagged chunks of concrete lined up like tombstones.

"I thought somebody robbed a graveyard and just stuck grave markers there," another resident joked.

The city's Economic Development Corporation is behind the redesign. EDC has bragged about the project as being good for the earth because the concrete is being recycled.

The EDC said it was also enhancing the landscape with the careful use of drought-resistant plants. But after a week of rain, many of them look to be in bad shape -- especially those choked by garbage.

The concrete slabs are supposed to increase safety by giving drivers and pedestrians a "visual indication of impassibility."

But some say the jagged forms actually leave them feeling less safe. One cluster of concrete is right at the edge of a curb cut designed to help the handicapped.

"They're boulders and they're sticking up and they're sharp," one woman said. "I saw the sharp edges and they're a turnoff. I think they're dangerous."

Monday at the site, construction workers waved a tool to try to chase away CBS 2's cameras and ignored questions about the project.

A spokeswoman at the EDC said the redesign was still a work in progress and that people should reserve judgment until work is complete later this year.

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