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Old Posted Oct 4, 2021, 6:04 PM
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xzmattzx xzmattzx is offline
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Abandoned New York: the Long Island Motor Parkway

The Long Island Motor Parkway was a road that went from Queens to Lake Konkomkoma, for a stretch of around 45 miles. It was opened in 1908, and was financed by William K. Vanderbilt II, great grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt envisioned a road, separated from other roads, for car racing.

The parkway was the first superhighway in the world, featuring controlled access at select locations. It was not, however, an expressway, because left-hand turns were permitted on the road. Toll booths were situated at entrance ramps, to pay for maintenance. The road also featured guide rails and banked turns, suitable for racing. The parkway was also notable for being the first road to be for automobile use only.

In 1938, the highway became property of State of New York after failure to pay back taxes. Today, some sections of the highway are still in use as local roads. Other sections are used as bicycle paths. Some sections still have disappeared.

The beginning of the parkway was in the Fresh Meadows neighborhood in Queens, near 67th & Peck Avenues.

The motor parkway crossed over 73rd Avenue at Francis Lewis Boulevard. That original bridge is still extant.

The parkway crosses over Francis Lewis Boulevard on a modern bridge in Queens.

In this area near Francis Lewis Boulevard, the road is now used as a bicycle path. It is part of the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway.

The bike path crosses underneath I-295, the Clearview Expressway.

Nearby, the parkway passes through the Hollis Hills neighborhood. The parkway crosses over Hollis Hills Terrace near Richland Avenue on a bridge constructed in 1926.

A modern bridge carries the bike path over Bell Boulevard. The original road actually curved south to utilize a railroad bridge, unlike the bike path today, which continues straight from each end, and does not jog to the south. The road is also now known as the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway in this area

In the area of 220th Street and Kingsbury Avenue, the right-of-way is now a bike path, with plant growth encroaching on the old roadbed.

Another bridge is extant over Springfield Boulevard. The bridge was built in 1924, and is one of just seven extant bridges of significance for the parkway.

The bike path that parallels Kingsbury Avenue continues east and goes under the Grand Central Parkway and its frontage roads.

Just outside of the borough limits of Queens, the parkway goes through Great Neck.

A notable section is now used as the southern entrance road for William A. Shone Great Neck South High School. The access road is directly north of the Fawn Ridge neighborhood. Some of the original pavement is still visible.

The Great Neck Lodge, which was built in 1909 and served as a toll lodge, was incorporated into a house on Lakeville Road, located next to the section.

The parkway continues into Garden City.

At the end of Raymond Court is a curved section of pavement that was part of the parkway. It is less than 500 feet east of Vanderbilt Court.

Looking down Vanderbilt Court from Clinton Road. Vanderbilt Court was originally an entrance ramp onto the parkway. The house on the left was originally the manager's office, built in 1929.

The end of a dirt mound at Clinton Road near Vanderbilt Court indicates where the road crossed over Clinton Road.

In Garden City, on 7th Street, is the Garden City Lodge. The lodge was originally on Vanderbilt Court, off of Clinton Road. It was moved here in 1989. The original location still has an old manager's office.

The parkway continues east through Nassau County. After entering Suffolk County, it soon follows the modern Motor Parkway and Long Island Motor Parkway highways, which carry traffic on the right-of-way. It terminates at Lake Drive and Washington Avenue in Lake Ronkonkoma, a block from Lake Ronkonkoma Beach.
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Old Posted Oct 4, 2021, 6:16 PM
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Thanks for sharing! Interesting!
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Old Posted Oct 4, 2021, 7:43 PM
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Yes, very interesting indeed!

I like learning about abandoned and/or repurposed old roads or rail rights-of-way. Being that I live where I live, we here are also surrounded by old/abandoned/repurposed infrastructure, namely the old Pacific Electric Railroad rights-of-way, and I like learning about where they used to run, and what's become of them, like old bridges, bike/jogging/walking paths that used to be a rail line, very wide landscaped street medians...

I had never even heard of the Long Island Motor Parkway. Thanks for posting this!
"I guess the only time people think about injustice is when it happens to them."

~ Charles Bukowski
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2021, 12:08 AM
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That's really neat. I love stories about abandoned or forgotten and reincorporated raceways.
"The destructive effects of automobiles are much less a cause than a symptom of our incompetence at city building" - Jane Jacobs 1961ish

Wake me up when I can see skyscrapers
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2021, 10:23 AM
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hauntedheadnc hauntedheadnc is online now
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Those damn Vanderbilts... Always up to something.
"To sustain the life of a large, modern city in this cloying, clinging heat is an amazing achievement. It is no wonder that the white men and women in Greenville walk with a slow, dragging pride, as if they had taken up a challenge and intended to defy it without end." -- Rebecca West for The New Yorker, 1947
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2021, 7:06 PM
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EastSideHBG EastSideHBG is offline
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Very cool, thanks for sharing!

Originally Posted by hauntedheadnc View Post
Those damn Vanderbilts... Always up to something.
Right before your eyes you're victimized, guys, that's the world of today, and it ain't civilized...
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Old Posted Oct 6, 2021, 1:22 PM
MplsTodd MplsTodd is offline
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Love learning these arcane bits of history!
Every City has something worth seeing!
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Old Posted Oct 6, 2021, 1:55 PM
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How cool! I want to bike this now.
From my head via my fingers.
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Old Posted Oct 6, 2021, 2:38 PM
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New York City is so complex. There are so many hidden things laying around everywhere.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2021, 4:48 AM
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fascinating. thanks for posting.

"The vapors! The fainting couch! Those heartless elitists are burning down the plantation with their logic and arithmetic!"

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