Cross Bay Boulevard
Cross Bay Boulevard is the main north–south road in Howard Beach, a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. In the south, it originates in The Rockaways, runs over the Cross Bay Bridge into Broad Channel and then over the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge into Howard Beach. It then continues north into Ozone Park, where the name changes to Woodhaven Boulevard north of Liberty Avenue. Residents often refer to Cross Bay Boulevard as simply "Cross Bay;" it is rare to hear anyone refer to it as simply "The Boulevard" anymore, as younger people have grown out of this elderly colloquialism. The completion of Cross Bay Boulevard in 1923, together with the construction of the associated bridges over Jamaica Bay, created the first direct roadway connection to the burgeoning Atlantic Ocean beachfront communities of The Rockaways from Brooklyn and most of Queens.
Since Cross Bay Boulevard is a direct continuation of Woodhaven Boulevard, it is a large street, although not as wide. It is a six-lane wide, median-divided boulevard throughout the majority of its stretch (although it shrinks to four lanes once it reaches Broad Channel). It is often a very busy street as well, carrying an average volume of 35,000 vehicles per day, mainly because it is the only way to get to Broad Channel and The Rockaways from Queens by car without having to go through Brooklyn or Nassau County. Like Queens Boulevard, many road safety cameras are being installed along Cross Bay Boulevard. Cross Bay Boulevard is approximately 7 miles long. Together with Woodhaven Boulevard, which is 4 miles long, makes it one of the longest streets in Queens, at 11 miles.
The Broad Channel roadbed of Cross Bay Boulevard was constructed over an aborted turnpike built by a syndicate headed by Patrick Flynn from 1899 to 1901. Flynn planned to build a roadway across the bay eighty feet wide and containing a double-track trolley line, a bicycle path and roadway. Flynn's project aimed at connecting the Jamaica Bay islands, filling in the marshes and leasing properties for homes along the route. The Long Island Rail Road, whose trestles were the only transportation connection across the bay at the time, vigorously opposed Flynn's plans in an effort to protect its monopoly. In June 1902, the New York Court of Appeals invalidated the 1892 lease that Flynn's project was based on. Today's Cross Bay Boulevard follows the path of Flynn's proposed roadway and was completed in 1923.
A $5 million project begun in 1924 involved the paving of Cross Bay Boulevard with concrete, as part of what was described as "the largest vehicular trestle in the world".
A 1941 proposal would have created an expressway on the route of Cross Bay and Woodhaven Boulevards, connecting Queens Boulevard to The Rockaways.
Cross Bay Boulevard is served by three main local buses and two limited stop buses. The Q21 and Q41 run on Cross Bay Boulevard from Liberty Avenue to 164th Avenue in Howard Beach, via Lindenwood. The Q11, Woodhaven Boulevard's main local bus, runs on Cross Bay Boulevard from Liberty Avenue to Pitkin Avenue in Ozone Park, and continues through Old Howard Beach.
There are also the Q52 and Q53, limited stop buses that only stops at select bus stops. Both buses run down the entire stretch of both Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards, acting as a limited stop version of both the Q11 and Q21. The Q52 terminates in Arverne and the Q53 in Rockaway Park.
- Black, Frederick R. "JAMAICA BAY: A HISTORY", Gateway National Recreation Area, National Park Service, 1981. Accessed November 7, 2007.
- "OPEN A BOULEVARD OVER JAMAICA BAY; City Officials Take Part in Exercises at New $5,000,000 Causeway.", The New York Times, October 12, 1924. Accessed November 7, 2007.
- Cross Bay-Woodhaven Express Highway, NYCRoads.com. Accessed November 7, 2007.