Woodhaven/Cross Bay Boulevards
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2007)|
|Length||11 mi (18 km)|
|I-495 in Rego Park, Queens, New York City|
Woodhaven Boulevard and Cross Bay Boulevard are two parts of a major boulevard in the New York City borough of Queens. Woodhaven Boulevard runs roughly north–south in the central portion of Queens. South of Liberty Avenue, it is known as Cross Bay Boulevard, which is the main north–south road in Howard Beach. Cross Bay Boulevard is locally known as simply "Cross Bay", and Woodhaven Boulevard, "Woodhaven". The completion of the 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.
The road is part of the New York City Arterial System with the unsigned reference route designation of New York State Route 908V (NY 908V), but is still maintained by the New York City Department of Transportation.
Beginning at the intersection with Queens Boulevard near the Queens Center shopping mall in Elmhurst, the boulevard runs generally south through the neighborhoods of Rego Park, Elmhurst, Middle Village, Glendale, Woodhaven (for which it is named), and Ozone Park. At the intersection with Liberty Avenue in Ozone Park, the name changes to Cross Bay Boulevard, continues south through Ozone Park, Howard Beach and across Jamaica Bay via the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge through Broad Channel, before finally coming to an end at Rockaway Beach in The Rockaways, after crossing over the Cross Bay Bridge.
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.
Woodhaven Boulevard, approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) long, and Cross Bay Boulevard, which is 7 miles (11 km) long, is one of the longest streets in Queens, at 11 miles (18 km). This is a very busy street, 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 Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards.
Woodhaven Boulevard is an 8- to 10-lane boulevard throughout its entire length, stretching 195 feet (59 m) in width, making it the widest street in Queens that is not either a limited-access highway or a state route. The only street in Queens that isn't a highway to surpass it in width is Queens Boulevard (NY 25) at 225 feet (69 m). Woodhaven Boulevard (through Glendale, Woodhaven, and Ozone Park) has up to six central lanes and four service lanes (10 bi-directional), resembling many other major thoroughfares in the New York City boroughs outside Manhattan, such as Queens Boulevard in Queens; Ocean Parkway, Linden Boulevard, Kings Highway, and Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn; and Bruckner Boulevard, Pelham Parkway, and Grand Concourse in the Bronx.
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.
Once heavily German and Irish, the area is now very ethnically diverse. The headquarters of the St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee is located on Woodhaven Boulevard (see also Irish Americans in New York City).
Woodhaven Boulevard is served along its entirety by the Q11 and Q21 local bus lines along its entire length; the Q21 and Q41 also continue down Cross Bay Boulevard from Liberty Avenue to 164th Avenue in Howard Beach, via Lindenwood. The Q11 runs down Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards to Pitkin Avenue in Ozone Park, and continues through Old Howard Beach, while the Q21 and Q41 run on Cross Bay Boulevard from Liberty Avenue to 164th Avenue in Howard Beach, via Lindenwood. The three local buses run along with the Q52 and Q53, which are limited-stop buses that only stop at certain bus stops. The Q52 and Q53 run down the entire stretch of both Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards; the Q52 terminates in Arverne and the Q53 in Rockaway Park. At Queens Center, the Q11, Q21, and Q52 all terminate; the Q53 ends in Woodside, northern Queens.
Three subway stations are located on Woodhaven Boulevard: Woodhaven Boulevard (IND Queens Boulevard Line), Woodhaven Boulevard (BMT Jamaica Line), and Rockaway Boulevard (IND Fulton Street Line). The Long Island Expressway is also accessible from Woodhaven Boulevard.
- NYSDOT Highways in Queens County
- 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.
- Shaman, Diana (September 20, 1998). "If You're Thinking of Living In Woodhaven, Queens; Diversity in a Cohesive Community". The New York Times. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
- Barry, Dan (March 7, 2001). "Secret List Sets Off St. Patrick's Parade Squabble". The New York Times. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
- Media related to Woodhaven Boulevard (Queens) at Wikimedia Commons
- Cross Bay Boulevard in HowardBeach.com
- Proposed Cross Bay-Woodhaven Expressway @ NYCROADS.com
- Woodhaven House web site, with discussion of history of Irish pubs in Queens
- A Walk Through Queens, PBS Thirteen History of Queens
- History of Woodhaven from Congressman Weiner's web site