Harlem River Drive
|369th Harlem Hellfighters Drive|
Map of New York City with Harlem River Drive highlighted in red
|Maintained by NYSDOT|
|Length:||4.20 mi (6.76 km)|
|Existed:||1964 – present|
|South end:||FDR Drive in East Harlem|
|I-95 / US 1 in Washington Heights|
|North end:||10th Avenue / Dyckman Street in Inwood|
The Harlem River Drive is a 4.20-mile (6.76 km) long north–south parkway in the New York City borough of Manhattan. It runs along the west bank of the Harlem River from the Triborough Bridge in East Harlem to 10th Avenue in Inwood, where the parkway ends and the road continues north as Dyckman Street. The portion of the Harlem River Drive from the Triborough Bridge to the Alexander Hamilton Bridge is a limited-access highway. South of the Triborough Bridge, the parkway continues toward lower Manhattan as FDR Drive. All of the Harlem River Drive is designated New York State Route 907P (NY 907P), an unsigned reference route.
The parkway opened to traffic in 1964. In 2003, the New York State Department of Transportation ceremoniously designated the parkway as the "369th Harlem Hellfighters Drive" in honor of the all-black regiment that fought to defend France during World War I.
The Harlem River Drive begins at exit 17 of the FDR Drive in East Harlem section of Manhattan. The parkway crosses under 125th Street alongside the Harlem River. Bending to the northwest, the Harlem River Drive crosses under Willis Avenue, passing west of the Willis Avenue Bridge. Proceeding southbound, exit 19 is present, connecting to 125th Street and the Willis Avenue Bridge. The Harlem River Drive proceeding northwest, crosses under the Third Avenue Bridge, reaching exit 21 northbound, a junction for 135th Street. Southbound, exit 20 connects to Park Avenue. Continuing northward, the Harlem River Drive continues north under the Madison Avenue Bridge. Southbound, the Harlem River Drive meets exit 22, a junction to 142nd Street and Fifth Avenue.
Crossing under 145th Street, the Harlem River Drive passes east of the 145th Street station on the IRT Lenox Avenue Line. Passing the Lenox Yard, the road passes east of Harlem – 148th Street station. The Harlem River Drive crosses under the Macombs Dam Bridge, 155th Street, and Seventh Avenue before crossing exit 23, a left exit to Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Passing east of the Polo Grounds site, the Harlem River Drive enters exit 24, a junction to I-95 (the Trans-Manhattan Expressway) in High Bridge Park. Crossing under the Trans-Manhattan, the Harlem River Drive continues northeast as a four-lane parkway.
Crossing under the Alexander Hamilton Bridge, the Harlem River Drive crosses through High Bridge Park before turning away from the Harlem River. The four-lane arterial continues north through Manhattan, entering a junction with Dyckman Street and Tenth Avenue. This junction serves as the northern end of the Harlem River Drive, as it continues west across Manhattan as Dyckman Street through Inwood.
The Drive originated as the Harlem River Speedway, built from 1894 to 1898 and opened in July of that year, for the exclusive use of horse-drawn carriages and those on horseback - bicyclists were specifically excluded, as were sulkies and drays. The Speedway ran from West 155th Street to Dyckman Street, and soon became a tourist destination, where visitors watched carriage races and boat races on the river. Rich New Yorkers used the Speedway to train their horses and size up those of their friends and competitors. In 1919, motorists were allowed on the Speedway, which was paved in 1922.
Master builder Robert Moses envisioned the Harlem River Drive as a six-lane road linking the George Washington Bridge and the East River Drive (now the FDR Drive) north of East 125th Street. Traffic from the Triborough Bridge and the several Harlem River bridges joining the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx feed into the drive. Sections of the old speedway in the path of the highway were incorporated into the new highway. The cost of the Harlem River Drive is estimated at over $11.7 million and nearly $7 million in acquired lands. Construction ended in 1964.
A four-lane viaduct rises from the Harlem River Drive to connect to both decks of the George Washington Bridge (via the Trans-Manhattan Expressway) and to Amsterdam Avenue in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. The Harlem River Drive continues north to the Inwood section of Manhattan, where it ends with connections to Tenth Avenue and Dyckman Street.
Starting at the beginning of the 21st century, the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway runs between the river and the drive, from 155th to Dyckman, in a portion of Highbridge Park which had been abandoned and fenced off approximately half a century.
|0.00||0.00||–||FDR Drive south – Battery Park||Southern terminus; continuation beyond I-278|
|0.00||0.00||17||I-278 (Robert F. Kennedy Bridge) – Bruckner Expressway, Grand Central Parkway|
|0.00||0.00||18||Willis Avenue Bridge to I-87 (Deegan Expressway)||Northbound exit only|
|19||East 125th Street / 2nd Avenue||No northbound signage for 2nd Avenue|
|0.68||1.09||20||Park Avenue / East 132nd Street||Southbound exit and entrance|
|0.71||1.14||21||East 135th Street / Madison Avenue Bridge||Northbound exit only|
|22||5th Avenue / West 142nd Street||No northbound exit|
|23||Frederick Douglass Boulevard / West 155th Street||Southbound access via Harlem River Driveway|
|3.23||5.20||24||I-95 south / US 1 south / Amsterdam Avenue / West 178th Street – George Washington Bridge||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|4.20||6.76||–||Dyckman Street / 10th Avenue||Northern terminus at an at-grade intersection|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- "2007 Traffic Data Report for New York State" (PDF). New York State Department of Transportation. July 25, 2008. Retrieved May 29, 2009.
- Microsoft. "overview map of the Harlem River Drive". Bing Maps (Map). Cartography by Nokia. http://binged.it/SW8qlb. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
- Robinson, Lauren. "How Harlem River Speedway Became Harlem River Drive" Museum of the City of New York (February 28, 2012)
- "Harlem River Drive: An Historic Overview". nycroads.com. Eastern Roads. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- "Harlem River Drive". NYC Roads. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- "Manhattan Waterfront Greenway". New York City Department of City Planning. 2010. Retrieved April 2, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Harlem River Drive.|
- Harlem River Drive at Alps' Roads • New York State Highway Termini
- NYCRoads.com – Harlem River Drive
- How Harlem River Speedway Became Harlem River Drive from the Museum of the City of New York Collections blog