Union Turnpike (New York)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2006)|
|west end||Jackie Robinson Parkway / Myrtle Avenue in Glendale, Queens|
|east end||Marcus Avenue / New Hyde Park Road in New Hyde Park|
Union Turnpike is a thoroughfare stretching across central and eastern Queens in New York City. It runs from Myrtle Avenue in Glendale to Marcus Avenue in North New Hyde Park, about a mile into Nassau County, New York. Initially designed as a toll road, it takes a straight-arrow path from Kew Gardens Hills towards Glen Oaks and Floral Park on the Queens-Nassau border. At the time, Union Turnpike traveled through relatively undeveloped areas, serving as a border between the towns of Flushing and Jamaica. Though both towns were absorbed into New York City in 1898, the division is evident today in the addresses. Buildings on the north side generally begin with a 113- ZIP code, indicating Flushing, and buildings to the south side begin with a 114- ZIP code, indicating Jamaica. An exception is a section of zip code 11426 (Bellerose) that extends north across the Turnpike west of Little Neck Parkway and in Glendale where Forest Park, a few blocks to the south, marks the border between the old towns.
Union Turnpike from New Hyde Park to Woodhaven memorializes the Union Racetrack that was once a famous attraction for residents in Queens.
Prior to the construction of Grand Central Parkway in the 1930s, Union Turnpike was heavily used, and developed businesses throughout its length. Among the landmarks found along the turnpike are Forest Park, Queens Borough Hall, St. John's University, and Creedmoor Psychiatric Center. The turnpike crosses into Nassau County at the city's easternmost point on Langdale Street, two blocks past the city's highest-numbered street (271st Street). North of the turnpike at this point is Glen Oaks and south of it is Floral Park, both sharing the same ZIP code (11004). It then enters the hamlet of North New Hyde Park.
With the exception of a section in Glendale, most of Union Turnpike consists of four traffic lanes divided by a narrow concrete median. The Glendale section contains a wide mall with trees, and in Kew Gardens, the turnpike flanks the Jackie Robinson Parkway crossing over the Main Line of the Long Island Rail Road, before dipping below Queens Boulevard. Though it appears to be a service road for the parkway, it does not function as such. There is no direct access to the parkway, though there is partial access to the Grand Central Parkway. This section has its own full diamond interchange with Queens Boulevard.
Union Turnpike from Myrtle Avenue to the Nassau County border is 9.2 miles long, however the street continues into Nassau for a short distance.
Between Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens and the city line, the Q46 bus line travels along Union Turnpike. The QM1, QM5, QM6, QM7, and QM8 express routes also run along this section. The Q23 and QM12 terminates on Union Turnpike just east of Woodhaven Boulevard in Glendale.
With the exception of a small stretch of Jericho Turnpike in Queens near the Nassau County border, Union Turnpike is the only street in all of New York City that is designated a "Turnpike".
Starting from Myrtle Avenue in Glendale, Union Turnpike goes through Glendale and crosses Woodhaven Boulevard. It continues as the northern boundary of Forest Park to an intersection with Metropolitan Avenue. Just east of here Union Turnpike crosses over the Jackie Robinson Parkway near Exit 6 (Metropolitan Avenue). Union Turnpike then straddles the parkway, but there is no access to or from the parkway to Union Turnpike. This is in Kew Gardens.
Soon, Union Turnpike and the parkway go under a long tunnel. On top is Queens Boulevard (New York State Highway 25). There is a full diamond interchange with it from Union Turnpike, but no access from the parkway. Just after Queens Boulevard, the parkway ends at an interchange with the Van Wyck Expressway (Interstate 678) and the Grand Central Parkway (Exits 7 and 8 on the Jackie Robinson, Exit 13 on the Grand Central, and Exit 10 on the Van Wyck. From Union Turnpike there is partial access to the Grand Central, and none to the Van Wyck). Union Turnpike eastbound goes on a bridge over the Grand Central Parkway to meet with Union Turnpike westbound on the other side at an intersection with the Grand Central Parkway's service roads just east of the intersection, and the road becomes a four-lane divided road. It continues through Kew Gardens Hills, crossing Main Street, Parsons Boulevard, and 164 Street. It then passes St. John's University (New York), crosses Utopia Parkway, goes through Jamaica Estates, crosses 188 Street, and enters Cunningham Park at an intersection with Francis Lewis Boulevard. Just after Francis Lewis Boulevard, it shares a full diamond interchange with I-295, the Clearview Expressway (Exit 2 on the Clearview).
It then crosses Hollis Court Boulevard before leaving the park. It passes through Hollis Hills, crossing Bell Boulevard and Springfield Boulevard. Just after Springfield Boulevard is a full interchange with the Grand Central Parkway (along the Grand Central, Exit 22 eastbound, and exit 23 westbound). Past the Grand Central it becomes the southern boundary of Alley Pond Park until it intersects with Winchester Boulevard. It passes the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, and then shares a full interchange with the Cross Island Parkway (Exit 28B on the Cross Island), and crosses Commonwealth Boulevard just after the interchange. Past here, it crosses Little Neck Parkway in Bellerose, and then passes through Glen Oaks. It crosses the highest numbered street in New York City, 271 Street, and then passes the city's easternmost point, at Langdale Street. Just past here Union Turnpike enters Nassau County, and then intersects Lakeville Road. It passes a shopping center in Lake Success, crosses New Hyde Park Road, and ends a block east at Marcus Avenue.
The section of Union Turnpike between Queens Boulevard and Marcus Avenue was New York State Route 25C from the mid-1930s to 1970.
- New York State Route 25C at Alps' Roads • New York Routes
- NY 25C; Union Turnpike (Greater New York Roads)