Stillwell Avenue

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Stillwell Avenue
Length 2.4 mi[1] (3.9 km)
Location Brooklyn
South end Dead end at Rigelmann Boardwalk in Coney Island
North end Bay Parkway (becomes Bay Ridge Parkway - former NY-439.svg NY 439)
At Neptune Avenue

Stillwell Avenue is a major north/south thoroughfare in southern Brooklyn and the central section of Coney Island. It is 2.4 miles (3.86 kilometres) long and begins at a dead end on Coney Island. Traffic is two way. The road goes north, leaving Coney Island, ending at Bay Parkway, where the road continues as the Bay Ridge Parkway (former Route 439). On December 11, 2008 it acquired the subsidiary name Polar Bear Club Walk, named for the Coney Island Polar Bear Club. The Stillwell Avenue/Surf Avenue intersection on Coney Island is the location of what is said to be the largest subway station in the world.


Stillwell Avenue was named after settler Nicholas Stillwell (1603-1671), who had a farm in the area and became the progenitor of an influential Brooklyn family by the same name.[2]

Plans for Stillwell Avenue began in October 1926. The street was to stretch from Bay Parkway (its current northern terminus) and Neptune Avenue on Coney Island (0.4 miles (0.64 km) from the southern terminus). The project was to cost $331,500 and was certified by Brooklyn president James J. Byrne.[3] Stillwell Avenue, at the intersection with Surf Avenue, is the location of an original Nathan's after the first one was torn down.[4]

The New York Sun newspaper released a story on November 13, 2006 about plans to reinvigorate Coney Island. Most of it was for the amusement parks, including a roller coaster that would go in and out brand-new buildings along Stillwell Avenue. Where Stillwell Avenue meets the Riegelmann Boardwalk, the architect wanted to build a large waterpark and a three-story carousel.[5]

Street description[edit]

South end
North end

Stillwell Avenue begins at the Atlantic Ocean on Coney Island, just north of the Riegelmann Boardwalk, occupying the position of West 14th Street.[1] The road parallels Henderson Walk for a short distance to the intersection with Surf Avenue at 0.2 mile. Surf Avenue stretches parallel to the boardwalk on Coney Island. Neptune Avenue is the next intersection, intersecting at 0.4 mile. Soon afterwards, Stillwell Avenue crosses Coney Island Creek, which reaches into Lower New York Bay. Just after crossing the creek, Stillwell Avenue goes under the Shore Parkway, a section of the Belt Parkway system. Although it does not have an interchange with the road, Exit 6N on the westbound Shore Parkway is for Stillwell Avenue. Instead, the exit lets off at Avenue Z and accesses Stillwell within a mile. Bay 50th Street intersects just afterwards 1-mile (1.6 km). Stillwell Avenue passes Scarangella Park and intersects 86th Street at 1.6 miles (2.6 km). At 2.3 miles (3.7 km), there is an intersection with Kings Highway, which ends soon afterwards at Bay Parkway. Stillwell Avenue also comes to an end at Bay Parkway, 2.4 miles (3.9 km) from the beginning. The road virtually continues as Bay Ridge Parkway, a former street making up part of Route 439.[1]

Major intersections[edit]

County Location mi[1] km Destinations Notes
Kings Coney Island 0.2 0.32 Surf Avenue
Gravesend 0.8 1.3 Avenue Z to Shore Parkway
1.1 1.8 Bay 50th Street
Bensonhurst 2.4 3.9 Bay Parkway Northern terminus; continues as Bay Ridge Parkway at Bay Parkway
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


The new Stillwell Avenue (Coney Island) station.
The Bay 50th Street station.

At the Surf Avenue intersection on Coney Island, the largest elevated rapid transit terminal in existence, which shares a name with the avenue, is located on Stillwell Avenue.[6] The station is also the most energy-efficient transit facility in the world. The station, originally opened in 1919, rebuilt and re-opened in 2004 provides access to the D F N Q trains.[7][8] The other station located along Stillwell Avenue is the Bay 50th Street station in southern Brooklyn. Located in front of the John Dewey High School, the station services only the D train.[9]

The B4, B64 New York City Bus-operated bus lines serve the avenue.[10][11]

Mentions in Popular Culture[edit]

Stillwell Avenue is mentioned in the song 'Stillwell and Surf' by the band ¡Löco!.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Overview Map of Stillwell Avenue (Map). Google Maps. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  2. ^ Benardo, Leonard; Weiss, Jennifer (2006). Brooklyn by name - how the neighborhoods, streets, parks, bridges, and more got their names. New York: NYU Press. p. 172. ISBN 0-8147-9946-9. 
  3. ^ "BROOKLYN TO PUSH $2,000,000 PROJECTS; Work on Stillwell Avenue Boulevard Will Start This Season, Byrne Says.". The New York Times. October 3, 1926. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  4. ^ "History of Nathan's Hot Dogs". 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  5. ^ "A $1.5 Billion Vision for Coney Island". November 2006. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  6. ^ Lynch, Brian (November 2, 2005). "BIPV showcase – Stillwell Avenue station". Earthscan. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  7. ^ Matus, Paul. "The New BMT Coney Island Terminal". The Third Rail Online. Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  8. ^ – BMT Culver Line: Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue
  9. ^ – BMT West End Line: Bay 50th Street
  10. ^
  11. ^

Route map: Bing / Google

KML is from Wikidata