Union Turnpike (New York)
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|Maintained by||NYCDOT and the Town of North Hempstead|
|Length||9.2 mi (14.8 km)|
|Location||Queens and Nassau County|
|Nearest metro station||Kew Gardens–Union Turnpike|
|West end||Jackie Robinson Parkway / Myrtle Avenue in Glendale|
| Jackie Robinson Parkway in Forest Hills|
I-678 / Grand Central Parkway / Jackie Robinson Parkway / NY 25 in Kew Gardens
I-295 in Cunningham Park
Grand Central Parkway in Oakland Gardens
Cross Island Parkway in Bellerose
|East end||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. Union Turnpike from New Hyde Park to Woodhaven memorializes the Union Racetrack that was once a famous attraction for residents in Queens.
Union Turnpike from Myrtle Avenue to the Nassau County border is 9.2 miles long. 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".
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.
Starting from Myrtle Avenue and 86th Street in Glendale, which is in the western region of the Flushing district, Union Turnpike crosses over 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—also part of the western section of the Flushing district.
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 the Kew Gardens Interchange, connecting 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 the neighborhoods within the southern part of the Flushing district, beginning in the Flushing sub-neighborhood of Kew Gardens Hills where it crosses Main Street and Parsons Boulevard before passing 164th Street in Hillcrest, the western sub-neighborhood of Fresh Meadows. It then passes St. John's University, crossing Utopia Parkway, goes through Utopia, and proceeds into the broader neighborhood of Fresh Meadows when it crosses 188th Street and enters Cunningham Park at an intersection with Francis Lewis Boulevard. Just after Francis Lewis Boulevard is Oakland Gardens in the southern region of Bayside, where it shares a full diamond interchange with I-295, or the Clearview Expressway (Exit 2 on the Clearview).
It then crosses Hollis Court Boulevard before leaving the park going into the north part of the district of Jamaica. It passes through Hollis Hills in Queens Village, 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). Passed the Grand Central, Union Turnpike goes back into the neighborhood of Bayside, the eastern section of the Flushing district, where it becomes the southern boundary of Alley Pond Park until it intersects with Winchester Boulevard. It then passes the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, and then shares a full interchange with the Cross Island Parkway (Exit 28B on the Cross Island).
Passed here, Union Turnpike crosses Commonwealth Boulevard just after the interchange before passing over Little Neck Parkway into Bellerose in the town of North Hempstead. It then goes back into Queens, passing through the neighborhood of Glen Oaks. It crosses the highest numbered street in New York City, 271st Street, and then passes the city's easternmost point, at Langdale Street. Just passed here Union Turnpike enters Nassau County again, where it intersects with Lakeville Road. It passes a shopping center in Lake Success, crosses New Hyde Park Road, and ends a block east at Marcus Avenue.
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.
Due to how roads are numbered in Queens, Union Turnpike between its western end in Glendale and 250th Street in Glen Oaks can be considered the equivalent of 80th Avenue. Regular 80th Avenue branches off of Union Turnpike at 251st Street.
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 terminate on Union Turnpike just east of Woodhaven Boulevard in Glendale.
Points of interest
Union Turnpike was originally a dirt road, initially designed as a toll road. 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. Exceptions include 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.
Prior to the construction of Grand Central Parkway and Interboro Parkway (now the Jackie Robinson Parkway) in the 1930s, Union Turnpike was heavily used, and developed businesses throughout its length. The section of Union Turnpike from Kew Gardens to the Nassau County line had been converted from a narrow unpaved road to a paved multi-lane highway in the late 1930s ahead of the 1939 New York World's Fair. Around the same time, the turnpike was depressed below Queens Boulevard in conjunction with the construction of the Queens Boulevard Subway, and extended eastward from Fresh Meadows towards Marcus Avenue in Nassau County.
Prior to 1970, the section of Union Turnpike to the east of Queens Boulevard was designated as New York State Route 25C. Since then, only the section of Union Turnpike within Nassau County still carries this numerical designation.
- "Queens Bus Map" (pdf). MTA New York City Transit.
- "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Kew Gardens" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
- "Highway Program Aids Long Island Growth" (PDF). nytimes.com. The New York Times. April 27, 1930. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- From Bus to Subway in Kew Gardens
- New York Info-Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally and Company. Gulf Oil Company. 1940.
- Official Highway Map of New York State (Map) (1947–48 ed.). Cartography by General Drafting. State of New York Department of Public Works.
- Now you "C" it (Forgotten-NY)
- "At Union Turnpike". oldkewgardens.com. Kew Gardens Civic Association. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- "WORK IS STARTED ON MOTOR PARKWAY; Section Near Creedmoor Hospital Will Be Moved 1,800Feet to the North.ROAD WIDENING PROGRAM Extensive Traffic Improvements Are Planned for Central and Southern Queens. Connect With All Bridges". The New York Times. June 22, 1930. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- "Union Turnpike Extension To Be Ready When Fair Opens". Long Island Star-Journal. Long Island City, NY. February 14, 1939. p. 3.
- "SHOWS QUEENS NEED OF TRAFFIC RELIEF: Commerce Chamber Urges Quick Action on Connecting Route to Brooklyn". The New York Times. December 2, 1928. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Union Turnpike (New York).|
- New York State Route 25C at Alps' Roads • New York Routes
- NY 25C; Union Turnpike (Greater New York Roads)