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Author Topic: Why did Robert Moses never revive his idea for a Queens Boulevard Expressway?  (Read 4597 times)

kernals12

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Just before World War 2, it was suggested to turn Queens Boulevard into an expressway with the 6 inner lanes being moved below grade.

NYCroads describes the demise of the plan as being caused because Moses "shifted attention to creating an express route between the Queens-Midtown Tunnel (now under the jurisdiction of his Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority), Queens and Long Island. First proposed as improvements to the Queens-Midtown Highway and Horace Harding Boulevard, the route evolved as the Long Island Expressway (I-495)."

But why was the idea never brought up again once the LIE turned into the world's longest parking lot? It would've required far less displacement than other proposed and then cancelled relievers like the Astoria and Bushwick expressways. Is it due to ROW difficulties or subway tunnels or something else?
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Would've made sense as a routing for the Cross-Brooklyn. Remember, by the 1950s, Moses put highways where he wanted, not where it was easiest. He thought he'd get the Bushwick.

kernals12

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Would've made sense as a routing for the Cross-Brooklyn. Remember, by the 1950s, Moses put highways where he wanted, not where it was easiest. He thought he'd get the Bushwick.

But he did occasionally back down from his megalomania to support more practical solutions, like when he was talked out of building a Battery Bridge rather than a tunnel
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Duke87

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The existence of subway lines directly under and over Queens Blvd east of Broadway and west of Roosevelt Ave (respectively) would rather complicate any freewayization of the corridor. Sure, it could have been done with few structure takings necessary, but that doesn't mean it would have been easy.
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1995hoo

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Would've made sense as a routing for the Cross-Brooklyn. Remember, by the 1950s, Moses put highways where he wanted, not where it was easiest. He thought he'd get the Bushwick.

But he did occasionally back down from his megalomania to support more practical solutions, like when he was talked out of building a Battery Bridge rather than a tunnel

He wasn’t "talked out of" that. The US government intervened to prohibit the bridge on national security grounds that were, admittedly, somewhat suspect (there were already two bridges downstream of the Brooklyn Navy Yard that was cited as a reason why a bridge would be a national security risk). There wasn’t anything Moses could do about it.
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The Ghostbuster

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Probably because he knew such an Expressway could never be built. The locals would have seen to that. Besides, in the 1960's, Moses' reputation had gone down the toilet. To this day, I'm sure most New Yorkers still revile Robert Moses (although having never been to New York, nor spoken to any New Yorkers, I have no hard proof of that).
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kernals12

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Probably because he knew such an Expressway could never be built. The locals would have seen to that. Besides, in the 1960's, Moses' reputation had gone down the toilet. To this day, I'm sure most New Yorkers still revile Robert Moses (although having never been to New York, nor spoken to any New Yorkers, I have no hard proof of that).
He got the Bruckner Expressway, which also involved grade separating the inner lanes on a very wide arterial but in this case upward on a viaduct, built during that time, in fact, that would be New York's last new expressway, finished in 1973.
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kernals12

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The existence of subway lines directly under and over Queens Blvd east of Broadway and west of Roosevelt Ave (respectively) would rather complicate any freewayization of the corridor. Sure, it could have been done with few structure takings necessary, but that doesn't mean it would have been easy.

It would've been much easier than many of the other routes that Moses pathologically pursued.
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TheDon102

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Probably because he knew such an Expressway could never be built. The locals would have seen to that. Besides, in the 1960's, Moses' reputation had gone down the toilet. To this day, I'm sure most New Yorkers still revile Robert Moses (although having never been to New York, nor spoken to any New Yorkers, I have no hard proof of that).
He got the Bruckner Expressway, which also involved grade separating the inner lanes on a very wide arterial but in this case upward on a viaduct, built during that time, in fact, that would be New York's last new expressway, finished in 1973.

New York's last expressway is the West Shore Expressway (not an interstate mind you), which was completed in 1976. And technically the JFK expressway opened in 1990, but most people don't count that one.   
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my guess is the subway lines under Queens Blvd made it complicated. Granted its not that terrible of a loss to the expressway system not having one for Queens Blvd, since coming off the Queensboro Bridge, its not a very long ride on local streets to meet back up with 495.

Not having an expressway across brooklyn and southern nassau county is much more of a loss. I have no idea why a jersey freeway was never considered for Sunrise Highway like how Route 17 and Route 4 are done
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TheDon102

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my guess is the subway lines under Queens Blvd made it complicated. Granted its not that terrible of a loss to the expressway system not having one for Queens Blvd, since coming off the Queensboro Bridge, its not a very long ride on local streets to meet back up with 495.

Not having an expressway across brooklyn and southern nassau county is much more of a loss. I have no idea why a jersey freeway was never considered for Sunrise Highway like how Route 17 and Route 4 are done

I mean you have the Southern State Parkway.
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ixnay

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my guess is the subway lines under Queens Blvd made it complicated. Granted its not that terrible of a loss to the expressway system not having one for Queens Blvd, since coming off the Queensboro Bridge, its not a very long ride on local streets to meet back up with 495.

Not having an expressway across brooklyn and southern nassau county is much more of a loss. I have no idea why a jersey freeway was never considered for Sunrise Highway like how Route 17 and Route 4 are done

I mean you have the Southern State Parkway.

Which is convenient if you're not driving a non commercial vehicle.

ixnay
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RobbieL2415

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The BQE interchange with Queens Blvd. is already a mess. Side streets are on-ramps and the LIRR flies diagonally overhead. I could imagine it would cost an arm and a leg to reconfigure just that spot into something more car-friendly.

Also, the IND Queens Blvd Line is elevated, not buried as someone said.
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Dirt Roads

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Also, the IND Queens Blvd Line is elevated, not buried as someone said.

Perhaps you are confused with the IRT Flushing Line, which used to be called the Queensboro Line.  Its runs elevated from its portal north of the Hunters Point station all the way out to Main Street in Flushing.  There is also the [Dual Contracts] Astoria Line which runs elevated from east of Queensboro Plaza then turning north out to Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria.
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