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Author Topic: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls  (Read 7141 times)

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From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« on: February 19, 2016, 04:05:45 PM »

Is there any way to get from downtown Chicago to midtown Manhattan, by car, without having to pay any tolls? I don't necessarily mean an easy way, but is there any way, no matter how convoluted, that is at least legal, to do this? I've been looking at my maps all day so far, and I've got nothing. I don't think it can be done by interstate, at least if you stay in the United States, since there seem to be tolls over one river or another, but if there is an all interstate route that I've missed, I'd like to know that too.
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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2016, 04:55:38 PM »

Quote
I don't think it can be done by interstate, at least if you stay in the United States, since there seem to be tolls over one river or another, but if there is an all interstate route that I've missed, I'd like to know that too.

It's possible by non-Interstate, as the previous poster mapped, but to do so requires crossing the Hudson River in Albany (all river crossings south of there are tolled going eastbound), then dropping south along the east side of the Hudson.

It's not possible by Interstate without leaving the country, but if you include Quebec Autoroutes as "Interstates", there is technically a way to get to NYC without a toll.  But it's so far out of the way that nobody in their right mind would ever do it.  Basically involves I-94/I-65/I-70/I-71/I-76/I-80/I-81/I-88/I-90**/I-87/A-15/A-10/A-55/I-91/I-95.  This'll get you to the Bronx or Upper Manhattan.  Everything else in NYC either involves a toll or getting onto a non-Interstate roadway.

** - Passenger cars are toll free on the NYS Thruway between Exit 25A (I-88) and Exit 24 (I-87/I-90 junction).
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CtrlAltDel

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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2016, 05:20:33 PM »

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Chicago,+IL/Manhattan,+New+York,+NY/@42.6018046,-74.3892704,9z/data=!4m21!4m20!1m10!1m1!1s0x880e2c3cd0f4cbed:0xafe0a6ad09c0c000!2m2!1d-87.6297982!2d41.8781136!3m4!1m2!1d-74.0662748!2d42.7786122!3s0x89de7a5a3694fe1f:0x98032a4a98cfe5f8!1m5!1m1!1s0x89c2588f046ee661:0xa0b3281fcecc08c!2m2!1d-73.9712488!2d40.7830603!2m1!2b1!3e0

Thanks for this. I just plugged things into Google Maps and checked "Avoid Tolls," but their algorithm isn't willing to go so far out of the way, so all the possibilities listed tolls.

It's not possible by Interstate without leaving the country, but if you include Quebec Autoroutes as "Interstates", there is technically a way to get to NYC without a toll.  But it's so far out of the way that nobody in their right mind would ever do it.  Basically involves I-94/I-65/I-70/I-71/I-76/I-80/I-81/I-88/I-90**/I-87/A-15/A-10/A-55/I-91/I-95.  This'll get you to the Bronx or Upper Manhattan.  Everything else in NYC either involves a toll or getting onto a non-Interstate roadway.

** - Passenger cars are toll free on the NYS Thruway between Exit 25A (I-88) and Exit 24 (I-87/I-90 junction).

That sounds just interesting enough to do. I may not be in my right mind though. . . .
« Last Edit: February 19, 2016, 05:57:22 PM by CtrlAltDel »
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Brandon

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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2016, 02:08:21 PM »

Yes, there is, at least as far as the Hudson River.

From the Loop, take the Ryan and Bishop Ford south to I-80.  Follow I-80/94 east to IN-49.  IN-49 south to US-30.  US-30 east to I-71.  I-71 north to I-76.  I-76 east becomes I-80 east.  I have no idea how to cross the Hudson River without a toll anywhere near NYC.
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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2016, 07:10:15 PM »

Yes, there is, at least as far as the Hudson River.

From the Loop, take the Ryan and Bishop Ford south to I-80.  Follow I-80/94 east to IN-49.  IN-49 south to US-30.  US-30 east to I-71.  I-71 north to I-76.  I-76 east becomes I-80 east.  I have no idea how to cross the Hudson River without a toll anywhere near NYC.

Buy a Dutton.
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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2016, 07:48:59 PM »

Yes, there is, at least as far as the Hudson River.

From the Loop, take the Ryan and Bishop Ford south to I-80.  Follow I-80/94 east to IN-49.  IN-49 south to US-30.  US-30 east to I-71.  I-71 north to I-76.  I-76 east becomes I-80 east.  I have no idea how to cross the Hudson River without a toll anywhere near NYC.

This is pretty much it.  There are a few options to get from I-94 to US-30 in Indiana, but once you get east of Fort Wayne, it's pretty much traffic light-free along US-30 to I-71/I-76/I-80.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2016, 08:10:30 PM »


Yes, there is, at least as far as the Hudson River.

From the Loop, take the Ryan and Bishop Ford south to I-80.  Follow I-80/94 east to IN-49.  IN-49 south to US-30.  US-30 east to I-71.  I-71 north to I-76.  I-76 east becomes I-80 east.  I have no idea how to cross the Hudson River without a toll anywhere near NYC.

Buy a Dutton.

There are boat ramps in the outer boroughs for sure, but the only one that I can nail down in Manhattan seems to be at the Columbia athletic complex, leading into Spuyten Duyvil Creek.  Quite a majestic entry to take your car under the Henry Hudson Bridge.
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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2016, 10:13:03 PM »

Quote from: Brandon
I have no idea how to cross the Hudson River without a toll anywhere near NYC.

In short, you can't, as I noted upthread.  The closest non-tolled vehicle** crossing of the Hudson, going eastbound, is near downtown Albany.

Of course, there are other ways across the river, as Pete and Hoo suggest (tongue-in-cheek I know), but that would require leaving one's car in Jersey.

** - There's a bike/ped crossing in Poughkeepsie.
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Pete from Boston

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From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2016, 10:56:57 PM »

Of course, there are other ways across the river, as Pete and Hoo suggest (tongue-in-cheek I know), but that would require leaving one's car in Jersey.

Only kind of tongue-in-cheek, because the link was to an amphibious car.  The drive can be done, maybe.

Here's what I think is a plausible access point into Manhattan (albeit not on public roads):

https://goo.gl/maps/AqxGPc6yaqk

Edit: The link leads to a different set of imagery, interestingly, in which the set of gates on the ramp are closed.

Is there a permanently accessible amphibious assault point on Manhattan?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 11:01:15 PM by Pete from Boston »
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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2016, 11:05:34 PM »

I-76 east becomes I-80 east.  I have no idea how to cross the Hudson River without a toll anywhere near NYC.
Quite a bit of routes here. You can take I-80 east to I-81 in Wilkes-Barre PA to the free Hudson River crossing in Albany via I-88 and I-90. You could also take US 219 up to NY 17 over to I-81 in Binghamton.
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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2016, 01:25:34 AM »

The closest non-tolled vehicle** crossing of the Hudson, going eastbound, is near downtown Albany.

** - There's a bike/ped crossing in Poughkeepsie.
The GWB is also free for bikes.
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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2016, 07:00:48 AM »

True, but unlike the Walkway Over The Hudson, it's not a separate bridge bike/ped bridge.
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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2016, 07:21:26 AM »

For what you spend in gas, saving the PANYNJ tolls is not worth it!  We have people here who do it locally as to avoid that Osceola Parkway toll with travel miles out of there way that costs more to them in gas then the actual toll.  Plus the traffic when three schools let out and a two to three light delay at US 192 from Hoagland Boulevard adds to it as the time is much longer than if they paid the damned toll!
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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2016, 07:35:50 AM »

Of course, there are other ways across the river, as Pete and Hoo suggest (tongue-in-cheek I know), but that would require leaving one's car in Jersey.

Only kind of tongue-in-cheek, because the link was to an amphibious car.  The drive can be done, maybe.

Here's what I think is a plausible access point into Manhattan (albeit not on public roads):

https://goo.gl/maps/AqxGPc6yaqk

Edit: The link leads to a different set of imagery, interestingly, in which the set of gates on the ramp are closed.

Is there a permanently accessible amphibious assault point on Manhattan?

Doesn't necessarily have to be Manhattan, though, because you can get there from the other boroughs by car without paying a toll (even from Staten Island since the Verrazano toll is collected only when leaving Brooklyn). The OP asked about ending in Manhattan without paying a toll, which leaves open the possibility of passing through another borough—as indeed you'd have to do if you went around via Albany or Montreal to get east of the Hudson without paying a toll.
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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2016, 08:12:10 AM »

True, but unlike the Walkway Over The Hudson, it's not a separate bridge bike/ped bridge.


Walkway Over the Hudson involves taking an elevator, too. :D
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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2016, 08:20:34 AM »

I was thinking of parking in Jersey and taking the PATH in, but the cost to park would eat up any savings in not paying a toll.
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From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2016, 08:20:57 AM »

Of course, there are other ways across the river, as Pete and Hoo suggest (tongue-in-cheek I know), but that would require leaving one's car in Jersey.

Only kind of tongue-in-cheek, because the link was to an amphibious car.  The drive can be done, maybe.

Here's what I think is a plausible access point into Manhattan (albeit not on public roads):

https://goo.gl/maps/AqxGPc6yaqk

Edit: The link leads to a different set of imagery, interestingly, in which the set of gates on the ramp are closed.

Is there a permanently accessible amphibious assault point on Manhattan?

Doesn't necessarily have to be Manhattan, though, because you can get there from the other boroughs by car without paying a toll (even from Staten Island since the Verrazano toll is collected only when leaving Brooklyn). The OP asked about ending in Manhattan without paying a toll, which leaves open the possibility of passing through another borough—as indeed you'd have to do if you went around via Albany or Montreal to get east of the Hudson without paying a toll.

I know, but in the interest of making the slow, waterborne portion of the journey shorter, a ramp in Manhattan makes the most sense.  I farmed this one out to a friend who came up with this legit boat ramp at Dyckman St.:

https://goo.gl/maps/GQzMXLRQWuJ2

This has the advantage of being directly across from the Englewood Boat Basin in the Palisades Interstate Park in New Jersey, as short a cruise as one could ask for.
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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2016, 10:46:25 AM »

True, but unlike the Walkway Over The Hudson, it's not a separate bridge bike/ped bridge.


Walkway Over the Hudson involves taking an elevator, too. :D

Not the times I've hiked it...
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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2016, 01:03:29 PM »

True, but unlike the Walkway Over The Hudson, it's not a separate bridge bike/ped bridge.


Walkway Over the Hudson involves taking an elevator, too. :D

Not the times I've hiked it...

That's too bad.  Spent a mint on the thing.

https://goo.gl/H86PUM
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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2016, 11:42:27 PM »

I know, but in the interest of making the slow, waterborne portion of the journey shorter, a ramp in Manhattan makes the most sense.  I farmed this one out to a friend who came up with this legit boat ramp at Dyckman St.:

https://goo.gl/maps/GQzMXLRQWuJ2

This has the advantage of being directly across from the Englewood Boat Basin in the Palisades Interstate Park in New Jersey, as short a cruise as one could ask for.

If we want to take the OP's requirement that the method be legal in the the most literal sense, legally using a public boat launch in NYC requires obtaining a permit from the parks department, and they are not free - they cost $15.

That said, this requirement to have a permit is in my experience not enforced, so you could probably get away with just driving up there. Probably.
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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2016, 12:31:27 AM »

True, but unlike the Walkway Over The Hudson, it's not a separate bridge bike/ped bridge.


Walkway Over the Hudson involves taking an elevator, too. :D

Not the times I've hiked it...

Same here; the elevator was not yet in service the only time I've been up there.
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thenetwork

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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2016, 01:36:59 AM »

Yes, there is, at least as far as the Hudson River.

From the Loop, take the Ryan and Bishop Ford south to I-80.  Follow I-80/94 east to IN-49.  IN-49 south to US-30.  US-30 east to I-71.  I-71 north to I-76.  I-76 east becomes I-80 east.  I have no idea how to cross the Hudson River without a toll anywhere near NYC.

...Or you can sign up to be a one-time Uber driver and take a passenger from NJ to NYC, and have them pay for the toll !!!   :clap: :bigass: :clap:
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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2016, 04:32:38 PM »

I'm not one to generally consider bridge tolls the same as highway tolls. The sheer volume of traffic through the PANYNJ crossings (bridge or tunnel) necessitates a toll to fund the bridge or tunnel. So, paying the GWB or the Holland or Lincoln tunnels isn't an issue for me. Plus, when as mentioned, the cost of going around the toll generally exceeds the cost of the toll.

And even then, there's only a couple ways from Bronx to Manhattan without a toll. And getting to Staten Island, Brooklyn or Queens all would require a toll bridge or tunnel.

From Chicago, best way is I-94 to IN-49 to US-30 (or I-94 to US 20 to IN-2 to US-20 to US-31 to US-30) and east around Fort Wayne. Depending on desire, either than US-30 to I-71 to I-76 to I-80 OR take US-24 to I-475 to I-75N to I-280 to OH-2 and just slog along the non-freeway wetland area until the freeway starts near Sandusky to I-90 to I-490 to I-77 to I-480 to OH-14 to I-76 to I-80 OR I-90 to I-490 to I-77 to I-480 to US422 to OH-82 to OH-11 to I-80.

Then it's I-80 through Pennsylvania. You can just cross into the NYC on a PANYNJ crossing, or take I-81 to I-84 or US-209 to I-84 and get NY-17 and cross the Thurway on US-6. A little more scenic in that area, cross the toll, and take US-9 south and then cut over to the Taconic, and work your way into Manhattan.

Another option, as noted, would be in Ohio, take either I-71 NB to I-271 NB to I-90 EB or OH-2 EB to I-90 EB and enter PA and take I-86 (also NY-17) until Binghamton and take I-88 East to Albany. if EZ Pass, the stretch of I-90 Thruway is free to the next exit (I think you pay with cash, or get off early and route around it, not difficult), take I-90 across to the Taconic, and take that south.

But, length of the trip and what you want to see, and how much time and money are you willing to spend to avoid the toll roads and/or bridges.
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Re: From Chicago to Manhattan without tolls
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2016, 10:00:25 PM »

take I-90 across to the Taconic, and take that south.

Doing this involves taking the Berkshire Section of the Thruway from exits B1 to B2, which incurs a toll of 40 cents (38 cents with EZpass!). Just enough to annoyingly kill the idea of the route being completely toll free.

Really not worth shunpiking around but if you want to because you can, the easiest way to do so is to get off I-90 at exit 12, take US 9 south to Valatie, turn left on Main St, turn right on NY 203 and follow that to the Taconic.

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