RIP BAYSIDE PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE

Word has recently come that the Department of Transportation intends to raze the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Long Island Rail Road at 216th Street, which has been a handy crossing for me since I moved to Queens in 1993. After it’s torn down, there will be no pedestrian or auto crossings between Bell Boulevard and 221st Street.

 

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The DOT says that the bridge’s concrete foundations have been in decline since 2006, a good decade ago (so it’s fortunate that a tragedy hasn’t occurred yet). Plans for an Americans with Disabilites Act-compliant staircase with winding ramps were blocked by the local community board, says the DOT, so the blame for no replacement may lie with them.

 

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The steps are very steep and difficult to ascend on both sides. The bridge has two lamps, little more than pipes with electrical wires supporting sodium vapor “bucket” lamps.

A look north and south from the pedestrian walkway.

Looking east on the Port Washington Branch tracks toward a small trainyard.

 

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Looking west toward the Bayside station. The intersecting track goes to the trainyard.

 

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Meanwhile, the local youth have been rather imaginative, and shall we say witty, regarding their scrawlings on the iron bridge fencing.

 

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Solid advice on both panels.

 

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This is a movie reference: Kids is centered on a day in the life of a group of sexually active teenagers in New York City and their hedonistic behavior towards sex and substance abuse (alcohol and other street drugs) during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the mid-1990s. The film generated a massive controversy upon its release in 1995, and caused much public debate over its artistic merit, even receiving an NC-17 rating from the MPAA. It was later released without a rating. wikipedia

 

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Meanwhile, the crossing east of the Broadway station connecting Station and Depot Roads at 167th Street is quite similar, requiring steps on the Station Road side that are not ADA-compliant; it seems in no danger for now.

 

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Meanwhile, even though the LIRR replaced the steps to its crossing at the Little Neck station in 2014 after the¬†original steps rusted through…

 

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… the crossing itself remained rickety. The wood-planked roadbed was replaced about a decade ago, but the MTA or DOT determined them still unsafe, so the crossing itself was removed in September 2014 and there seems no great rush to replace it.

Passengers living on the east end of the tracks are now forced to proceed all the way to the west end to use the gated crossing on Little Neck Parkway.

11/13/16


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One Response to RIP BAYSIDE PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE

  1. Jane Parlato says:

    Thank you for filling me in on the Bayside pedestrian bridge and all the great photos! I grew up right near that bridge on 216 Street and 38th Avenue. A group of us kids loved going there to climb the steps and look over at the tracks. Thank goodness we never did anything foolish.

    I’m now a 73 year-old senior who still lives on Long Island’s north shore and a half-hour’s drive from Bayside. I make a trip back to Bayside about once a year to pass by my old house and see the neighborhood. Once I actually parked the car and climbed those steps up the bridge for old time’s sake. I’m glad I did it.

    I have wonderful memories of my years in Bayside. It will be sad to pass through Bayside on the LIRR and no longer be able to go under that bridge.

    Thanks again for the info.

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