In 2014, I wrote about the unusual pedestrian ramp arrangement at the Clearview Expressway and 39th Avenue in Bayside. In this situation, the Long Island Rail Road is bridged across the Clearview between 39th and 42nd Avenues. On both sides, the service roads dead-end at the railroad, but the Clearview traffic engineers came up with an ingenious solution to allow pedestrians to cross the railroad: drop a ramp along the open-cut walls below the railroad and bring it back up on the other side. Now, admittedly, I didn’t use it often, and never saw anyone else using it, but it was handy and I knew I always had it there when I needed it. The nearest streets crossing the LIRR are Francis Lewis Boulevard and Corporal Kennedy Streets, both of them a fair distance away.

The Department of Transportation, not known for being especially pedestrian-friendly, tore down these pedestrian ramps without much fanfare or notice in late June 2017. My guess would be that the ramps were found to be insufficiently sound and were in danger of collapse, or they were merely found superfluous. In any case, another little convenience has been eliminated.

In the photo above, I had arrived after the ramps had been eliminated and new fencing installed, but the ramp’s lampposts had been orphaned…


…including the last post remaining that still had a 1950s-era Westinghouse AK-10 Cuplight, no doubt with its incandescent bulb. These, too, were also duly removed shortly after I got the photos. While I hope they found their way to a collector or a museum, there’s little doubt they were sent to a local scrap heap for disposal.


However, for now, the DOT has spared other pedestrian bridges that cross the Clearview directly, and some still have their original lampposts, albeit with sodium vapor Bucket lamps that replaced the Cups during the 1980s.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”


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  1. Alan Gregg Cohen says:

    Very interesting article Kevin, and I remember seeing your original posting from 2014. The Clearview Expressway pedestrian under crossing of the LIRR was indeed an unusual sight, however I don’t think it will be that missed. Corporal Kennedy Street has an over crossing over the LIRR for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and It’s only four short blocks east of the Clearview Expressway. As such, it’s really not of any significant inconvenience for pedestrians to cross there instead of the now defunct Clearview Expressway pedestrian under crossing, and that is probably the mindset of the DOT, if they were facing significant infrastructure improvements to the former expressway pedestrian under crossing.

  2. My guess is that either someone was assaulted on one of those ramps or they were afraid that someone would leave a bomb there and blow up the railroad tracks. It’s hard to imagine the pedestrian underpass being that much of a structural liability.

  3. Deedee says:

    I’m sorry to hear about all this. I was considering moving into the area. The removal of those ramps and having to walk to Francis Lewis to catch a bus to the subway on Main Street would add another 15-20 minutes to an already lengthy commute to Manhattan. A shorter walk to Northern Blvd. via the ramp and the choice of a greater number of bus lines there would have been very convenient.

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