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.