by Kevin Walsh

This week’s FNY page takes its name from the classic Hank Williams country song and the 1997 David Lynch film noir. The idea came in a flash of inspiration — there are a number of roads in NYC that go for lengthy stretches without interruption whatever, a cross street or a stoplight. Before about a dozen years ago, I’d have had to visit all these locations, scatted in 4 of 5 boroughs (Manhattan has none that I can tell) but, now, through the magic of Google Street View, I can screenshot them pretty easily. For that reason I’ll be upfront about it and leave all the Google ID and time stamps on the photos. It’ll be one of those rare FNY pages (except the ones by Gary and Sergey) that I didn’t take any photos at all.

To be sure — there are plenty of parkways and expressways that go uninterrupted for miles, but I’m not talking about those here; I’m referring to local streets that go without interruption. As a rule, you’ll find them in relatively depopulated areas, but there re exceptions to that rule. Without a doubt, I’m going to miss a few. Let me know in Comments, and if I get enough, I’ll do a Part 2.


Surprisingly enough, the Bronx has the lion’s share of uninterrupted roadways. No doubt there’a a way to measure exactly the mileage from point to point when you use Google Maps, but I’ve forgotten how. When you mention Jerome Avenue to Bronxites, they usually think of the Jerome Avenue that lives under the Woodlawn El that carries the #4 IRT train. Jerome Avenue is shrouded by that el all the way from River Avenue and East 168th Street all the way to the last stop at Bainbridge Avenue and Woodlawn Cemetery (except a run on its own right-of-way when Jerome Avenue takes a brief curve at the IND yards near Bedford Park Boulevard).

However, there’s a lengthy run of Jerome Avenue between that last stop and its northern end where it feeds traffic to the Major Deegan Expressway at East 233rd Street; here it runs between the cemetery and the Mosholu Golf Course, which is in the eastern section of Van Cortlandt Park. The only interruption is the entrance road to the golf course.

Woodlawn Cemetery also serves to separate Webster Avenue from the street grid. In perhaps the Bronx’s longest section of uninterrupted streets, Webster Avenue runs from East Gun Hill Road all the way north to East 233rd Street. Webster Avenue is flanked by the cemetery and by the Bronx River Parkway; even before the Parkway was built in the early 20th Century, the Bronx River itself ran east of Webster Avenue, cutting it off from the Williamsbridge and Wakefield neighborhoods to the east.

Three of the Bronx’s longest streets have uninterrupted stretches. East and West Tremont Avenue can be said to run all the way from the Harlem River on the west, in Morris Heights, all the way east and southeast to Schurz Avenue at the East River in Schuylerville, named for the former fort now a part of the State University of New York.

East Tremont Avenue’s straightaway occurs between Unionport Road and Purdy Street, forming the north end of the Parkchester housing development. On the north side are the railroad tracks carrying Amtrak trains to New England.

Riverdale is nestled along the Hudson River between Spuyten Duyvil on the south, Yonkers in the north and Van Cortlandt Park. With its curving, quiet lanes, spectacular views of the New Jersey Palisades and spectacular estates, it seems more a part of its neighbor to the north, suburban Westchester. The New York Times real estate section seems to agree: it has famously listed Riverdale separately from the rest of the Bronx for years. Yet, Riverdale has been a part of New York City since 1874, and the numbered street system that begins with East 1st Street in the East Village extends to Riverdale’s city line at the Yonkers border at the highest numbered street in the series, West 263rd Street.

Palisade Avenue runs in two major pieces in Riverdale, from Edsall Avenue under the Henry Hudson Bridge north to Spaulding Lane along the south end of Wave Hill, and again from West 254th north to West 261st. I’m picturing that northern section here, since it’s more “countrified” than the southerly section, without shoulders or sidewalks. Along this stretch there are driveways to various schools, as well as the entrance to semiprivate Sigma Place, but it’s mostly a straightaway.

You’d never know you’re in the Bronx when driving up Shore Road, which is a northeast extension of Pelham Parkway east of its spaghetti intersection with the New England Thruway and Hutchinson River Parkway. Shore Road keeps going and going through the east end of Pelham Bay Park, bridging over the Hutchinson River and rushing past the Bartow-Pell Mansion until attaining a truly uninterrupted stretch between the mansion and the Bronx-Westchester line. One of NYC’s secrets is that if you turn left on Roosevelt Avenue once within Pelham Manor and continue west, you’ll re-enter NYC briefly, as the avenue curves into NYC! FNY has the scoop here.

I’m showing Orchard Beach Road and City Island Road together because they pretty much do the same thing — the connect Shore Road with Orchard Beach and City Island respectively, running unimpeded through a considerable amount of Pelham Bay Park territory.


Brooklyn’s only “unimpeded” local street is Flatbush Avenue, which has a pair of straightaways. Between Kings Plaza and the Belt Parkway and again from the Belt Parkway over the Marine Parkway Bridge, Flatbush Avenue does not intersect any other street. Here, it runs past the main offices of Floyd Bennett Field; it flanks NYC’s first municipal airport and an unnamed area flanking Dead Horse Bay and Bottle Beach, a former landfill.

Constructed on the site of Barren Island and additional landfill, Floyd Bennett Field was New York City’s first municipal airport. The airport is located in the southern part of Brooklyn between Flatbush Avenue and Jamaica Bay, and was completed in 1930 ( a smaller airfield, Barren Island Airport, had been there since the mid-1920s) and dedicated by Mayor Jimmy Walker. The airport initially had only two perpendicular runways. The terminal building was topped by an air traffic control tower and featured modern innovations such as underground tunnels extending from the basement to the ramp area. This allowed passengers to comfortably walk from the terminal to their aircraft in any weather. A barber shop, weather room, pilot’s lounge, passenger lounge, and restaurant were also part of the modern terminal (by the nascent airline industry standards).

Several miles north of here, there’s another uninterrupted stretch of Flatbush Avenue between Grand Army Plaza and Ocean Avenue, where it bisects Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.


Perhaps Queens’ longest uninterrupted roadway is Cross Bay Boulevard between 165th Avenue in Howard Beach and 6th Road in Broad Channel; it’s bridged over parts of Jamaica Bay and run past the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (I really should get down there again as I haven’t explored it in about a dozen years). After serving as Broad Channel’s main drag, it’s bridged over Jamaica Bay again via the Addabbo Bridge until reaching the Rockaway peninsula. The entire road was constructed in 1925 as a means of connecting the peninsula with Broad Channel and the rest of Queens. Cross Bay Boulevard is a southern extension of Woodhaven Boulevard south of Liberty Avenue.

In 1883 developer Frederick W. Dunton bought up a lot of real estate north and south of what is now the Hollis LIRR station in eastern Queens at what is now the intersection of Hollis Avenue (then Old Country Road) and Farmers Avenue (now Boulevard) and, after some reflection, decided to name his new developments for his hometown, Hollis, New Hampshire. Today’s neighborhood of Hollis (immortalized by RUN-DMC in “Christmas in Hollis” was originally surrounded by Hollis Park Gardens, Hollis Terrace, Holliswood, Hollis Manor, and other celebrations of the southern New Hampshire villa. Over time, some of the Hollises have been renamed but you can still find the original Hollis, south of Jamaica Avenue, as well as hilly Holliswood and Hollis Hills.

Hollis Court Boulevard originally ran in a straight line between eastern Flushing southeast to Jamaica, but the construction of Cunningham Park as well as the Long Island and Clearview Expressways split it into three sections. The “Court” was added to the road’s name likely to class it up a bit as new housing was springing up along its route.

Adding to the overall confusion, the section of Hollis Court Boulevard between 73rd Avenue and 86th Avenue on the east side of Cunningham Park was renamed “Hollis Hills Terrace” in the 1970s, separating the Flushing and Queens Village stretches of Hollis Court Boulevard.

Pictured is the straightaway of Hollis Hills Terrace within Cunningham Park between 73rd and Richland Avenues, where it passes beneath a Motor Parkway overpass. The Motor Parkway was originally built by William K. Vanderbilt in 1908 and extended into Queens in 1926, serving as an auto parkway until 1938; subsequently it became a pedestrian path and bikeway.

Rockaway Point Boulevard runs west along Fort Tilden and the semiprivate region of Roxbury west to Breezy Point, intersected only by Beach 193rd Street. In 2010, Sergey entered the private world of Roxbury and Breezy Point, the “Irish Riviera.”

The grounds of Fort Tilden have been reclaimed by nature since its decommissioning in 1974. Former streets now ramble through thick shrubbery…

Roxbury is bound on three sides by public parkland, and the Rockaway Inlet to its north. It is one of the three communities affiliated with the Breezy Point Cooperative, which runs the gated communities of the peninsula’s tip. The public parkland is the Gateway National Recreation Area, and any private lands inside the park are designated as inholdings. This includes Roxbury, Rockaway Point and Breezy Point.

The neighborhood was founded in the early 20th century by Irish immigrants as a bungalow colony on a peninsula full of bungalows. While most bungalow colonies were replaced with housing projects and empty lots, the huts of Roxbury became year-round, kept their Irishness, and continue to prosper in their isolation.

The south end of Brookville Boulevard in Rosedale between 147th Avenue and Rockaway Boulevard is isolated indeed, a busy auto, truck and bus route running through the marshes of Hook Creek Park with no sidewalk or shoulder. This is the only north-south route connecting Rosedale with Rockaway Boulevard east of Guy Brewer Boulevard; east of here, Rockaway Boulevard plunges south past Meadowmere and into the Five Towns area of Nassau County. Springfield Lane also intersected Rockaway Boulevard, but that junction was severed in the 1970s.

It’s also a very old road. On this 1852 Queens atlas except I’ve circled the junction of Brookville and Rockaway Boulevards; back then, Brookville Boulevard was called Fosters Meadows Road and ran through a Queens County farming village of the same name.

Staten Island

While the north end of Manor Road, Staten Island, runs through moderately populated Castleton Corners and past the Manor Road Armory, it beginnings were decidedly rural as it was named for the Manor Farm, one of the city’s leading equestrian centers. Manor Road retains a suburban aspect until south of Brielle Avenue in Willowbrook, where it assumes a completely rural appearance, running past the Pouch Boy Scout camp and the private Ohrbach Lake, zigzagging its way south to Rockland Avenue at Latourette Park. No sidewalks on that uninterrupted run.

Rockland Avenue itself has a lengthy unimpeded straightaway in the Bloodroot Valley and Greenbelt Nature Center between Forest Hill Road and the High Rock Park area, twisting and turning with a Jersey barriered median.

I’m showing Olympia Boulevard and Slater Boulevard together, since both run through open straightaways in the New Creek Bluebelt in Midland Beach on Staten Island’s south shore. Midland Beach is well populated, but there are some marshy areas were most building is impossible such as around New Creek. Some other roads make their way across the marshes, but these are the two primary examples.

During the early 20th Century, Midland Beach, which roughly runs between Seaview Avenue, Father Capodanno Boulevard, Hylan Boulevard and Miller Field, a former military airbase, was thought of as a seaside resort, and the bungalows were only occupied during the summer. A series of fires and the onset of pollution that rendered South Beach unswimmable for a time doomed the amusement parks and resorts, though some of the funfairs did hang on into the 1960s.

Amazingly there have been three Richmond Hills in NYC in three different boroughs. In Manhattan, Richmond Hill was the estate of Aaron Burr, Vice-President and assassin; it’s now occupied by the Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District. Queens’ Richmond Hill centers along Lefferts Boulevard south of Forest Park and contains some of Queens’ richest deposits of Victorian-era architecture.

In Staten Island, Richmond Hill is the hilly area north of the Richmondtown Restoration, traversed by twisting, turning Richmond Hill Road; locals call it Snake Hill. Here it’s pictured on its straightaway between Forest Hill and Richmond Roads, where there’s no sidewalk or shoulder, treacherous for pedestrians and bicycles that have to use it.

Richmond Terrace runs along the Kill Van Kull on Staten Island’s north shore, past former gypsum mills and boatbuilding factories. FNY walked its entire length about a dozen years ago.

At its western end, between Holland and Western Avenues, Richmond Terrace straightaways for about a mile past Mariners Marsh Park. Mariners Harbor and Howland Hook are neighborhoods in Staten Island that stretch along the Kill Van Kull (separating Staten Island from New Jersey) between the Bayonne Bridge and the Arthur Kill north of Forest Avenue. Mariners Marsh is a newly-minted nature preserve in the far western corner of the island. It is a marsh and a wooded swamp (unless rain has been absent for several days, the ground is always muddy) and, while nature-lovers can glimpse dozens of species of flora and fauna, there’s something here for the urban artifact aficionado, as well. Mariners Marsh had a former life as an iron foundry and Downey Shipyard between 1907 and 1931. The wooden parts of the buildings are long dearly departed, but the concrete sections are still lying around like animal carcasses. Monument Swamp is cleverly named for the concrete hulks of the old foundries.

In 2018, Mariners Marsh Park was closed for “environmental review” but I hope it reopens this year.

Travis Avenue plunges unimpeded through the William T. Davis Wildlife Refuge between Mulberry Avenue and Victory Boulevard. I remember bicycling this stretch in 1977 when the MTA ran “bike buses” between Bay Ridge and Fingerboard Road — basically regular buses with the seats removed. I regularly used the service and roved all over the island on my bicycle. Few others did, however, and the bike bus was discontinued after one summer.

The 814-acre Davis Wildlife Refuge, named for the great Staten Island naturalist and entomologist, was New York City’s first such sanctuaries, and was established by Davis in 1933, in the heart of the Depression. The park is about equal in size to Central Park.

Much of the enclosure is a salt marsh that provides a rich milieu for flora and fauna…over 100 bird species can be found here including sharp-tailed sparrows, ducks, wading egrets, barn, great-horned and short-eared owls, many hawk varieties, as well as snapping turtles, crabs and muskrats. The Refuge features a nature trail entered at Travis Avenue near Mulberry Avenue, and accommodates canoeists in the broad Main and Springville Creeks.

Continued on Part 2

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



Peter March 23, 2019 - 6:36 pm

And then there is this house on Manor Road, on the same side as the Scout camp a few hundred feet to the south. As far as I can tell from Google Street View the curves in the road mean that there are no other houses or buildings visible from this house. It may very well be unique in that respect within the city limits.,-74.1278314,3a,75y,175.13h,90.07t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sicGo61-eN82zPy8_u0U1XA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

Joe Brennan March 23, 2019 - 6:46 pm

Kevin– Try to get distances. It’s for runners and cyclists, bit distance is distance. To get best results click on curves– although it displays curved lines it actually reckons straight lines between each point you click.

Andy March 23, 2019 - 6:52 pm

In Northeast Queens there are two good examples:

(1) Francis Lewis Boulevard, between Grand Central Parkway and Long Island Expressway, is a straightaway with only two intersections in between (Union Turnpike and 73rd Ave., going south to north). There are no abutting structures on either side, as Francis Lewis travels within Cunningham Park. Each of the three segments is at least a half-mile.

(2) Similarly, 164th Street between Booth Memorial Avenue and Underhill Avenue goes through Kissena Park.

In Manhattan, the four crosstown transverse roads through Central Park might qualify as uninterrupted roads, depending on one’s definition. These roads are at 65th-66th Streets, 79th St. (east) – 81st St. (west), 84th-85th Streets (east) – 86th St. (west), and 96th-97th Streets. Each one is about a half mile long without interruption.

Gregg Goldberg March 23, 2019 - 7:52 pm

You forgot Ocean Ave between Lincoln Rd and Parkside Ave in Brooklyn by Prospect Park, that is about seven block of uninterrupted roadway, also a stretch of Roosevelt Ave between Grand Central Parkway and 126 St in Flushing by Flushing Meadows and CitiField

Bob Harris March 23, 2019 - 8:59 pm

The railroad on the north side of Tremont isn’t Metro North; it’s the Hell Gate line, the Amtrak connection from Penn Station that will join the Metro North New Haven Line in New Rochelle.

Metro North trains may travel on this stretch a few years from now, though, once some LIRR service is diverted to Grand Central. A station is planned for the Parkchester area.

Similarly, on your Splice Today article on Spuyten Duyvil, you identify the swing bridge at the Harlem-Hudson confluence as Metro North; it too belongs to Amtrak and is part of the Empire Connection between Penn Station and Metro North’s Hudson Line just north of the bridge. All Amtrak trains to Albany and north use this bridge.

Love your page, and visit it often.

Po March 23, 2019 - 9:31 pm

“The streets are fields that never die.”–Jim Morrison (?)

FNY Fan Skipper March 23, 2019 - 11:27 pm

Hi Kevin,

There are two easy ways to get distances on Google. In maps, simply do directions and just select each end of the street on the map. Using Earth, you can do Tools -> Ruler -> Path (and you can multiple click for the path)

Marlon March 24, 2019 - 12:05 am

You are extremely dedicated and informative this is great stuff. As a young teen my friends and I took bicycle tricks between Queens parks Kissena Flushing Meadow Forest Douglaston without leaving the parks to avoid the streets and traffic. Now I have to look on the map and see exactly where we went. The biggest adventure occurred when one of our bikes head a flat time that we were not equipped to fix. We took the bike apart carried it back to Rochdale Village Queens in pieces. Would have been smarter to have a patch kit with us oh well. We did have wrenches

Ty March 24, 2019 - 6:10 am

You can also get distance measured by choosing directions on google maps and dropping pins

Gregg Goldberg March 24, 2019 - 9:05 am

You forgot. Ocean Ave between Lincoln Rd and Parkside Ave in Brooklyn by Prospect Park, that is about a seven block stretch without a cross street with the park on one side and apartment buildings on the other, also a stretch of Roosevelt Ave between tge Grand Central Pkwy and 126 St in Flushing Queens by Flushing Meadows and CitiField

Kevin Walsh March 24, 2019 - 10:53 am

I plan on a Part 2 soon enough.

Tal Barzilai March 24, 2019 - 5:35 pm

I take it Manhattan doesn’t have any of these kinds of roads, which is why none of them were mentioned here.

Matt Testani December 29, 2019 - 12:47 am

What about Riverside Drive from Grant’s Tomb (just north of 123rd Street) all the way to 134th Street?

Peter March 24, 2019 - 8:32 pm

If you’re willing to consider roads a *bit* outside of the city, there’s the (in)famous Canning Stock Route, the toughest road trip in the world. 1,150 miles of uninterrupted road/barely passable dirt track through the proverbial middle of nowhere in western Australia.

Josh March 25, 2019 - 7:49 am

Mariner’s Marsh Park has been closed for probably about a decade at this point due to high levels of coal tar and PCBs (?). There are maybe a dozen other streets on Staten Island that could classify as a “lost highway”-
Meredith Ave runs for about a mile on the western shore, and only interrupted by the West Shore overpass (it runs past Meredith Woods, an inaccessible parkland). Chelsea Rd is about 2/3 of a mile in the same area, through Saw Mill Creek Park. River Rd nearby leads to a ConEd plant through some pretty desolate areas.

Edward March 25, 2019 - 10:01 am

A few suggestions for Part 2: Fort Hamilton Parkway between 36th Street and Dahill Rd., more like a suburban highway strip than a city street. Parkside Avenue from Machate Circle to Parade Place. Highland Blvd. in East New York, especially the part in the park.

Vince P. March 26, 2019 - 2:17 pm

The Cross Island Parkway Side road it runs from 107th Av. down to 116th Ave in Cambria Heights. Its mostly residential homes but it is a two way street. Have a look and see it this can be added to Part 2: 40.707613, -73.728008 to 40.693273, -73.727386

Mitch45 March 26, 2019 - 3:46 pm

Unlike the other roads, Brookville Boulevard is a very dangerous roadway. Since it runs directly through a “nature preserve” (which looks suspiciously like a swamp), very few safety upgrades have been made on this road over the years. It is full of sharp curves, is poorly lit at night and does not have guardrails for most of its length. The road is very susceptible to flooding because there is virtually no drainage. The two travel lanes are quite narrow and are used by NYCTA buses – passing a bus traveling in the opposite direction on an icy night can be an adventure.

Frankie Sutera March 27, 2019 - 9:42 pm

Though not as long as all the mentioned roads in your article, wouldn’t the four transverse roads (66th, 79th, 85th and 97th) through Central Park qualify for Manhattan?

Andy March 29, 2019 - 10:38 am

Already noted that in my earlier post on March 23. Great minds think alike!

Kevin Walsh March 29, 2019 - 11:44 am

I see that in recent years, the DOT has widened Springfield Boulevard and extended it south to 147th Avenue, where it ends, and severed its connection with Springfield Lane. The old arrangement, decades ago, was that Springfield Blvd sort of petered out south of 147th, while Springfield Lane descended a hill and connected with Rockaway Boulevard.

Edward April 7, 2019 - 10:10 am

You’ll notice the Jersey barriers on Rockland Ave, Staten Island have square cutouts every few feet. That’s so wildlife can cross the road, and (hopefully) make it to the other side. The barriers were added about 20 years ago after some nasty car accidents at that curve of Rockland.


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