JERICHO TURNPIKE, Bellerose

by Kevin Walsh

INFRASTRUCTURALLY, there’s a lot going on here at the undefended Queens-Nassau borderline where Jericho Turnpike/Jamaica Avenue encounter Braddock Avenue and the Cross Island Parkway. On the left, we see the old Bellerose Theatre, which first opened in 1926 and closed in the mid-1980s, only to become a martial arts center after spending years as a carpet store.

From the Cross Island Parkway east to 257th Street this route is known on both sides of this undefended border, to and from which all may enter and exit freely, as Jericho Turnpike, named for the small town in mid-Nassau County through which it runs. Until 1995, though, the Nassau County portion, in the municipalities of Bellerose and Floral Park, was named Jericho Turnpike and the Queens County portion on the north side of the road was named Jamaica Avenue, as the portion completely contained in Kings and Queens Counties is. Neighborhood political representatives on the Queens side petitioned for the change, ostensibly desiring a less confusing situation. But they’ll never convince me that they didn’t want an association with the neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens, several miles to the west.

Incidentally there’s a Bellerose and Floral Park in Nassau that are quite separate from the Bellerose and Floral Park in Queens. Only your postal carrier knows for sure.

Jericho Turnpike has a center median and between 10-20 years ago (as of 2021) it received a set of Twin Corvington lampposts. Twin Corvs are a recent invention. When the style first appeared in the 1910s, a Twin version was never designed; only after they were reintroduced in the 1980s did Twin versions ever appear.

You will note a Nassau County style stoplight stanchion on the right side of the picture. They have a simple design: cylinders with a bend in the middle arching over the road. They come in different lengths, with the longer variety used here. But notice that it’s placed on the Queens side of Jericho Turnpike. The Department of Transportation of NYC must have an easement agreement with its Nassau County counterpart (whose name escapes me; help me in Comments) and Nassau stoplights, pedestrian signals and even some Nassau street signs can appear on the Queens side.

Lastly, here’s a NYS Route 25 sign. The route runs over 100 miles west to east, from the Manhattan side of the Queensboro Bridge down Queens Boulevard, Hillside Avenue, Braddock Avenue, Jericho Turnpike, Middle Country Road in Suffolk, all the way to Orient Point on the north fork, where one can catch a ferry to Plum Island. New London, CT. There’s an archipelago of sorts way out east and you can jump from island to island by boat.

As always, “comment…as you see fit.” I earn a small payment when you click on any ad on the site.

12/2/21

13 comments

Anonymous December 3, 2021 - 3:39 am

Enjoy reading your blog Thanks

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S.+Saltzman December 3, 2021 - 6:01 pm

At the end of 2013, a set of those traffic light poles were installed at the confluence of Astoria Blvd. South, Boody Street, and I believe the exit of the BQE, right in front of the Bulova Center. I always was curious about why this non standard type of pole had been installed in the City.

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Ralph Herman December 5, 2021 - 2:00 pm

Signal faces on typical NYCDOT guy wire mast arms are prone to wind sway. NYSDOT design is not, and is needed at that location to avoid adjacent lanes(s) seeing conflicting signal illumination.

Google maps view https://www.google.com/maps/@40.765771,-73.8936809,3a,75y,53.92h,87.39t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sCP9azmIpfIaNb_vXjair2w!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

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Anonymous December 4, 2021 - 8:13 am

By the car in the picture I see that NY has gone back to the old early 60s license plate.Kind of,but not quite.
Its still better than the ones of the last 40 years or so,which were awful.Many Californians long for their old
60s plate which was similar to New York’s but black and dark orange.So much so that there you can special
order for an extra fee the old Calif. plate for your car.People in NY should have the same option since NY
seems to have let “graphic design consultants” design their recent ones

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Peter December 4, 2021 - 8:39 pm

The newest license plate design (newer than the one in the photo) is a major design fail, in terms of the five stylized images on the bottom. Niagara Falls and the Adirondacks are on the left, then there’s the state name, and on the right there is the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan, and finally Montauk Point lighthouse. The Adirondacks are barely recognizable, one of the bolts that hold the plate on blocks most of the Statue of Liberty, and the lighthouse is so small you can barely see it.

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EP December 5, 2021 - 9:37 am

Not quite Anonymous, those were the standard plates from 2010-2020, and have now been superseded by the “Excelsior” design, a white background with subtle picture elements. The Blue & Yellow design was not well received, and anyone who opted to keep their previous “Empire State ” design was allowed to grandfather it in.

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Ralph Herman December 5, 2021 - 1:51 pm

NYSDOT signal hardware. State owns the road on the Nassau County side.

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Lawrence Stelter December 4, 2021 - 3:38 pm

Drive east on NY25 to Greenport and catch the ferry to Shelter Island and continue east to Orient Point to catch the ferry to New London CT. No ferries go to Plum Island since it had been for decades a Federal property devoted to research with dangerous materials. Lawrence Stelter, 12/4/21

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Jerry Friedman December 7, 2021 - 2:14 pm

Drive direct on 25 to Orient Point. No trip to Shelter Island needed.

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FNY Fan Skipper December 6, 2021 - 12:13 am

That traffic light setup would appear to be a recent installation. In the last few years, new signals have yellow reflective strips around their perimeter.

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Doug Peterson December 6, 2021 - 5:18 pm

Not to get too hung up on license plate design, but I seem to remember a brouhaha from my youth centered around the text line “NY WORLD’S FAIR 64” at the bottom of the plate in 1964. If I recall correctly, some drivers objected to advertising what they viewed to be a private enterprise, and ultimately received official sanction to paint over the offending letters. Can anyone confirm, or is my rapidly declining memory starting to play tricks? Great article (as always), by the way.

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EFP December 8, 2021 - 7:59 pm

You’re almost right Doug. According to the Grey Lady (https://www.nytimes.com/1964/01/29/archives/motorist-wins-right-to-plates-with-worlds-fair-ad-deleted.html) you couldn’t paint over it, but the state was required to issue license plates without the WORLD’S FAIR text after a court ruling, for those interested anyway. Plates issued prior to the ruling (and pressing of new plates) remained legal.

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Kenneth Buettner December 15, 2021 - 4:44 pm

You can be sure that the “WORLDS FAIR” addition to those license plates was the result of “influence” from our old friend Robert Moses!

Reply

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