Though Roosevelt Island is technically a part of Manhattan, between 1958 and 1976 the only way to get there was by a bridge at 36th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard in Astoria, Queens. (Before 1958 a trolley would let you off on the Queensboro Bridge, where an elevator would transport you to the island.) (more…)
The story of modern Queens began when the Queensboro Bridge (aka the Ed Koch Queensboro bridge, but nobody in Queens actually calls it that) opened for business in 1909. Before the great span opened, Queens was a patchwork of agricultural towns and villages that had more to do with Brooklyn and each other than with “the City”- as Manhattan was and is known. Queensboro sparked off an industrial revolution during the early 20th century, an age when Long Island City was referred to as the “workshop of America.”
According to the NYC DOT, the bridge carries better than 180,000 motorists and 800 bikers and pedestrians daily, using ten lanes for vehicles and one for foot and bike traffic. It’s 100 feet wide, 130 feet over the water, and at its longest point some 1,182 feet long. At one time it carried streetcar (trolley) tracks as well.
A great spot to contemplate the Queensboro Bridge is from the Penthouse808 rooftop lounge atop the Ravel Hotel at 8-08 Queens Plaza South.
NYC is chock full of bridges – the city would be a very different place without them (can you even imagine?!?). There are the heavy hitters like the Brooklyn Bridge and the RFK/Triboro Bridge (yes, it does travel to three different boroughs), and the smaller ones like the Madison Ave Bridge that goes from the Bronx to Harlem. And of course the Hell Gate Bridge, which only takes rail passengers and cargo (we have to admit, it’s one of our very favorites, and love that it was an inspiration for the similar looking bridge in Sydney, Australia). So what’s your favorite bridge in NYC? We’d love to know. Leave us a comment here or via twitter at @queensnycity.
NYCgo has produced a really lovely video called This is New York City—Long Island City, Queens – and yes, it’s all about LIC. It really shows off how awesome LIC is – this is a gem of a neighborhood (we’ve already shown you why we love to eat, have fun, and live here).
Yesterday we came across this op-ed from the Queens Tribune that is in favor of putting tolls on the currently free East River bridges – the Queensborough, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and Manhattan bridges. In the author’s words, “Instituting a toll on the various bridges within the City that are now toll-free could begin to fill the coffers for an infrastructure fund.”
What do you think? Do you favor tolls in these currently bridges to pay for improvements in infrastructure – specifically the subway? Let us know in the comments or via twitter at @queensnycity.