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Woodhaven and
Cross Bay Boulevards

Jamaica Bay Boulevard (former) [1]
Map of Queens with Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by NYCDOT NYSDOT & MTAB&T
Length11.1 mi [2] (17.9 km)
RestrictionsNo drivers with learner's permits on Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge
Major junctions
South end Shore Front Parkway in Rockaway Beach
Major intersections NY 27 / NY 878 / Belt Parkway in Howard Beach
North end I-495 / NY 25 in Rego Park
Country United States
State New York
Counties Queens
Highway system

Woodhaven Boulevard and Cross Bay Boulevard (formerly Jamaica Bay Boulevard [1]) are two parts of a major boulevard in the New York City borough of Queens. Woodhaven Boulevard runs roughly north–south in the central portion of Queens. South of Liberty Avenue, it is known as Cross Bay Boulevard, which is the main north–south road in Howard Beach. Cross Bay Boulevard is locally known as simply "Cross Bay", and Woodhaven Boulevard, "Woodhaven". The completion of the boulevard in 1923, together with the construction of the associated bridges over Jamaica Bay, created the first direct roadway connection to the burgeoning Atlantic Ocean beachfront communities of the Rockaway Peninsula from Brooklyn and most of Queens.

The road is part of the New York City Arterial System, having formerly been given the unsigned reference route designation of New York State Route 908V (NY 908V). However, the reference route has not been listed in NYSDOT documents since April 2005, and is maintained by the New York City Department of Transportation. [3] The southernmost 0.4 miles (0.64 km) of the route on the Rockaway peninsula, locally known as Cross Bay Parkway, is designated but not signed as New York State Route 907J (NY 907J).

Route description

At Myrtle Avenue

Beginning at the intersection with Queens Boulevard near the Queens Center shopping mall in Elmhurst, the boulevard runs generally south through the neighborhoods of Rego Park, Elmhurst, Middle Village, Glendale, Woodhaven (for which it is named), and Ozone Park. [2] [4] [5] At the intersection with Liberty Avenue in Ozone Park, the name of the street changes to Cross Bay Boulevard. [2] [5] It continues south through Ozone Park, Howard Beach and across Jamaica Bay via the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge through Broad Channel, before finally coming to an end at Rockaway Beach in The Rockaways, after crossing over the Cross Bay Bridge. [2] [5] [6]

Since Cross Bay Boulevard is a direct continuation of Woodhaven Boulevard, it is a large street, although not as wide. It is a six-lane wide, median-divided boulevard throughout the majority of its stretch (although it shrinks to four lanes once it reaches Broad Channel). Cross Bay Boulevard is the only direct connection between the Rockaways, Broad Channel, and the rest of Queens. [2] Cross Bay Boulevard is approximately 7 miles (11 km) long. Together with Woodhaven Boulevard, which is 4 miles (6.4 km) long, makes it one of the longest streets in Queens, at 11 miles (18 km). [2]

Woodhaven Boulevard is an 8- to 11-lane boulevard throughout its entire length, [7] stretching up to 195 feet (59 m) in width, making it the widest street in Queens that is not either a limited-access highway or a state route. The only street in Queens that isn't a highway to surpass it in width is Queens Boulevard ( NY 25) at 225 feet (69 m).

Formerly, Woodhaven Boulevard (through Glendale, Woodhaven, and Ozone Park) had up to six central lanes and four service lanes (10 bi-directional), resembling many other major thoroughfares in the New York City boroughs outside Manhattan, such as Queens Boulevard in Queens; Ocean Parkway, Linden Boulevard, Kings Highway, and Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn; and Bruckner Boulevard, Pelham Parkway, and Grand Concourse in the Bronx. However, these service roads were removed in September 2017. [8] It is also the only Queens roadway with its own distinct FIRE LANE markings, similar to those found on Manhattan's north–south avenues. As of September 2017, Woodhaven Boulevard contains dedicated bus lanes along most of its length, while Cross Bay Boulevard does not.


Woodhaven Boulevard in Woodhaven as seen from Woodhaven Boulevard station ( J and ​ Z trains)

Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards was originally laid out as South Meadow Road in 1668. It originated at the intersection of present-day Queens Boulevard and Grand Avenue, and went as far south as Jamaica Bay. [9] Around the 1850s, South Meadow Road was renamed Trotting Course Lane, after the number of trotting courses and horse racetracks found in Woodhaven, halfway along the road's route. Part of the original Trotting Course Lane still exists near Metropolitan Avenue. [10] In 1889, the road was renamed Flushing Avenue. By the time Queens became part of New York City in 1896, Flushing Avenue had been renamed yet again because the name was shared by another road a few miles away. The road was now named Woodhaven Avenue, after the neighboring community. Shortly afterward, Woodhaven Avenue was straightened in the vicinity of Metropolitan Avenue, resulting in the present-day Trotting Course Lane. [9]

Cross Bay Boulevard dates from Patrick Flynn's 1899 proposal to build a road across Jamaica Bay. The crossing, which would be 80 feet (24 m) wide, would contain a double-track trolley line, a bicycle path, and roadway. Flynn's project aimed at connecting the Jamaica Bay islands, filling in the marshes and leasing properties for homes along the route. The Long Island Rail Road, whose Rockaway Beach Branch trestles were the only transportation connection across the bay at the time, vigorously opposed Flynn's plans in an effort to protect its monopoly. In June 1902, the New York Court of Appeals invalidated the 1892 lease that Flynn's project was based on. The only work that had been performed was a flattening of a plateau south from Liberty Avenue to a point 1,500 feet (460 m) from the bay's northern shore. [11]: 49 

In the late 1910s, plans surfaced again to build Cross Bay Boulevard between Woodhaven and the Rockaways. Advocates stated that the construction of the boulevard would result in development in the Rockaways. [12] In September 1918, the New York City Board of Estimate approved plans for Cross Bay Boulevard. [13] A $2.9 million bid for the boulevard's construction was received in October 1921. [14] Work involved the paving of Cross Bay Boulevard with concrete and asphalt; widening the thruway from 50 feet to 100 ft (30 m); and connecting the Rockaways, Broad Channel, and mainland portions as part of what was described as "the largest vehicular trestle in the world". [15] The project encountered difficulties, including the presence of oyster beds in the boulevard's path, which had to be removed before construction could proceed. [16] The boulevard was then referred to as Jamaica Bay Boulevard. [1] The southern portion between Broad Channel and Rockaway Beach opened in October 1924, [15] and the entire route up to the existing intersection of Woodhaven Avenue and Liberty Avenue opened a year later in 1925. [17] The new boulevard used much of Flynn's original right-of-way, but the causeway across Jamaica Bay connected to mainland Queens east of the location of Flynn's plateau. [11]: 50  In conjunction with this extension, Woodhaven Avenue was widened to 150 feet (46 m) and renamed Woodhaven Boulevard. [18]

Woodhaven Boulevard's northern end at Queens Boulevard was formerly known as Slattery Plaza, where the two major thruways originally intersected with Eliot Avenue and Horace Harding Boulevard. The intersection, along with the Woodhaven Boulevard subway station, were named after Colonel John R. Slattery, former Transportation Board chief engineer who died in 1932 while supervising the construction of the Independent Subway System's Eighth Avenue Line. The construction of the Long Island Expressway along the Horace Harding corridor caused Slattery Plaza to be demolished. [19] [20] [21] [22]

A 1941 proposal would have created an expressway on the route of Cross Bay and Woodhaven Boulevards, connecting Queens Boulevard to The Rockaways. [23]

Once heavily German and Irish, the area is now very ethnically diverse. [24] The headquarters of the St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee is located on Woodhaven Boulevard (see also Irish Americans in New York City). [25]

The first dedicated MTA bus lanes on the corridor were installed in August 2015, on the north end of Woodhaven Boulevard between Dry Harbor Road and Metropolitan Avenue. [26]: 4  In September 2017, the NYCDOT announced that the segment of Woodhaven Boulevard between Union Turnpike and 81st Road would also get dedicated bus lanes for Select Bus Service. As part of that segment's bus lane implementation, the NYCDOT would remove the medians separating service-road and main-road traffic in each direction, as well as expand the median separating the two directions of traffic. [8]


A Q53 bus near the northern end of Woodhaven Bouelvard

Woodhaven Boulevard is served along its entirety by the Q11 and Q21 local bus lines; the Q21 and Q41 also continue down Cross Bay Boulevard from Liberty Avenue to 164th Avenue in Howard Beach, via local streets in Lindenwood. The Q11 runs down Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards to Pitkin Avenue in Ozone Park, and continues through Old Howard Beach or Hamilton Beach. The three local buses run along with the Q52 and Q53, which are Select Bus Service routes. The Q52 and Q53 run down the entire stretch of both Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards to the Rockaway Peninsula; the Q52 terminates in Arverne and the Q53 in Rockaway Park. At Queens Center, the Q11, Q21, and Q52 all terminate; the Q53 continues via Queens Boulevard and Broadway to Woodside, at the 61st Street subway and Woodside LIRR stations. [27] [28] The Q11 and Q21 routes, which originally corresponded to the Woodhaven and Cross Bay portions of the boulevard respectively, date back to 1930s when they were among 54 bus routes approved by the Board of Estimate for operation. [29] [30]

Three subway stations are located on Woodhaven Boulevard: Woodhaven Boulevard ( IND Queens Boulevard Line), Woodhaven Boulevard ( BMT Jamaica Line), and Rockaway Boulevard ( IND Fulton Street Line). The Long Island Expressway is also accessible from Woodhaven Boulevard near Queens Center in Elmhurst. [4] [5]

To the east of the boulevard lies the abandoned Rockaway Beach Branch formerly operated by the Long Island Rail Road, which parallels the boulevard for most of its route between Rego Park and the Rockaways. Both the Rockaway line and the boulevard represent the Woodhaven-Cross Bay Boulevard transit corridor. The rail line north of Liberty Avenue was closed in 1962, [31] [32] replaced by the Q53 which until 2006 ran non-stop between Rego Park and Broad Channel, with the Q11 and Q21 providing local service on the Woodhaven and Cross Bay portions of the route respectively. [28] The entire line has been planned to be converted for subway service going back to the 1920s blueprints of the Independent Subway System (IND); the portion south of Liberty Avenue was converted into the IND Rockaway Line in 1956, while the northern portion remains inactive. [33] [34] [35] Some local mass transit advocates have urged that the northern portion be refurbished and reopened as a faster rail link between Queens and Manhattan. [36] A Select Bus Service bus rapid transit corridor is planned along the corridor, which would attempt to replicate rapid transit service with the current Q52 and Q53 routes. The plan has received mixed reviews, due to the addition of bus-only lanes which could negatively affect traffic flow. [7] [37] [38]

Cross Bay Boulevard was mentioned in The Vaccines' song Nørgaard about Danish model Amanda Nørgaard.

Major intersections

The entire route is in the New York City borough of Queens

Rockaway Beach0.00.0 Shore Front ParkwaySouthern terminus
0.20.32 Rockaway Beach Boulevard
0.30.48 Rockaway Freeway
0.40.64 Far Rockaway, Riis ParkInterchange; access via Beach Channel Drive
Jamaica Bay0.4–
Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge
Broad Channel2.54.0Southern end of limited-access section
Jamaica Bay4.0–
Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge
Howard Beach4.67.4Northern end of limited-access section
Belt Parkway – Eastern Long Island, Verrazano BridgeExit 17 on Belt Parkway

NY 27 ( Conduit Avenue) / NY 878 east (Nassau Expressway) – Kennedy Airport
Ozone Park7.011.3 Rockaway BoulevardAqueduct
Woodhaven7.612.2 Atlantic AvenueGrade-separated interchange for main road
8.012.9 Jamaica AvenueRight turns from service roads only
Glendale8.613.8 Myrtle Avenue
8.914.3 Union Turnpike
9.415.1 Metropolitan Avenue
Rego Park
I-495 west ( Long Island Expressway) – Midtown Tunnel
Exit 19 on I-495
I-495 east ( Long Island Expressway) / NY 25 ( Queens Boulevard) – Eastern Long Island
Northern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also


  1. ^ a b c "CROSS BAY VIADUCT BIDS CALLED FOR: Jamaica Bay Boulevard Will Create Direct Route From Rockaways to New York" (PDF). The New York Times. October 9, 1921. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Google (July 1, 2018). "Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  3. ^ NYSDOT Highways in Queens County
  4. ^ a b "MTA Neighborhood Maps: neighborhood". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d "MTA Neighborhood Maps: neighborhood". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  6. ^ "MTA Neighborhood Maps: neighborhood". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Woodhaven-Cross Bay Boulevards Select Bus Service: October 22, 2014: Community Advisory Committee Design Options Meeting" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Department of Transportation. October 22, 2014. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "What's Happening Here?" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation. September 2017. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  9. ^ a b "How Two Boulevards Got Queens Moving". November 20, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  10. ^ "TROTTING COURSE LANE, Forest Hills". Forgotten New York. November 27, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Black, Frederick R. (1981). Jamaica Bay: a History (PDF). Cultural Resource Management Study. United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 5, 2017.
  12. ^ "CROSS BAY BOULEVARD.; Rockaway Property Owners Want Work Hurried". The New York Times. October 7, 1917. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  13. ^ "WILL CONSIDER BOULEVARD.; Board of Estimate to Take Up Jamaica Bay Roadway". The New York Times. September 22, 1918. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  14. ^ "BOULEVARD BIDS LOW.; Connolly Expected Offers of $3,500,000, Got One of $2,869,297.64". The New York Times. October 19, 1921. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  15. ^ a b "OPEN A BOULEVARD OVER JAMAICA BAY; City Officials Take Part in Exercises at New $5,000,000 Causeway.", The New York Times, October 12, 1924. Accessed November 7, 2007.
  16. ^ "Oyster and Clam Beds Halt Cross Bay Boulevard Work". The New York Times. May 13, 1922. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  17. ^ "JAMAICA BAY HIGHWAY READY THIS MONTH: New $7,000,000 Boulevard Will Be Open to Motorists the Week of Oct. 26". The New York Times. October 11, 1925. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  18. ^ "Cross Bay Boulevard Completed in 1925 Gives Impetus to Seaside Development". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. December 7, 1924. p. 72.
  19. ^ "PWA Party Views New Subway Link: Queens Section to Be Opened Tomorrow Is Inspected by Tuttle and Others" (PDF). The New York Times. December 30, 1936. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  20. ^ Schneider, Daniel B. (October 15, 2000). "F.Y.I." The New York Times. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  21. ^ Karni, Annie (October 7, 2012). "Subway stations retain signs listing places and streets that no longer exist". New York Post. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  22. ^ Walsh, Kevin (July 29, 2014). "Ely Around in Queens". Blank Slate Factory, Inc. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  23. ^ Cross Bay-Woodhaven Express Highway, Accessed November 7, 2007.
  24. ^ Shaman, Diana (September 20, 1998). "If You're Thinking of Living In Woodhaven, Queens; Diversity in a Cohesive Community". The New York Times. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
  25. ^ Barry, Dan (March 7, 2001). "Secret List Sets Off St. Patrick's Parade Squabble". The New York Times. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
  26. ^ "Woodhaven / Cross Bay Boulevard (Q52/53) Community Advisory Committee Meeting #5" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Department of Transportation. December 15, 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 26, 2015. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  27. ^ "Queens Bus Map" (PDF). MTA New York City Transit.
  28. ^ a b "Queens Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 16, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  29. ^ "54 Bus Routes Win Approval By City". The New York Times. January 28, 1931. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  30. ^ "AGREES TO REVISE QUEENS BUS GRANTS". The New York Times. April 6, 1932. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  31. ^ Bresiger, Gregory (July 18, 2012). "The Trains Stopped Running Here 50 Years Ago". Queens Gazette. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  32. ^ The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History Volume #5; New York, Woodhaven & Rockaway Railroad; New York & Rockaway Beach railway; New York & Long Beach Railroad; New York & Rockaway railroad; Brooklyn rapid transit operation to Rockaway; Over L.I.R.R., by Vincent F. Seyfried
  33. ^ "City Board Votes New Subway Links". The New York Times. March 19, 1937. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  34. ^ Dunlap, David W. (July 30, 2014). "Clashing Visions for Old Rail Bed (Just Don't Call It the High Line of Queens)". The New York Times. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  35. ^ Freeman, Ira Henry (June 28, 1956). "Rockaway Trains to Operate Today" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  36. ^ "Home".
  37. ^ Woodhaven-Cross Bay Boulevards Select Bus Service, Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  38. ^ Geffon, Stephen (July 2, 2015). "HBL-Civic blasts bus lane proposal: Community says they don't want SBS plan in their neighborhood". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
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