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Cross Bay Boulevard is the main north-south road in Howard Beachmarker, a neighborhood in the New York Citymarker borough of Queensmarker. In the south, it originates in The Rockawaysmarker, runs over the Cross Bay Bridgemarker into Broad Channelmarker and then over the Joseph P.marker Addabbo Memorial Bridgemarker into Howard Beach. It then continues north into Ozone Parkmarker, where the name changes to Woodhaven Boulevard north of Liberty Avenue. Residents often refer to Cross Bay Boulevard as simply "Cross Bay;" it is rare to hear anyone refer to it as simply "The Boulevard" anymore, as younger people have grown out of this elderly colloquialism. The completion of Cross Bay Boulevard in 1923, together with the construction of the associated bridges over Jamaica Baymarker, created the first direct roadway connection to the burgeoning Atlantic Oceanmarker beachfront communities of The Rockawaysmarker from Brooklynmarker and most of Queens.

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). It is often a very busy street as well, carrying an average volume of 35,000 vehicles per day , mainly because it is the only way to get to Broad Channel and The Rockaways from Queens by car without having to go through Brooklyn or Nassau Countymarker. Like Queens Boulevardmarker, many road safety cameras are being installed along Cross Bay Boulevard.

Woodhaven Boulevard continues north until finally ending just north of the Long Island Expressway at Queens Boulevard, near the Queens Centermarker mall.

History

The Broad Channel roadbed of Cross Bay Boulevard was constructed over an aborted turnpike built by a syndicate headed by Patrick Flynn from 1899 to 1901. Flynn planned to build a roadway across the bay eighty feet wide and containing a double-track trolley line, a bicycle path and roadway. Flynn's project aimed at connecting the Jamaica Baymarker islands, filling in the marshes and leasing properties for homes along the route. The Long Island Rail Road, whose 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 Appealsmarker invalidated the 1892 lease that Flynn's project was based on. Today's Cross Bay Boulevard follows the path of Flynn's proposed roadway and was completed in 1923.

A $5 million project begun in 1924 involved the paving of Cross Bay Boulevard with concrete, as part of what was described as "the largest vehicular trestle in the world".

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

Public transportation

Cross Bay Boulevard is served by three main local buses and a limited stop bus. The Q21 runs down the majority of Cross Bay Boulevard from Liberty Avenue to Rockaway Park, though the line runs infrequently. The Q41 runs on Cross Bay Boulevard from Liberty Avenue to 164th Avenue in Howard Beach, and also goes through Lindenwood. The Q11, Woodhaven Boulevard's main local bus, runs on Cross Bay Boulevard from Liberty Avenue to Pitkin Avenue in Ozone Park, and continues through Old Howard Beach.

There is also the Q53, a limited stop bus that only stops at select bus stops. The Q53 runs down the entire stretch of both Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards, and acts as an express (limited stop) version of both the Q11 and Q21.

1998 Labor Day parade controversy

Cross Bay Boulevard is the site of an annual Labor Day parade in the neighborhood of Broad Channelmarker. A 1998 float titled "Black to the Future: 2098", featuring a group of men dressed in blackface, ate fried chicken and watermelon and re-enacted the dragging killing of James Byrd, Jr. that had occurred just months before in Texas. Many of the 3,000 mostly-white residents of the area that had lined the street were said to have howled in approval of the float. Then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani oversaw the suspension of New York City police officers and firefighters who had participated in the float. The three suspended officers were reinstated in 2003 on First Amendment grounds.

Chris Rock

In The Chris Rock Show, comedian Chris Rock proposed renaming Cross Bay Boulevard after Tupac Shakur, asking the predominantly white residents of Howard Beachmarker to sign a petition. Hilarity ensues.

References

External links



Other sources

Vincent F. Seyfried, The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, Part Five, published by the author, Garden Citymarker, New Yorkmarker, 1966.


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