PARKWAY SPUR TO OSSINING: The Briarcliff-Peekskill Parkway, which runs from the Saw Mill River Parkway and NY 100 in Hawthorne to US 9 in Ossining, is a hybrid limited-access and at-grade highway. Designed by the Westchester County Parks Commission to relieve traffic on Albany Post Road (US 9), the parkway was constructed by the New York State Department of Public Works (NYSDPW) after the commission had secured land donations along the proposed right-of-way and had prepared designs for grade separation overpasses.
When the parkway opened in 1933, the parkway had the NY 404 designation, but the designation had been changed to NY 9A in the 1950's. For a short distance, NY 9A and NY 100 are dually signed along the parkway.
From the Saw Mill River Road (NY 100) split in Briarcliff Manor, the Briarcliff-Peekskill Parkway continues in a northerly direction to just north of Ryder Road in Ossining, where it makes a sharp turn west toward US 9. According to records from the Westchester County Archives, the portion from the "turn" to US 9 was known as the "Ossining Spur." The parkway also features a "SPUI" (single-point urban interchange) at the Bedford Road (NY 117) in Pleasantville.
According to the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), the Briarcliff-Peekskill Parkway carries approximately 35,000 vehicles per day (AADT). Although the route has retained the low-clearance, stone arch overpasses and sight lines of a traditional parkway, it is open to commercial traffic.
In Pleasantville, Westchester County, the NYSDOT plans to build a new ramp from the southbound Briarcliff-Peekskill Parkway (NY 9A and NY 100) to the southbound Taconic State Parkway. Originally scheduled to begin in 2003, the $13 million project has been postponed.
A TRUE PARKWAY EXTENSION TO PEEKSKILL: Between 1929 and 1957, the parkway was proposed to continue directly north from Ryder Road in Ossining through the Teatown Lake Reservation and Croton Dam Plaza. At Croton Dam Plaza, the parkway was to continue northwest through Blue Mountain Reservation to the city of Peekskill.
By the 1960's, the proposal to extend the Briarcliff-Peekskill Parkway was passed over in favor of the proposed Hudson River Expressway (I-487) just a couple of miles west. Only one 9.2-mile section of the Hudson River Expressway -- it survived as the Croton Expressway -- was built between Ossining and Peekskill, the two towns that were to have served as endpoints on the proposed Briarcliff-Peekskill extension.
The Westchester County Parks Department still owns the right-of-way for the unbuilt section of parkway. This original route through Teatown Lake Reservation and Croton Dam Plaza later became part of the "Briarcliff-Peekskill Trailway," which today is accessible only by foot.
SOURCES: Reports of the Westchester County Parks Commission (1926-1935), Westchester County Parks Commission (1935); "Report on the Planning Aspects of the Location of Proposed Interstate Route 87" by Hugh R. Pomeroy, Westchester County Planning Department (3/03/1961); "Pioneering in Parks and Parkways: Westchester County, New York (1895-1945)" by Marilyn E. Weigold, Public Works Historical Society (February 1980); New York Metropolitan Transportation Council; New York State Department of Transportation; David J. Greenberger; Ralph Herman; Dan Moraseski; Mark Terribile; Douglas A. Willinger.
NY 9A, NY 100 and Briarcliff-Peekskill Parkway shields by Ralph Herman. Lightposts by Jeff Saltzman.