The Mosholu Parkway is hybrid limited-access and at-grade route between the New York Botanical Gardens (Bronx Park) and Van Cortlandt Park in the northwest Bronx. The parkway begins at the end of Allerton Avenue, just west of the intersection with Bronx Park East at the junction with the Bronx River Parkway. It runs west along Dr. Theodore Kazmiroff Boulevard (Southern Boulevard) as a two-lane highway, divided in some locations.
At Bronx Park (New York Botanical Garden), the parkway turns north and continues as a tree-lined boulevard with service roads and at-grade intersections until Van Cortlandt Park South. Within the confines of Van Cortlandt Park, the Mosholu Parkway becomes a limited-access parkway, with interchanges at the Major Deegan Expressway (I-87) and the Henry Hudson-Saw Mill River Parkway.
The New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) maintains the Mosholu Parkway, and the New York City Parks Department maintains surrounding rights-of-way. Major reconstruction work is undertaken by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), which also installs signs and reference markers.
According to the NYSDOT, the Mosholu Parkway carries approximately 35,000 vehicles per day (AADT).
MOSES AND THE MOSHOLU: Even in the mid-1930's, environmental concerns arose with the construction of the Mosholu Parkway. From Robert A. Caro's The Power Broker:
(Robert) Moses had stated that the Henry Hudson Parkway would run through "only a corner" of Van Cortlandt Park. Actually, two young reformers… found that it would run through its center. And the location of a giant cloverleaf planned in the center to provide an interconnection with another parkway - the Mosholu - was near the only fresh-water marsh of any size left in all New York. When biology teachers had protested to one of Moses' aides about the destruction of part of the marsh plants, birds and animals, the "Moses Man" had assured them that "destruction" was an inexact term; "beautification" was more suitable, for Commissioner Moses planned to "landscape" the marsh by dredging it to create a series of "lagoons" with formal shrubbery along their edges. And, the aide went on, they needn't worry that the job would only be half done; the Commissioner was always thorough: the marsh was going to be landscaped not only near the cloverleaf but also along its entire length.
In the 1950's and 1960's, Moses, who served as New York City's parks commissioner and arterial coordinator, advanced plans to reconstruct the Mosholu Parkway into a controlled-access route. The $13.5 million reconstruction project was to not only cover the 3.0-mile distance of the parkway proper, but also include the construction of a 1.2-mile link to the Bronx River Parkway along the existing Dr. Theodore Kazimiroff Boulevard.
Additional grade-separated interchanges were to be constructed at the following locations:
Gun Hill Road / Van Cortlandt Park South: cloverleaf interchange Jerome Avenue / Grand Concourse: partial cloverleaf interchange Webster Avenue: partial cloverleaf interchange
Originally scheduled for completion by 1973, the controlled-access Mosholu Parkway was never constructed.
THE MOSHOLU-PELHAM GREENWAY: The Mosholu-Pelham Greenway runs south along the Mosholu Parkway from Van Cortlandt Park to Bronx Park, and east along the Pelham Parkway to Pelham Bay Park. Originally designed and built in the late 1930's by Robert Moses, the greenway was reconstructed in the late 1970's as the "North Bronx Beltway." Future plans call for this local greenway to be integrated as part of the East Coast Greenway.
SOURCES: New Parkways in New York City, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (1937); Arterial Progress 1959-1965, Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (1965); The Power Broker by Robert A. Caro, Vintage Books-Random House (1974); The Bronx: It Was Only Yesterday, 1935-1965 by Lloyd Utman and Gary Hermalyn, The Bronx County Historical Society (1992); New York City Planning Department; Ralph Herman; Nathan W. Perry; Jeff Saltzman; Samuel Tyszler.
Mosholu Parkway shield by Ralph Herman. Lightpost by Jeff Saltzman. Bike route shield by Richard C. Moeur.