CONNECTING BRONX PARK WITH PELHAM BAY PARK: The Pelham Parkway, which was originally named "Bronx and Pelham Parkway," is an urban landscaped boulevard that runs from the Bronx River Parkway at Bronx Park (New York Botanical Garden), to Pelham Bay Park along Long Island Sound. Both the main roadway and service roads have at-grade intersections. A wide median park separates the eastbound and westbound roadways.
The New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) maintains the Pelham 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 Pelham Parkway carries approximately 35,000 vehicles per day (AADT).
MOSES UPGRADE SHELVED: In the 1950's and 1960's, Robert Moses planned to upgrade the Pelham Parkway from an at-grade boulevard to a limited-access parkway, complete with grade separation and service roads, throughout its entire length. According to data released by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA) in 1963, the 2.0-mile conversion between the Bronx River Parkway and the Hutchinson River Parkway was estimated to cost $15.5 million, and was scheduled for completion by 1975. With Moses relinquishing his official posts in the late 1960's, this conversion never came to fruition.
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.
THE PELHAM PARKWAY DRAWBRIDGE: Situated in the middle of Pelham Bay Park, the Pelham Parkway Drawbridge carries the Pelham Parkway over the Hutchinson River. When the leaves are closed, the drawbridge has a vertical clearance of 17.5 feet over mean high water. The bridge, which has a horizontal clearance of 60 feet, was reconstructed in 1985. It is operated and maintained by the NYCDOT.
A SHORELINE PARKWAY FOR THE BRONX: Toward the end of his public career in 1965, Moses took his limited-access Pelham Parkway plan one step further. The proposed Pelham Bay-Shore Drive, a four-mile-long, six-lane parkway, was to have been constructed on earthen fill in Eastchester Bay from the Throgs Neck Bridge toll plaza north to Pelham Bay Park. A "directional-T" interchange was to connect the Pelham Bay-Shore Drive with the Pelham Parkway.
The $30 million shoreline parkway plan, which included provisions for two new beaches and a marina for 550 boats, was defended by Moses as a plan to protect against the commercial exploitation of the Bronx shoreline. Although the New York City Planning Commission recommended new recreational facilities in the area, it made no provisions for the proposed parkway. With Moses losing his influence in the late 1960's, the limited-access Pelham Parkway and the Pelham Bay-Shore Drive soon became part of his unbuilt legacy.
SOURCES: New Parkways in New York City, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (1937); Joint Study of Arterial Facilities, The Port of New York Authority and the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (1955); "New Bronx Road Urged by Moses," The New York Times (3/04/1965); "Pelham Bay-Shore Drive," Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (1965); Arterial Progress 1959-1965, Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (1965); New York City Department of Transportation; Ralph Herman; Nathan W. Perry; Jeff Saltzman; Samuel Tyszler.
Pelham Parkway and Pelham Bay-Shore Drive shields by Ralph Herman. Lightposts by Jeff Saltzman. Bike route sign by Richard C. Moeur.