New York Daily Photo Analytics

Monday, November 16, 2009

No Lipitor

If you live in New York City, sooner or later, you are most likely going to end up enjoying a ride on the Long Island Expressway (aka the L.I.E.) and learning why this roadway has become known as the world's largest parking lot. Many also feel that the acronym LIE is appropriate for a thoroughfare that represents itself as an expressway.

The photo was taken during my recent journey to visit a friend in Roslyn, Long Island, a distance of under 20 miles from Manhattan. What could, under ideal conditions, have been a 30-minute ride, turned out to be a painful 90- minute crawl.

This highway is the major artery running east from Manhattan (via the Queens Midtown Tunnel) and servicing the Long Island suburbs of New York City. It extends 71 miles, going through Queens and nearly the entire length of Long Island.

We have the largest island in the contiguous United States and the largest city in the US, all serviced by essentially one major highway. And that means trouble. Compound this with the fact that we are talking about islands, and that means limited access. For the traveller who is experienced with all the alternate routes and is able to assess the situation based on conditions, time of day, weather, etc., the expressway can be avoided. There are various alternate routes that parallel the LIE for various distances - the Northern State Parkway, the Southern State Parkway, and Sunrise Highway. Others who are particularly averse to traffic can resort to local routes, such as Northern Boulevard.

But not everyone has the stomach for tactical maneuvering, and most will just take the simplest route and travel the clogged artery. For this one, we have no Lipitor...


Mary said...

Oh, yeah!

ChickenUnderwear said...

Wouldn't it have been nice if there was 4 track rail on the median of that "highway". With stations and big parking lots at every exit. Taking the LIRR would have been a real option and the road might not have been so clogged.

Just saying.

Mary said...

Sort of like the Sunrise Highway for part of its run.

Susanna said...

Just dropped by to say that I love your blog! Love the pictures, can't wait to move to NYC!

Greetings all the way from Sweden.

Sue said...

It's also known as the Long Island Distressway! But hey, wasn't it worth the ride?!! We had fun! Next time we'll come to you. Charley's. Does that name ring a bell?

Lily Hydrangea said...

I shouldn't say this without knocking on some wood but, I rarely get stuck in traffic on the L.I.E.-even in rush hour. It's actually one of my favorite roads to take because I always get home in a more timely fashion- especially compared to the Northern Sate.
I remember years ago I used to always get stuck in traffic but I seriously think the HOV lane has helped.
Maybe I'm just lucky.

Jack said...

"It extends 71 miles, going through Queens and nearly the entire length of Long Island."

Typical New Yorker. As any "eastern" Long Islander will tell you, once you arrive at the end of the L.I.E., there is approximately another 50 miles to reach the Montauk Lighthouse.

Love the photos and the blog.