Mar 24 2020

Kleiner’s Korner: The Motor Parkway in the 1929 Graphic Regional Plan of NY and its Environs

Various uses of the The Long Island Motor Parkway were included in the 1929 NY/NJ/CT Regional Planning Committee's 400+ page report which recommended plans to spur development and limit congestion throughout the region through 1965. Unless otherwise noted, all documentation is courtesy of The HathiTrust Digital Library.

Be Safe, Stay Home,

Art Kleiner

The Report

The plan took 7 years to develop at a cost of $1,000,000 and was funded by The Russell Sage FoundationFrederick A. Delano was the committee's  chairman. 

Included in the ambitious report were recommendations pertaining to highways, rapid transit, commuter and freight railroads and parks. 

Approximatly 500 proposals were presented. (The New York Times, May 28, 1929)

The goal was to "provide complete coordinated facilities of transportation and communication between all parts of the region".  (The New York Times, May 28, 1929)

The New York Times, May 28, 1929

Long Island was a major component of the report. 

Mapping the Region's Current Roadways

Queens: The region was divided into over 125 sections which were mapped and included in the report.  Several showed the Motor Parkway as a current highway.

Lake Success

Garden City and my home town of Levittown!


Dix Hills

Route 2 and 2A

Several proposals for LI roadways included the use of or absorbing the Motor Parkway.

Even then the Motor Parkway was envisioned by some to "eventually be publicly acquired".

Route 2B

And the Grand Central Parkway was under consideration to be acquired.

Proposal 24

"it absorbs the function, as well as parts of the right-of-way, of the Motor Parkway"

The proposal and an associated one provided an alternative to Robert Moses and the proposed Northern State Parkway.

Route 25 (Wheatly Hills)

"the character of the existing roads should be changed as little as possible" . .  "it should never be a speedway or have separated grades to invite fast traffic"

One of my favorite pictures!

The report proposed 16 airfields and mentioned Charles Lindbergh and Roosevelt Field.


Leave a Comment