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Palisades Interstate Parkway

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Palisades Interstate Parkway route marker

Palisades Interstate Parkway
Map of the New York City area with the Palisades Interstate Parkway highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by Palisades Interstate Park Commission
Length37.00 mi[4][5] (59.55 km)
Existed1958[1]–present
Tourist
routes
Palisades Scenic Byway
RestrictionsNo trucks, buses, trailers, or vehicles 8 feet tall or taller[2][3]
Major junctions
South end I-95 / US 1-9 in Fort Lee, NJ
 
North end
US 6 / US 9W / US 202 / US 6 Truck / Bear Mountain Bridge in Bear Mountain State Park
Location
CountiesNJ: Bergen
NY: Rockland, Orange
Highway system
Route 444Route 445Route 446

The Palisades Interstate Parkway (PIP) is a 38.25-mile-long (61.56 km) limited-access highway in the U.S. states of New Jersey and New York. The parkway is a major commuter route into New York City from Rockland and Orange counties in New York and Bergen County in New Jersey. The southern terminus of the route is at the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey, where it connects to Interstate 95 (I-95) and U.S. Route 1–9 (US 1–9). Its northern terminus is at a traffic circle in Fort Montgomery, New York, where the PIP meets US 9W and US 202 at the Bear Mountain Bridge. At exit 18, the PIP forms a concurrency with US 6 for the remaining duration of its run.

The route is named for the New Jersey Palisades, a line of cliffs rising along the western side of the Hudson River. The PIP is designated, but not signed as Route 445 in New Jersey and New York State Route 987C (NY 987C), an unsigned reference route, in New York. As with most parkways in the New York metropolitan area, commercial traffic is prohibited from using the PIP. The Palisades Interstate Parkway was built from 1947–1958, and fully opened to traffic on August 28, 1958.

Route description[edit]

The Palisades Interstate Parkway southbound in Tenafly, New Jersey.

The mainline of the parkway is designated as Route 445 in New Jersey and NY 987C in New York. The latter is one of New York's reference routes.[4][5] A 0.42-mile (0.68 km) spur connecting the parkway to US 9W in Fort Lee, New Jersey, is designated Route 445S.[6] All three designations are unsigned and used only for inventory purposes. The parkway is owned and maintained by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission but occasional maintenance is performed by the New Jersey and New York state departments of transportation.[7][8] Commercial vehicles are prohibited on the entire length of the Palisades Interstate Parkway.[2][3] The speed limit on the highway used to be 50 mph (80 km/h) south of the New York State Thruway and 55 mph (89 km/h) north of it. As of October 2018, it is 55 mph for the entire length.[9]

New Jersey[edit]

The split of the mainline parkway and its short spur to US 9W in Fort Lee. The parkway feeds a significant amount of traffic into the George Washington Bridge.
Welcome sign at the parkway's northern terminus in Orange County

The Palisades Interstate Parkway begins at the George Washington Bridge (GWB) in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Passengers from the upper level of the GWB can directly get on the PIP northbound, while passengers from the lower level of the bridge must travel through GWB Plaza on US 9W before getting on the parkway. Passengers riding northbound on the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95) must be in local lanes to directly get on the PIP. Once the PIP leaves the GWB, it proceeds north along the New Jersey Palisades, past the Englewood Cliffs Service Area. Unlike service areas further north along the parkway, there are two in Englewood, one for northbound drivers and one for southbound drivers. The others are in the center median shared by drivers going in both directions. There are also three different scenic lookout points over the Palisades near the northern tip of the island of Manhattan at the Harlem River. After this, the PIP parallels US 9W and the Hudson River for its entire run in New Jersey. All four exits in New Jersey are either with US 9W, or within mere feet of the route. The PIP leaves New Jersey into New York in the borough of Rockleigh.[10]

The entire New Jersey portion of the Palisades Interstate Parkway is in Bergen County. It is designated as a state scenic byway known as the Palisades Scenic Byway.[11] The PIP, the New Jersey Turnpike, and Interstate 676 are the only highways that use sequential exit numbering in New Jersey; all others in the state are based on mileage, except for the Atlantic City–Brigantine Connector in Atlantic City, which uses lettered exits (no numerals).

New York[edit]

Rockland County[edit]

The Palisades enters Rockland County in the hamlet of Palisades. At about the border the PIP changes direction from due north along the Hudson River to a north-west direction. Shortly after the Kings Ferry Service Area in the center median, the first two exits in New York are key exits for two colleges in Rockland County. Exit 5 provides a link to St. Thomas Aquinas College, and exit 6 provides a link to Dominican College. In West Nyack, the PIP has a key interchange with the New York State Thruway (I-87 and I-287). This intersection is about seven miles (11 km) west of the Tappan Zee Bridge. After the PIP's interchange with the NY Thruway, the PIP turns slightly north-east. At exit 13, the PIP intersects US 202 as the route crosses south of Harriman State Park in Mount Ivy. This is the first of two meetings between the PIP and US 202. At exit 15, the PIP has its last busy intersection in Rockland County with County Route 106 (CR 106, formerly part of NY 210) in Stony Point. From here, the PIP enters Harriman State Park, and at exit 16, the PIP intersects Lake Welch Parkway, which is one of several parkways commissioned within the park.[10]

Orange County[edit]

The Palisades enters Orange County north of Lake Welch Parkway at exit 16 and south of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission Visitor Center, located in the center median in what was originally a parkway service area. The first interchange in Orange County is exit 17 at Anthony Wayne Recreation Area. At exit 18, the PIP intersects US 6 and Seven Lakes Drive. US 6 west heads toward the Thruway and NY 17 five miles (8 km) west in Harriman. US 6 east forms the PIP's only concurrency for the last two miles (3 km) of the PIP's run. Seven Lakes Drive joins the two routes for one mile (1.6 km) before departing at exit 19. The two routes then enter Bear Mountain State Park in an eastern direction. Finally, the Palisades Interstate Parkway meets its end at US 9W and US 202 at a traffic circle inches from the Hudson River and the Bear Mountain Bridge. US 6 and US 202 head east over the bridge toward Peekskill, while US 9W north heads toward the United States Military Academy in West Point, and US 9W south and US 202 west form a concurrency south of the circle towards Haverstraw.[10]

History[edit]

View of the Bear Mountain Bridge and Anthony's Nose
Palisade Interstate Parkway[12]
Palisades Interstate Parkway is located in Bergen County, New Jersey
Palisades Interstate Parkway
Coordinates41°4′37.2″N 73°59′2.4″W / 41.077000°N 73.984000°W / 41.077000; -73.984000
Area3,311 acres (1,340 ha)
NRHP reference #99000940[13]
NJRHP #102[14]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPAugust 2, 1999
Designated NJRHPOctober 3, 1999

In 1933–34, the first thoughts of a Palisades Interstate Parkway were developed by engineer and environmentalist William A. Welch, who was general manager and chief engineer of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission.[15] The plan was to build a parkway to connect the New Jersey Palisades with the state parks along the Hudson River in Rockland and Orange counties. Welch would soon garner the support of John D. Rockefeller, who donated 700 acres (2.8 km2) of land along the New Jersey Palisades overlooking the Hudson River in 1933.[16] With this favorable momentum for the new route, the proposed route was accepted as a Civil Works Administration project under Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal coalition. However, the New Jersey Highway Commission did not support construction, so the idea was put on hold.[16]

During the 1940's, Rockefeller renewed the push for a parkway along the New Jersey Palisades, and teamed with ultimate PIP planner, Robert Moses, to establish and design the parkway. The plan originally was to have the PIP stretch from the Garden State Parkway, along the Hudson River, to the George Washington Bridge, and then north along its present-day route ending at the Bear Mountain Bridge. This southern extension was never built, but construction began on the current PIP in New York on April 1, 1947. Construction on the New Jersey portion began about one year later.[1] Construction was delayed twice due to material shortages, but that did not stop the PIP from being opened in stages during the 1940's and 1950's. The route was completed in New Jersey in 1957, and on August 28, 1958, the final piece of the PIP was completed between exits 5 and 9 in southern Rockland County.[1]

The PIP is known for its stone arch overpasses throughout its route and its several scenic overlooks in New Jersey. All sorts of unique trees and flowers can be seen along the route as well. In 1998, because of all the natural and constructed beauty, the PIP was designated as a national landmark by the National Park Service.[17]

Exit list[edit]

StateCountyLocationmi
[4][5]
kmOld exitNew exitDestinationsNotes
New JerseyBergenFort Lee0.000.00 I-95 north / US 1-9 north – George Washington Bridge, New York CityUpper Level access only; exit 74 (I-95 / US 1-9)
0.240.39George Washington Bridge – Palisades Parkway Toll Plaza (southbound toll)
0.560.90 CR 505 (Hudson Terrace) – Fort LeeSouthbound exit and entrance
0.691.11 US 9W south (Fletcher Avenue) to I-80 west / I-95 south / N.J. Turnpike south / US 1-9 south / US 46 west / Route 4 west / Route 67 south – Fort LeeSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
0.951.53Gas Station
Englewood Cliffs1.893.041 CR 505 (Palisade Avenue) – Englewood Cliffs, Englewood
2.804.51Rockefeller Lookout (northbound access only)
Alpine5.508.85Alpine Lookout (northbound access only)
7.4812.042 US 9W – Alpine, Closter
9.2914.95Palisades Interstate Park Commission Visitor Center & State Line Lookout
3 US 9W – Alpine Scout CampNorthbound access via u-turn ramps across center median
10.3416.644 US 9W – Sparkill, NY, Piermont, NY
11.0617.80New Jersey–New York state line
New YorkRocklandSparkill12.7520.52Service Station in center median with food, gas, restrooms
Tappan13.5021.735 NY 303 – Orangeburg, TappanSigned as exits 5N (north) and 5S (south)
Orangeburg14.4023.176 CR 20 (Orangeburg Road) – Orangeburg, Pearl RiverSigned as exits 6E (east) and 6W (west)
West NyackNanuet line17.2027.687 CR 42 (Town Line Road) – Nanuet
18.0028.978 NY 59 – Nyack, Spring ValleySigned as exits 8E (east) and 8W (west)
18.8030.269 I-87 / New York Thruway / I-287 to G.S. Parkway – Albany, White Plains, Tappan Zee BridgeSigned as exits 9E (east) and 9W (west)
New City20.4032.8310 CR 33 (North Middletown Road) – New City, Nyack
New Hempstead22.5036.2110A[18]11 CR 80 (New Hempstead Road) – New City, New Square
24.0038.6211[18]12 NY 45 – New Hempstead, Spring ValleyServes Palisades Credit Union Park
Pomona25.2040.5612[18]13 US 202 / CR 47 (Thiells Mt. Ivy Road) – Pomona, Haverstraw, Suffern
Stony Point27.5044.2613[18]14 CR 98 (Willow Grove Road) – Letchworth Village
28.6046.0314[18]15 CR 106 (Gate Hill Road) – Stony PointFormer NY 210; no commercial vehicles north of this point
Harriman State Park29.6047.64 CR 69 (Cedar Flats Road)Northbound entrance only
29.9048.1214A[18]16 Lake Welch Parkway south – Lake Welch, Sebago BeachNo northbound entrance
33.1053.27Palisades Interstate Park Commission Visitor Center
Orange33.8054.4017Anthony Wayne Recreation Area
34.0054.7218 US 6 west (Long Mountain Parkway) to Future I-86 / I-87 / New York Thruway / NY 17 – Harriman, Central Valley
Seven Lakes Drive west – Sloatsburg
South end of concurrency with US 6 / South Lakes Drive
Bear Mountain State Park34.6055.6819 Seven Lakes Drive east to Perkins Memorial Drive – Bear Mountain State ParkNorth end of concurrency with South Lakes Parkway
37.0059.55 US 9W south / US 202 west – Haverstraw, Bear Mountain State Park

US 6 east / US 202 east – Bear Mountain Bridge, Peekskill


US 9W north / US 6 Truck west – West Point, Newburgh, Fort Montgomery State Historical Site
Bear Mountain Circle; northern terminus of PIP; north end of concurrency with US 6; Bear Mountain Bridge tolled eastbound
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Rest areas[edit]

The parkway's northern terminus in Fort Montgomery, New York

There are six rest areas on the Palisades Interstate Parkway:

New Jersey[edit]

  • Englewood Cliffs: Located just before the George Washington Bridge, Fuel, convenience store, and phone service. One rest area on each side of PIP.
  • Rockefeller Lookout (Englewood Cliffs): Northbound only. Located about one mile (1.6 km) past exit 1. Parking / scenic view area only. No fuel.
  • Alpine Lookout (Alpine): Northbound only. Located near exit 2. Parking / scenic view area only. No fuel.
  • State Line Lookout: Located across from exit 3. Visitor center and lookout. No fuel.

New York[edit]

  • Sparkill: Located just south of Exit 5. Fuel, convenience store, and Park and Ride. Open 24 Hours. Access from both directions.
  • Bear Mountain/Tomkins Cove: Located between exits 16 and 17. Information and book store. No fuel. Access from both directions.

Palisades Interstate Parkway Police[edit]

The Palisades Interstate Parkway Police is a highway law enforcement agency for protecting the Palisades Interstate Parkway and to enforce state and city laws in the New Jersey section of highway, headquartered in Alpine, New Jersey on Alpine Approach Road. The department consists of one chief, two lieutenants, five sergeants, and seventeen patrol officers. There are also security guards available who were trained and hired for by the police academy. Other than patrol cars, the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police also uses police boats for marine patrols and a bicycle unit. [1] The Bergen County Prosecutor's office has investigated the police department for misconduct. [19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Staff. "PALISADES ROUTE WILL OPEN TODAY; Officials to Mark Completion of Final Link in 42-Mile Interstate Parkway", The New York Times, August 28, 1958. Accessed April 7, 2016. "The final gap in a scenic route overlooking the Hudson River will be closed with a ceremony at noon today at Orangeburg, N. Y. "
  2. ^ a b "TITLE 16. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION - CHAPTER 32. TRUCK ACCESS" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 20, 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "New York Parkway truck restriction brochure" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation and New York State Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "NJ Route 445 Straight Line Diagram" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. May 2010. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c "2007 Traffic Data Report for New York State" (PDF). New York State Department of Transportation. July 25, 2008. Retrieved July 17, 2009.
  6. ^ "NJ Route 445S Straight Line Diagram" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. May 2010. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  7. ^ "NJDOT to begin Palisades Parkway repaving project" (Press release). NJDOT. July 17, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  8. ^ New York State Department of Transportation (January 2012). Official Description of Highway Touring Routes, Bicycling Touring Routes, Scenic Byways, & Commemorative/Memorial Designations in New York State (PDF). Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  9. ^ Cutler, Nancy (October 18, 2018). "Palisades Interstate Parkway speed limit's now 55 mph from GW to Bear Mountain bridges". USA Today Network. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  10. ^ a b c Google (September 21, 2007). "overview map of Palisades Interstate Parkway" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved September 21, 2007.
  11. ^ "Scenic Byways in New Jersey – Palisades Interstate Parkway". New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
  12. ^ "National Register of Historic Place Listings". National Park Service. August 13, 1999. Retrieved April 19, 2010.
  13. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  14. ^ New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places – Bergen County, p. 1. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection – Historic Preservation Office, updated January 25, 2016. Accessed April 7, 2016.
  15. ^ Palisades Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan, Palisades Interstate Park Commission. Accessed April 7, 2016. "In 1934 Welch formally presented the map, entitled Key Map Preliminary Survey Top of Palisades and Palisades Interstate Park New Jersey Section to the PIPC. In addition to the survey, Welch and Shurtleff also prepared a paper entitled A Scenic Parkway on the Top of the Palisades within the Palisades Interstate Park, State of New Jersey. This report, subsequently referred to as Welch's 'Parkway Plan', included a suggested route for the parkway, a design concept and a strategy for accomplishing the project."
  16. ^ a b Ingraham, Joseph C. "THE PARKWAY'S LAST LINK; Scenic Palisades Route To Open in Entirety This Week", The New York Times, August 24, 1958. Accessed April 7, 2016. "THE piecemeal construction of the Palisades Interstate Parkway, which has been abuilding since 1947, will come to an end this week when Governor Harriman cuts a ceremonial ribbon marking completion of the forty-two-mile road from the George Washington Bridge to Bear Mountain."
  17. ^ "News on the Palisades Parks". The Palisades Park Conservancy. Retrieved February 21, 2008.
  18. ^ a b c d e f Conti, Melissa (October 18, 1987). "State Renumbers Some PIP Exits". The Journal News. White Plains, NY. p. 16. Retrieved December 16, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  19. ^ Kanzler, Kaitlyn; Janoski, Steve (August 10, 2018). "What you need to know about the Palisades Interstate Parkway police". North Jersey Record. Retrieved 2019-12-11.

Further reading[edit]

  • Myles, William J. (1999). Harriman Trails, A Guide and History. New York, NY: The New York–New Jersey Trail Conference.

External links[edit]

Route map:

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