A parkway is a broad, landscaped highway thoroughfare. The term is particularly used for a roadway in a park or connecting to a park from which trucks and other heavy vehicles are excluded. Many parkways originally intended for scenic, recreational driving have evolved into major urban and commuter routes.
The term parkway is sometimes applied more generally to a variety of limited-access roads.
Over the years, many different types of roads have been labeled parkways.
The first parkways in the United States were developed during the late 19th century by landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Beatrix Farrand as roads segregated for pedestrians, bicyclists, equestrians, and horse carriages, such as the Eastern Parkway, which is credited as the world's first parkway, and Ocean Parkway in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. The terminology "parkway" to define this type of road was coined by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted in their proposal to link city and suburban parks with "pleasure roads."
Newer roads such as Bidwell in Buffalo, New York and Park Presidio Boulevard in San Francisco, California were designed for automobiles and are broad and divided by large landscaped central medians.
During the early 20th century, the meaning of the word was expanded to include limited-access highways designed for recreational driving of automobiles, with landscaping. These parkways originally provided scenic routes without very slow or commercial vehicles, at grade intersections, or pedestrian traffic such as the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut and the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway in New York. Their success led to more development however, expanding a city's boundaries, eventually limiting their recreational driving use. The Arroyo Seco Parkway between Downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena, California is an example of lost pastoral aesthetics. It and others have become major commuting routes, while retaining the name parkway.
Early high speed roadsEdit
In New York City, construction on the Long Island Motor Parkway (Vanderbilt Parkway) began in 1906 and planning for the Bronx River Parkway in 1907. In the 1920s, the New York City Metropolitan Area's parkway system grew under the direction of Robert Moses, the president of the New York State Council of Parks and Long Island State Park Commission, who used parkways to create and access state parks, especially for city dwellers. As Commissioner of New York City Parks under Mayor LaGuardia, he extended the parkways to the heart of the city, creating and linking its parks to the greater metropolitan systems.
Most of the New York metropolitan parkways were designed by Gilmore Clark. The famed "Gateway to New England" Merritt Parkway in Connecticut was designed in the 1930s as a pleasurable alternative for affluent locals to the congested Boston Post Road, running through forest with each bridge designed uniquely to enhance the scenery. Another example is the Sprain Brook Parkway from The Bronx to become the Taconic State Parkway to Chatham, New York. Landscape architect George Kessler designed extensive parkway systems for Kansas City, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; Indianapolis; and other cities at the beginning of the 20th century.
New Deal roadsEdit
In the 1930s, as part of the New Deal the U.S. federal government constructed National Parkways designed for recreational driving and to commemorate historic trails and routes. These divided four-lane parkways have lower speed limits and are maintained by the National Park Service. An example is the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built Blue Ridge Parkway in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina and Virginia.
Others are: Skyline Drive in Virginia; the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee; and the Colonial Parkway in eastern Virginia's Historic Triangle area. The George Washington Memorial Parkway and the Clara Barton Parkway, running along the Potomac River near Washington, D.C., were also constructed during this era.
In Kentucky the term "parkway" designates a controlled-access highway in the Kentucky Parkway system, with nine built in the 1960s and 1970s. They were toll roads until the construction bonds were repaid, now being freeways since 2006.
The Arroyo Seco Parkway from Pasadena to Los Angeles, built in 1940, was the first segment of the vast Southern California freeway system. It became part of State Route 110 and was renamed the Pasadena Freeway. A 2010 restoration of the freeway brought the Arroyo Seco Parkway designation back.
In the New York metropolitan area, contemporary parkways are predominantly controlled-access highways restricted to non-commercial traffic, excluding trucks and tractor-trailers. Some have low overpasses that also exclude buses. The Vanderbilt Parkway, an exception in western Suffolk County, is a surviving remnant of the Long Island Motor Parkway that became a surface street, no longer with controlled-access or non-commercial vehicle restrictions. The Palisades Interstate Parkway is a post-war parkway that starts at the George Washington Bridge, heads north through New Jersey, continuing through Rockland and Orange counties in New York. The Palisades Parkway was built to allow for a direct route from New York City to Harriman State Park.
In New Jersey, the Garden State Parkway, connecting the urban Northeast U.S. with the rural Atlantic Ocean shoreline and Atlantic City, is restricted to buses and non-commercial traffic north of the Route 18 interchange but is one of the busiest toll roads in the country.
In the Pittsburgh region, two of the major interstates are referred to informally as Parkways. The Parkway East — I-376, formally the Penn-Lincoln Parkway, connects Downtown Pittsburgh to Monroeville, Pennsylvania. The Parkway West — I-376 runs through the Fort Pitt Tunnel and links Downtown to Pittsburgh International Airport, Southbound I-79, Imperial, Pennsylvania, and Westbound US 22/30. The Parkway North — I-279 connects Downtown to Franklin Park, Pennsylvania and Northbound I-79.
In Minneapolis, the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway system has 50 miles (80 km) of streets designated as parkways. These are not freeways, having a slow 25-mile per hour speed limit, pedestrian crossings, and stop signs.
In Cincinnati, parkways are major roads which trucks are prohibited from using. Some Cincinnati parkways, such as Columbia Parkway, are high-speed, limited access roads, while others, such as Central Parkway, are multi-lane urban roads without controlled access. Columbia Parkway carries US-50 traffic from downtown towards east-side suburbs of Mariemont, Anderson, and Milford, and is a limited access road from downtown to the Village of Mariemont.
"Parkway" is used in the names of many Canadian roads, including major routes through national parks, scenic drives, major urban thoroughfares, and even regular freeways that carry commercial traffic.
Bristol (and other) park-and-ride railway stationsEdit
Many English mainly park-and-ride-status railway stations have the suffix 'parkway'. The etymology is from the original U.S. meaning as the Bristol Parkway railway station was named after the adjacent M32 motorway originally known as The Parkway because of its green-buffered route into the city. Bristol Parkway was the first railway station so named, in 1972. The majority of such stations were late 20th century to relieve pressure on existing city centre stations. Examples such as Didcot Parkway are re-namings following the expansion of the car parking facilities where the name is used promotionally whereas in others with multi-storey car parks serving modest settlements such as Brookwood and Fleet the suffix has not been adopted.
Luton Airport Parkway and Southampton Airport Parkway are examples serving Luton and Southampton airports. They were termed as such as they are not in easy walking distance of an airport terminal; passengers use shuttle bus services, although Southampton Airport is within walking distance of Southampton Airport.
The city and third-generation new town Peterborough (population of 184,500 as at 2011 census), has an overall free-capacity system of seven Parkways, which provide automotive routes for much through-traffic and local traffic sufficient to cope in most peak hours. The majority are dual carriageways with many of their junctions numbered. Four main parkways (Soke Parkway, Nene Parkway, Fletton Parkway, Frank Perkins Parkway, Paston Parkway) form an orbital outer ring road. Orton Parkway, Werrington Parkway, Longthorpe Parkway are eponymously named after the settlements they link.
In the City of Plymouth, the A38 is called 'The Parkway' and bisects a rural belt of the local authority area, which coincides with the geographical centre; it has two junctions to enter the downtown part of the city.
Australian Capital TerritoryEdit
The Australian Capital Territory uses the term "Parkway" to refer to roadways of a standard approximately equivalent to what would be designated as an "Expressway", "Freeway", or "Motorway" in other areas. Parkways generally have multiple lanes in each direction of travel, no intersections (crossroads are accessed by interchanges), high speed limits, and are of dual carriageway design (or have high crash barriers on the median).
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- Alexander, Jeanne. "History of Park Presidio Boulevard". ppnsf.org/history.
- Thornton, Tim; Howell, Isak. "Parkway's Past Haunts Its Future". Archived from the original on October 9, 2012.
- "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.
- "Information Center: About the Grand Rounds". Archived from the original on 2015-02-14. Retrieved 2007-12-18.
- "Second Ward, Minneapolis: Traffic Calming Event". Retrieved 2007-12-18.
- BC Parkway, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- Welland Canals Parkway Trail, Canada
- EPBC Referral - Majura Parkway to DEWHA (Revision 1), SMEC, Page 9, 19 August 2009
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