5. The Belt Parkway

The Belt Parkway, a Robert Moses project

We’ve all been here. Sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on the Belt Parkway en route or back from JFK Airport or along the southern portions of Brooklyn and Queens. But the Belt Parkway actually extends from the Narrows at Fort Hamilton, past JFK Airport to the border of Long Island, where it connects to the Southern State Parkway and the Coney Island Parkway. The original idea of the Belt Parkway was actually a system of parkways, many of which exist today like Grand Central Parkway, Whitestone Parkway, and others, but today there is also the physical name, Belt Parkway on a 25 mile stretch. To build the Belt Parkway, much of the Jamaica Bay area was infilled. Moses had envisioned a series of “ribbon parks” which would also encourage residential development – which did take place. Much of this marshland infill is what caused the extensive flooding and damage during Hurricane Sandy, as waters sought to return to their natural coastline.

Next, see the apartments Jane Jacobs lived in during her time in New York City and learn about the rock musical about Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. In Robert Caro’s book, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, he blames Moses for all of these things and many more. Get in touch with the author of this post @uptownvoice.