Sep 05 2015

Sam & Dave’s “Excellent Motor Parkway Adventure” IV: Albertson to East Williston

On April 4, 2015, Dave Russo and his 10-year old son Sam experienced a one-day 38-mile bike tour on the Long Island Motor Parkway. In the fourth post of this new series, Sammy and Dave explore the Long Island Motor Parkway through Albertson, Williston Park, and East Williston.


Howard Kroplick

Sammy & Dave's "Excellent Motor Parkway Adventure"

By Dave Russo

April 5, 2015

My name is Dave Russo from Rockville Centre. Last summer my 9-year old son Sammy started playing travel baseball and had his practices were held in Cunningham Park in Queens. During practice I would go on runs through the area and came across the Motor Parkway. So this sparked a little flame in my head as I am a fan of Long Island history in general, specifically the old mansions and remnants of them.
I began to research the Motor Parkway (which I thought was only a Suffolk County thing that is still used today) and came across your site and others and was just amazed at the history of this road. So my son and I took little trips to various locations on the route and familiarized ourselves with the road and what it had to offer, often meeting people who live right on the road itself with zero knowledge of it or it's fantastic history. So we educate them and they are always very impressed.
So the two of us since then have really become Long Island Motor  Parkway buffs and have seen everything there is to see from Queens to Melville. Queens offers one glimpse as NYC has maintained the road. Bridges remain, entrance ramps are there, and posts are everywhere but it was built later and although preserved and nice it lacks that "throwback historical" feel of the original road. In Nassau as you know the power lines were run which in one sense ruined the road but in another preserved the authenticity of the original road and so much of it is still visible and the fact that you can go there and see it and imagine a time when tens of thousands of people were standing behind the posts/fence watching this annual race in otherwise farmland filled Long Island is very impressive. Equally impressive is how few people know of this at all and major locations that should be of historical interest like the bridges, lodges, the grandstand are completely neglected or not known.
 So yesterday, we did our long awaited "Vanderbilt Day" where we got up early and got a ride to Queens with our bikes and rode from the Queens beginning all the way to the Maxess Road Bridge in Melville in one day. It was about 38 miles total and we had a great time! (followed by dinner at Friendlys!) .I have become close with an older couple who live directly next to the Old Courthouse Road bridge who took us in for tea and cake and have lived there since farmland was on the other side. We visited Arthur Jesper in Garden City and he showed us his backyard. We have pictures of everything. We have many favorite locations.
 I've been visiting your page for a while now, checking for updates all the time. If there are any pics you are in need of or any part of the Parkway that you need further detailed exploration of we are your team! There is nothing that intimidates us and we love the challenge! We trespass the right way, by simply asking permission. We've never been told no. My little 10-year old is pretty cute and nobody can say no to him. The Sand Pits Bridge was high on our list until the recent pics arrived on your site which took the pressure off of us. Those were great to see.
 Dave & Sammy Russo


Highway Drive - sanitation area behind Caemmerer Park

Old Willis Avenue bridge location

Note: The bridge embankment can be seen behind the Albertson Highway Yard sign.

Williston Park

Historical marker east of Willis Avenue

Entrance into Williston Park Pool- original road still there used for a parking lot

Note: Three-foot concrete extension on both sides of the road.

Just east of pool-remnants of old Motor Parkway bridge over LIRR tracks.

East Williston

Looking east over tracks to other side

Great section of original road from the LIRR tracks approaching Roslyn Road

Remnants of the Roslyn Lodge

Wall built to stop cars from going over the embankment after the Roslyn Road Bridge was taken down.

Looking over Roslyn Road from the bridge

Boundary concrete posts are still standing east of Roslyn Road.

Motor Parkway Online Map

Track Sam and Dave's Excellent Adventure using Wayne Consolla's online Motor Parkway map.


Sep 05 2015 Brian d mccarthy 4:00 PM

Hi Dave and Sam. Looks to be fun and thorough at the same time.

Sep 06 2015 S. Berliner, III 1:59 PM

This is such fun, reliving my similar excursions back some 55 years ago, after a Bob Miller lecture got me started on the LIMP.  [The Roslyn Lodge is NOT a remnant, though; it is an expanded second floor overwhelming the original first floor (we sure lost THAT fight).]  Thanks again, Dave.  You GO, Sam!  Sam, III

Sep 06 2015 Dave russo 2:07 PM

Great section of road here. Very Cool how the original road is still leading up to the town pool. Not cool that they built a pool over the road.

Why are there no dates on the bridges over the railroad tracks?

Just east of the railroad tracks is a fantastic spot to bring “rookies” that are interested in the road. It really has everything here. Original road, much of which is under a layer of weeds but easily dug up and exposed. Posts everywhere. Bridge remnants and the bonus of the toll lodge which is obviously changed but still recognizable. Just a great all around spot.

Local boys have figured his out and created a really unbelievable drinking spot just east of the tracks complete with couches, fire pit and barbecue. Hundreds of beer cans everywhere. We ran into a group of boys one time and they all were in fact aware of the history off the road which was good. They weren’t aware of much else but they did know the road!

East of Roslyn road stands a house as you can see in the pic. This is followed by an elevated section which seems to be remnants of the Robbins road bridge. We looked hard but could not find any Vanderbilt relics but the road must be under there somewhere. To the north of the road are many posts which lead up to the town worker building. If you hop this fence you are in a woodsy area that leads up to the golf course and we need to explore this more but no road fragments were visible to us the two times we looked.

From Howard Kroplick:
-Not sure why there are no dates on the railroad Motor Parkway bridges.

-The elevated section is actually the Motor Parkway. The Robbins Motor Parkway Bridges is gone without a trace.

-The concrete posts north of this area were boundary posts for the Motor Parkway.

Sep 23 2015 Tom 11:21 PM

I love exploring too!  Great pictures!

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