NYC - Queens - Elmhurst: Queens Blvd

Queens Boulevard runs northwest to southeast across more than half the length of the borough, starting at the Queensboro Bridge in Long Island City and running through the neighborhoods of Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Rego Park, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, and Briarwood before terminating at Jamaica Avenue in Jamaica. At 7.2 miles, it is the third-longest road in Queens after Northern Boulevard and Liberty Avenue/Farmers Boulevard, and it runs through some of Queens' busiest areas. Much of the road is 12 lanes wide, and at its intersection with Yellowstone Boulevard in Forest Hills, it reaches a high point of 16 lanes.

 

Queens Boulevard was built in the early 20th century to connect the new Queensboro Bridge to central Queens, thereby offering an easy outlet from Manhattan. It was created by linking and expanding already-existing streets, such as Thomson Avenue and Hoffman Boulevard, stubs of which still exist. It was widened along with the digging of subway tunnels in the 1920s and 1930s, and some speculated the plan was to transform it into a highway, as was done with the Van Wyck Expressway. The city actually did propose converting it in 1941, but with the onset of World War II, the plan was never completed.

 

The combination of Queens Boulevard's immense width, heavy automobile traffic, and thriving commercial scene made it the most dangerous thoroughfare in New York City and earned it citywide notoriety and morbid nicknames such as "The Boulevard of Death" and "The Boulevard of Broken Bones."

 

Because of its name, density, accessibility, and diverse, multicultural character, the road has come to be somewhat emblematic of Queens in general, and it was the name of a fictional movie starring Vincent Chase within the world of the television show Entourage.

 

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Taken on August 5, 2007