Streetfilms: The Queensboro Bridge Turns 100

New York celebrated the 100th birthday of the Queensboro Bridge yesterday, and Clarence Eckerson was on hand to document the occasion for Streetfilms. As pointed out in the vid by "Gridlock" Sam Schwartz, back in 1909 drivers paid 10 cents to cross the Q’boro — or $4.66 for a round trip in today’s dollars. Motorists were accustomed to using the bridge for free by the 1980s, even as it was falling apart, and now pay less than the three pennies it once cost to ride across on horseback.

Even so, with today’s bankruptcy filing by General Motors, the Queensboro has held up better than two of the Big Three.

  • SCL

    Happy B-Day – nice to the see the bridge get some well-deserved respect!

  • I love this bridge!

    I’d also love to see the tolls there again and to see this spectacular upper deck open for pedestrians and cyclists in a form of public space / a park!

  • I also love this bridge. It’s long been my favorite NYC bridge, mainly because of its looks. Its half-transparentness, because of its lattice structure, makes it compliment the surroundings at any angle, as does its light color, which is a nice contrast to most of its surroundings. Perhaps most of all, its asymmetrical but still geometric shape is beautiful. Forgive me if my terminology is all wrong.

    Hey! I remember some years ago TA was trying to get the City to scrap the hideous chain-link fence that covers the bike path, and the City (specifically, the Weinshall DOT, I think) said no. Maybe that’s another thing that will have a better shot under JSK, and so maybe its time to re-try that goal?

  • Matthew Roth

    Ok, I’ll give Sam Schwartz the 2109 bicentennial thing (because I’m a pessiminst), but we sure as hell better not be celebrating a bridge for cars in 3009. That would super depressing.


In the Shadow of the Queensboro Bridge

Life Near the Queensboro Bridge A Streetfilm by Nick Whitaker Running time: 3:44 Sarah Gallagher of the Upper Green Side introduces us to life on the neighborhood streets on the Manhattan side of the Queensboro bridge. Talking with store owners and others in the area, Streetfilms’ Nick Whitaker learns that expensive rent isn’t the only […]

Bike to Work Day Finale: Why the Bronx Commutes By Bike

Streetfilms’ Robin Urban Smith was up on the Grand Concourse this morning for one of New York’s Bike to Work Day traditions — the Bronx Borough President’s ride from Poe Park down to Lou Gehrig Plaza. Watch and see all the different answers you get when you ask people, "Why do you bike to work?" […]

The Short History of Queensboro Bridge Tolls

In 1909, wrote the Times, tolls on the brand new Queensboro Bridge were temporarily suspended for a "touring contest" on Long Island, described as "an enjoyable diversion for a great many New York and Brooklyn motorists." We learned from yesterday’s Queensboro Bridge centennial commemoration that the toll was 10 cents for car crossings in 1909. […]

Queensboro Bridge Area Safety Under Scrutiny

Among the three cyclist fatality clusters identified by the joint report by the City Departments of Health, Police, Parks and Transportation, the Queensboro Bridge is by far the worst. The entrance intersection at 60th and Second also claimed the award for the most unticketed incidents of block the box in the Borough President’s study of lax enforcement of […]

Why NYC Needs Busways and Traffic Reduction, in Two Pictures

Here’s a look at Roosevelt Avenue and 82nd Street in Jackson Heights earlier this afternoon. Streetfilms’ Clarence Eckerson says the line to get onto these buses snaked twice as long as what you can see in the frame. Buses were already rolling up full and proceeded to crawl along Roosevelt, in traffic, at walking speed. […]