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.

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Streetfilms Shorties: The Manhattan Bridge Turns 100

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The Manhattan Bridge officially opened on December 31, 1909. While its 100-year anniversary came and went with little fanfare a few months ago, city officials paid respects today. At the ceremony, Clarence caught up with Gridlock Sam Schwartz, who heads the NYC Bridge Centennial Commission. In this clip Schwartz describes the nearly catastrophic deterioration of […]

This Weekend, NYC’s Traffic Dysfunction Gets Worse

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In case you missed it, Crain’s ran a good piece today wherein “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz explained one of the less-publicized effects of the MTA fare and toll hikes slated to take effect this weekend. NYC’s already-dysfunctional road pricing system is about to make even less sense. With tolls on the MTA’s East River crossings going […]

In the Shadow of the Queensboro Bridge

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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 […]
STREETFILMS

East River Bridges: 100 Years of Free Rides Take Their “Toll”

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The NYC Bridge Centennial Commission, co-founded by “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz, organized a re-enactment today near the Williamsburg Bridge, calling attention to the hundredth anniversary of the last toll collected on the East River bridges. Mayor William J. Gaynor’s century-old decision to eliminate bridge tolls translates to a cumulative loss of $31 billion in potential revenue […]

The Short History of Queensboro Bridge Tolls

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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. […]