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View Full Version : getting in and out of NYC for free


fusoya
12-29-2002, 04:24 PM
over the weekend I heard a rumour that there is a way to get in and out of NYC by car without having to pay any tolls. My brother claims that he's driven with some friends on some out of the way bridge that isn't tolled to get out of New York City and onto the HRP for free. Anyone know how to pull this off?

kanicbird
12-29-2002, 04:48 PM
Many ways to do it.

Manhattan, brooklyn, willamsburg, Queesburo, willas ave, 3rd ave, 138, 145 st, macams dam, 181, 207 st, broadway bridges are free
I think one direction of the henry hut. parkway may be free, along with holland, lincon tunnel and GWB

Some exits on the cross bronk experssway are in Manhattan and free

kanicbird
12-29-2002, 04:49 PM
What's the HRP?

fusoya
12-29-2002, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by k2dave
What's the HRP?

Hutchinson River Parkway. Turns into the Merritt Parkway (CT15) at the state line.

Early Out
12-29-2002, 05:17 PM
Originally posted by fusoya
Hutchinson River Parkway. Turns into the Merritt Parkway (CT15) at the state line.
Close, but not quite. There's the Bronx River Parkway, and the Saw Mill River Parkway, but it's the Hutchinson Parkway (ain't no Hutchinson River, alas).

Early Out
12-29-2002, 05:20 PM
BTW, there's a story, probably aprocryphal, about a British admiral consulting his map, and planning to sail his fleet up the Saw Mill River during the Revolutionary War. If you've ever seen the Saw Mill River (which you can jump over in many locations), you'll realize how hilarious this is.

postcards
12-29-2002, 05:28 PM
Originally posted by Early Out
Close, but not quite. There's the Bronx River Parkway, and the Saw Mill River Parkway, but it's the Hutchinson Parkway (ain't no Hutchinson River, alas).

Maybe there's no Hutchinson River in Reston VA., but there's a Hutchinson river running right alongside the Hutchinson River Parkway.

Read all about it here. (http://nycroads.com/roads/hutchinson/)

fusoya
12-29-2002, 05:37 PM
Originally posted by k2dave
Many ways to do it.

Manhattan, brooklyn, willamsburg, Queesburo, willas ave, 3rd ave, 138, 145 st, macams dam, 181, 207 st, broadway bridges are free

yeah, but don't those bridges just get you between Manhattan and Long Island? If I'm going to Connecticut I still need to get to the north.

Early Out
12-29-2002, 05:53 PM
Originally posted by postcards
Maybe there's no Hutchinson River in Reston VA., but there's a Hutchinson river running right alongside the Hutchinson River Parkway.
Damn, right you are! My apologies to fusoya. I grew up in Westchester County, but that was a long, long time ago. The memory is the first thing to go, it would appear!

Carry on.

kanicbird
12-29-2002, 06:04 PM
According to MS Streets and trips it is the Hutch. River Parkway. When I asked I though the HRP was in Manhattan, should have read the OP more carefully.

EasyPhil
12-29-2002, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by fusoya
yeah, but don't those bridges just get you between Manhattan and Long Island? If I'm going to Connecticut I still need to get to the north.

fusoya, you said NYC now you're talking about Long Island, I would ask where are you starting from? If it's from Long Island, your best bet is the Queensboro Bridge, to the FDR to the Willis Ave Bridge, and get on 87 north(Major Deegan)

lucwarm
12-29-2002, 06:36 PM
Originally posted by k2dave
Many ways to do it.

Manhattan, brooklyn, willamsburg, Queesburo, willas ave, 3rd ave, 138, 145 st, macams dam, 181, 207 st, broadway bridges are free
I think one direction of the henry hut. parkway may be free, along with holland, lincon tunnel and GWB

Some exits on the cross bronk experssway are in Manhattan and free

Slight nitpick, but my understanding is that the x-bx expressway doesn't run in Manhattan. The section I-95 in Manhattan is the trans-Manhattan expressway, also known as the George Washington Bridge extension roadway (or so I've been told).

But like you said, there are lots of free bridges in and out of Manhattan.

kanicbird
12-29-2002, 07:13 PM
The section I-95 in Manhattan is the trans-Manhattan expressway, also known as the George Washington Bridge extension roadway (or so I've been told).

Very possible, but trans-Manhattan Expressway sounds like an oximoron. Actually I never heard of the T.M.E. but would buy into the GWB Extention. If I heard of the TME I would assume they were talking about the proposed connector from the LIE to Lincon Tunnel.

Anyway the only way to get off LI for free is to go to Manhattan on some of those bridges (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Willamsburg, Queensb.), YOu can however get to LI via the Varrazano for free but must pay to get to SI.

Bloomberg will soon make sure that all LIers will have to pay to get off the island I fear.

RealityChuck
12-29-2002, 08:12 PM
AFAIK, nearly all of the bridges connecting the the Bronx and Manhattan are free); I think k2dave mentioned a couple of them (Willis Ave., 3rd Street). It looks like you can take the FRD drive to the Willis Ave. Bridge, then get on Bruckner Blvd/Brucker Expressway and take it to the Hutch.

jacobsta
12-29-2002, 08:41 PM
Lets say for the sake of argument that the OP is currently not located anywhere in the STATE of New York.. Is there any way to get into and out of NYC from New Jersey or Connecticut for free ?

stuyguy
12-29-2002, 08:53 PM
::stuyguy steps in the room to do that nitpicky New Yorky thing that he does. Most of the other posters roll their eyes as they see him walk in. Someone mutters, "Well, he had to get here eventually." Several posters run for their coats while others cluster among themselves, hoping he won't notice them.::

Okay. All I want to add is this:

1. That road leading to the GWB is called the Manhattan Transverse. (Or so I've been told; it may in fact have another name.)

2. k2dave gave a wonderful list of the free Manh-Bx bridges but missed one. The Alexander Hamilton Bridge (at 179 St.) is the one that connects the Cross Bx Expressway to the (yes) Manhattan Transverse.

3. Also k2, let's get those names straight. The name of the bridge at 181 is the Washington Bridge (not to be confused with the GWB), the one at 207 is the University Heights Bridge and the one at 138 is the Madison Ave. Bridge.

~ stuyguy, who is currently leading a campaign to rename the Washington Bridge after the guy who first proposed it be built

kanicbird
12-29-2002, 09:21 PM
Thanks stuyguy I knew some of those names were't correct but they would get you to the bridge. I guess I didn't consider the Alexander Hamalton br because I personally don't consider the X-Bronx, GWB extention, trans Manhattan traverse really in Manhattan so I just used exits on that roadway as ways in. I know it really is in manhattan I just don't think of it as such.

As for getting from LI (and Manhattan) to Mainland USA for free (this will be free in both directions - if you want to do it for free leaving it is much shorter.)

lets just take the brooklyn bridge, then local streets to the FDR drive north,
to Willis ave bridge,
Find your way to theBruckner North to the bronx river parkway
To Sprain brook
to Tacconic state parkway
to rt 82 (2nd interchange with rt 82) west towards rip van winkle br
to 9H North, into 9, into interstate 90 north into Albany as you cross the hudson

787 south to 144s to 9w
to 6 S, to Palisades Parkway S
into NJ
Near the end of Palisades get on 9W to 9 and take into union City NJ

You have just driven apx 400 mi and took 9 hours to actually go 6 miles and avoid a toll of $6 or $4 or 5 with e-zpass TOLL ONE WAY ONLY.

Polycarp
12-29-2002, 09:25 PM
It is, of course, quite possible to get into the Bronx from Westchester County (to its north) for free, and most if not all bridges across the Harlem River, which separates the Bronx and Manhattan, are free. Consult the above to determine how to get to Brooklyn and Queens from Manhattan without tolls.

And if the object is to "get into New York City from New Jersey without paying a toll," I'm reasonably certain that at least one of the bridges between the Jersey Shore and Staten Island is free.

The two tunnels (Holland and Lincoln) and the George Washington Bridge are the three connections between Manhattan and New Jersey -- as noted, it ought to be possible to take one of them for free going one way (tolls being charged the other). Some NYC-ite ought to have the Straight Dope on this.

If the object, however, is to get from New Jersey or south and west into Connecticut/New England, may I suggest I-84, which runs from Scranton through Port Jervis and across the Hudson to somewhere in Connecticut? This goes nowhere near NYC but obviates dealing with the heavy traffic in the Tri-State area.

postcards
12-30-2002, 01:23 AM
I'm reasonably certain that at least one of the bridges between the Jersey Shore and Staten Island is free.

Sorry, but the Gothals Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing will both cost you when coming from Jersey.

Unless you hitchhike, I don't think there's a way to enter NYC from Jersey without paying a toll (and if you hitchhike without offering to pay tolls you're an ass).

Headed to Jersey from Long Island, I always took any East River bridge (except the Triboro) and any Hudson River crossing. Coming home, Outerbridge and the V-N.

And no, it's not called the 'Outerbridge' crossing because it's the furthest south, it's named for Eugenius H. Outerbridge, the first chairman of the Port Authority.

Coriolanus
12-30-2002, 03:58 AM
I've used this way to get into Manhattan from the north:
Sprain Brook Parkway (south),
Take the exit that says Triborough Bridge but exit onto the Major Deegan Expressway before the bridge.
Go to Third Avenue Bridge--exit onto the FDR...

I can't say for certain if this can be done in reverse.

The Bear Mountain Bridge and Newburgh-Beacon bridges are eastbound tolls ($1.00) only, so from NJ you wouldn't have to go quite as far north as Albany to cross the Hudson for free.

Coriolanus
12-30-2002, 04:03 AM
:smack:

rather, you can cross the Hudson River into New Jersey (going westbound of course) before reaching Albany by taking one of those bridges which are close to the Taconic.

RM Mentock
12-30-2002, 04:11 AM
Originally posted by postcards
Unless you hitchhike, I don't think there's a way to enter NYC from Jersey without paying a toll (and if you hitchhike without offering to pay tolls you're an ass).
I suppose you're supposed to buy gas too? What about general upkeep and maintenance? Shouldn't you offer to spring for a lub and oil change?

RealityChuck
12-30-2002, 08:23 AM
To get from Jersey to NYC to free, you have to go through Albany, and use the Dunn Memorial Bridge. All other Hudson River Bridges are tolls, and all charge when going east.

kanicbird
12-30-2002, 08:37 AM
Dunns Mem bridge is the 1st free one but rt 90 is easier to use (interstate)to go to/from Staten Island (via car) you must pay tolls (at least one way)

toadspittle
12-30-2002, 12:55 PM
When trying to remember when you pay tolls, remember this:

"No one would pay to get into New Jersey--but they'll pay to get out."

You have to pay to cross the Hudson from the mainland (NJ, Orange County, etc.) to the east (Manhattan, West Chester, Staten Island), but not the other way (GWB free to NJ, Lincoln Tunnel free to NJ, Holland Tunnel free to NJ, Goethals Br. free to NJ, Outerbridge Cr. free to NJ).

Likewise, Delaware River crossings NJ->PA cost you, but PA->NJ are free.

Sxyzzx
12-30-2002, 01:09 PM
I have to say, this thread gives me a new appreciation for driving in Los Angeles.

stuyguy
12-30-2002, 02:37 PM
Everyone who's posted about driving to/from NJ has neglected to include another option: the Bayonne Bridge. (It's a toll bridge just like the rest. It's just that no one mentioned it, so I figured I'd add it to the list for the sake of completeness. Hey, it's my job here, right?)

lucwarm
12-30-2002, 07:52 PM
Very possible, but trans-Manhattan Expressway sounds like an oximoron. Actually I never heard of the T.M.E. but would buy into the GWB Extention. If I heard of the TME I would assume they were talking about the proposed connector from the LIE to Lincon Tunnel.

Check out this link and see if you change your mind . . .

http://nycroads.com/roads/trans-manhattan/

_____________________

And by the way, I think I've figured out a way to drive from New Jersey into New York City without paying a toll and without using a bridge or tunnel.

Start on one side of Ellis Island!!

kanicbird
12-30-2002, 08:21 PM
Check out this link and see if you change your mind . . .

Makes me want to just run out and drive on it - then I realise it's just (to me) the cross bronx expressway. Great site though.

Also it will always be the Interboro.

OxyMoron
12-31-2002, 09:53 AM
Take advantage of the "free" (meaning free to the individual user, but not to taxpayers) bridges while you can. It's quite likely that they'll get tolls b/c of NYC's fiscal crisis.

(The only reason they didn't before is that the toll plazas would've been more trouble than they're worth. Thanks to EZ Pass, that's not such a big deal anymore.)

kanicbird
12-31-2002, 03:36 PM
, I think I've figured out a way to drive from New Jersey into New York City without paying a toll and without using a bridge or tunnel

Possibly not. Reason one is that there is no demarcation line through Ellis - it is jointly owned. Reason 2 - not owned by NYC, just NYS.

I don't know if these hold up as I just got it looking a a map so I could be way off.

lucwarm
12-31-2002, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by k2dave
Possibly not. Reason one is that there is no demarcation line through Ellis - it is jointly owned.

Disagree. IIRC, the "filled" part of the island is 'Jersey; the rest is NY.

Reason 2 - not owned by NYC, just NYS.

Possibly, you'd need to check whatever statute or statutes define the City of New York. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised either way.

stuyguy
12-31-2002, 06:23 PM
I can state with certainty that as of 1938 Liberty Island (nee Bedloe's Island) was part of New York City (Manhattan Borough to be exact). Unless something was passed relating to the recent NY-NJ spat, I have no reason to suspect that it (or at least the NYS portion) is no longer officially part of NYC.

fusoya
01-01-2003, 03:34 PM
Originally posted by EasyPhil
fusoya, you said NYC now you're talking about Long Island, I would ask where are you starting from? If it's from Long Island, your best bet is the Queensboro Bridge, to the FDR to the Willis Ave Bridge, and get on 87 north(Major Deegan)

well, technicallly Queens and Brooklyn are part of Long Island. The only two scenerios where I ever drive to NYC are from Connecticut to Manhattan, and from Connecticut to Queens/Brooklyn...USUALLY to just get to the airports.

manhattan
01-01-2003, 03:44 PM
There's your answer then. Take the Deegan down to the Willis Ave. Bridge to the FDR. To get to the airports, take the Queensborough Bridge and go from there. If you're going to Newark Liberty, though, I think you're SOL, at least if you want to stop in the city on the way.

lucwarm
09-30-2003, 09:46 PM
Originally posted by stuyguy
I can state with certainty that as of 1938 Liberty Island (nee Bedloe's Island) was part of New York City (Manhattan Borough to be exact). Unless something was passed relating to the recent NY-NJ spat, I have no reason to suspect that it (or at least the NYS portion) is no longer officially part of NYC.

For what it's worth, I was just flipping through a statute book and randomly came upon the following, from Laws of 1882, Chapter 410, Section 1:

The city and county of New York shall contain the islands called Manhattan island, North Brother's island, Great Barn or Ward's island, Little Barn or Randall's island, Manning's or Blackwell's island, Nutten or Governor's island, Bedloe's island, Bucking or Ellis island, and the Oyster islands . . . .

friedo
10-01-2003, 12:08 AM
Sneak on to a Metro-North train and stow away in the bathroom.

Sofa King
10-01-2003, 02:05 AM
...And everyone knows that Hutchinson Elementary School is in Herndon, not Reston.

Cheesesteak
10-01-2003, 07:02 AM
Originally posted by manhattan
[B]There's your answer then. Take the Deegan down to the Willis Ave. Bridge to the FDR. Nope, when you're going down the Deegan (I-87) it's either the Madison Ave Bridge or the 3rd Ave Bridge. I only think you get on the Willis Ave into Manhattan during morning rush hour, from the 3rd ave bridge exit. They open it to southbound traffic in the am to help with the rush. Normally the Willis Ave is northbound only, and you can access it from either the FDR drive or 2nd Ave.

BMalion
10-01-2003, 08:14 AM
The best way to drive to Manhattan for free and never pay tolls is to drive one of these. (http://amphibiousvehicle.net/amphi/A/AmphiCar.jpeg)

Billdo
10-01-2003, 08:21 AM
OK, to sum up, you can get between the following areas for free as follows:

Between Manhattan &The Bronx (Westchester/Connecticut):


The Willis Avenue, 3rd Ave, Madison Ave (138th St), 145 St, Macams Dam, Alexander Hamilton (179th St), Washington (181st Street), Univesity Heights (207th St), & Broadway Bridges or Henry Hudson Bridge (northbound only)

Between Mahattan & Brooklyn/Queens (Long Island):

Queensboro (59th St), Williamsburgh, Mahattan & Brooklyn Bridges

Between Manhattan/NY East of Hudson & New Jersey/NY West of Hudson:

Westbound (toward NJ): Lincoln Tunnel, Holland Tunnel, George Washintgon Bridge, Tappan Zee Bridge, Bear Mountain Bridge, Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, Rip Van Winkle Bridge

Eastbound (toward NY): No bridges below Albany. In Albany, either the Dunns Memorial Bridge or Route 90 Bridge.

Cheesesteak
10-01-2003, 08:41 AM
Originally posted by Corbomite
I've used this way to get into Manhattan from the north:
Sprain Brook Parkway (south),
Take the exit that says Triborough Bridge but exit onto the Major Deegan Expressway before the bridge.
Go to Third Avenue Bridge--exit onto the FDR...
Just as a minor aside, I take the SBP south to Rt.100 Central Ave (Yonkers) which dumps you right onto the Major Deegan south after a half mile or so. I think that's more direct, plus you get to go right past Yankee Stadium. Of course, that's NOT a plus right after a Yankee playoff game, which I learned last night :smack:

fotosbyfrank
10-01-2003, 02:16 PM
I live in CT and used to drive into Manhattan a lot.

Just jump onto I-95, and get off the exit just before the GWB (I think it's exit 1) - West Side Drive. I think this is 148th street, and just follow the WSD all the way down. I also think there's an FDR drive exit, but I usually had to go to the west side so it was easier to get there by staying on I-95 than to try to cross mid-town.

Conversely, just follow the directions in reverse to get back home.

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