The West Side Highway
Lets begin our trip on the infamous West Side Highway which gained nationwide recognition in the early 70's due to a partial roadway collapse that was brought about by years of neglect by the City of New York. The section involved was part of the elevated ''Miller Highway'' that extended from the Battery north to 79th street. The picture above is of the Miller Highway at about West 74th street facing south in the northbound lanes. In this picture you are looking south from the northbound lanes at West 72nd street. Alas this highway is long gone now, torn down in the early 90s and replaced by a boring concrete roadway that boasts one of the worst cases of sunglare I have ever encountered.
OK, I want you to look very carefully at the picture above. This picture was taken looking north at West 70th street. Note the really bad right and curve directly in front of you combined with a southbound on ramp in the left lane! Can you say recipe for disaster? You have no idea how many accidents took place at that one spot and I mean FATAL accidents. Look again at the picture and you will see an old VW Beetle that was a casualty of one such accident. See the 3 yellow arrows that are at an angle? Look just beyond the 3rd arrow and you will see the base of a light pole that was knocked down many years before. This base was made of cast iron and was anchored to the gound and designed to remain there for life. Unfortunately countless people were killed when they failed to negotiate the curve and struck this cast iron deathtrap. Also, note that the roadway was made of cobblestones aka Belgian Bricks. They are nice to look at but in the rain driving on them is like driving on an ice skating rink! The West Side Highway is no longer anything like this of course. It is now a new super sleek smooth as silk boring road which has several long concrete viaducts that are very prone to sunglare. But a word of warning: it is very tempting to speed on this super smooth road, but if you do watch out because chances are a Highway_1_RMP unit will be there waiting to snag you.
Above: This is the northbound side at about W48th street, though you are looking south. You can see how DOT used those orange barrels to close off the unsafe parts of the highway.Note the steel plate covering a "see through" pothole in the fast lane near my car. The entire southbound side is closed at this point. Notice my car, an ancient Pontiac parked behind the barrels. The car was a 1969 model, which was old even then, and this photo was taken circa 1980.
Below you can see an actual plaque that was ''saved'' from the old Miller Highway by your webmaster before they tore it down. It involved going up onto the highway in the vicinity of W72nd street and unbolting it. This was accomplished while the highway was still open and of course,at night.