If you pine for the days of an edgier New York, then you would have loved the city’s “express highway,” as the back of the 1940s postcard below called it.
This was the elevated West Side Highway, which ran above West Street and 12th Avenue from Lower Manhattan to Riverside Drive.
But most drivers hated it. Built between 1929 and 1951, the freeway officially called the Miller Highway was supposed to make the avenues below safer for pedestrians and less congested.
Unfortunately it was poorly designed, too narrow for trucks and with sharp turns at exit ramps. It was also poorly maintained.
Today, a few sections of the elevated remain, but most of it was dismantled in the 1980s—to the dismay of some sun worshippers, bicyclists, and urban adventurers, who enjoyed having the crumbling roadway all to themselves in New York’s grittier days.
[Top photo, Wikipedia; third photo: Preservenet]