|The low bridges on the parkways designed by Robert |
Moses do not allow passage of buses or semi trucks.
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When I moved here, I was surprised how easy it is to get around Long Island due to the many parkways. If you are not from the area, they are like interstate expressways, but with access limited only to cars. The lack of buses and trucks is an intentional design element by Moses. He intended the parkway system to be a pleasant car experience for drivers. He made the overpasses too low for large vehicles. He designed the roadways for the suburban commuter and he did not want trucks or buses to mar the experience of the driver. It all sounds very Mad Men in today's context.
There are some who have argued that the parkways limit access to Long Island. Mass transit commuter buses cannot get around the island easily. Neither can school buses. Plus, the parkways cut through existing neighborhoods and changed the character of Long Island significantly.
These types of grand public works projects have fallen out of favor in our more dystopian and libertarian times. Certainly Moses' works can be critiqued from a number of angles from a sustainability perspective, but his work represents a more utopian time in which the suburbs were the answer to the ills of urban living.