Art's Long Island Motor Parkway Site

Click here to edit subtitle

Dead Man's Curve

A section of the Long Island Motor Parkway that exists to some degree today is called Dead Man's Curve in Bethpage. Indicated by the blue hilight in the map at left, it lies west of today's Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway and south of Central Avenue. The road on the western side (i.e. the left) of the map in yellow is Stewart Avenue. The curve began by proceeding east at the south end of North Hermann Avenue, curving north and running parallel to the western side of today's Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway (which wasn't built until much later on). While looking for remnants of the Motor Parkway in the woods in which Dead Man's Curve is located, I met a resident of Hermann Avenue who indicated that the wooded area is often used by teenagers for late night gatherings, some more eventful of others, but nothing that gets out of hand, especially when the local police officers are called.  Seeing me taking pictures  initially concerned him and he explained that many times he has seen housing developers taking pictures and being told of their desire to develop the property (something the homeowner was not in favor of).  Hopefully this would never happen, as if it did, it would probably mean the end of Dead Man's Curve.    Here are some relics of what's left of Dead Man's Curve.

Toll Gates Shown

This map is from a 1935 Hagstrom's and shows Dead Man's Curve and two Toll Gates.  One gate is west of Deadman's Curve (on the lower left) and the other is after the Parkway passes through what is now Bethpage State Park (labeled Central Park) - on the top right where Bethpage is indicated.     

Another View

This shot of Dead Man's Curve is from a Hagstrom's Street Atlas of the late 40s or early 50s. The Motor Parkway is cleary shown in blue going left to right (west to east) and then sharply turning north, continuing over Central Avenue and then beginning its eastern turn into Bethpage State Park (top part of map). This map was prior to the Seaford Oyster Bay Parkway, which would have been on the eastern side of the Motor Parkway going north. Interestingly, there appears to be a street between North Hermann and the Motor Parkway, just north of the bend in the curve, that looks to be called Pine that doesn't appear in the newer map above. More investigating is warranted as to what happened to this street.

 

These are some ariel pictures of Dead Man's Curve showing the progression from 1953 to 2006.   The Motor Parkway enters from the left at the bottom and curves northward.  The early pics show the roadway's curve very distinctly whereas in the later ones it kind of gets less obvious.   You can use the function on the right when you click on each picture to compare two years at the same time - very neat!!! 



Evidence of Road Grading

This picture facing south shows the roadway curving west - the Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway is behind the bushes on the left side of the picture. The curve is hidden at this point as it goes through some brush however, the grading of the pavement seen here indicates it to be the curve. The following pictures show the roadway as seen in the bushes further west of this picture. They were taken in the fall of 2003, when more leaves were off the trees, making the roadway a bit more noticeable in the woods. Interesting that different seasons enable other aspects of the Motor Parkway to show up.

Original Roadway

This is part of the path leading away from Dead Man's Curve. The roadway is very easily recongnized and is easy to access.

Nice View of the Original Roadway

Part of the curve in the woods. Taken from under the roadway.

Another View of the Roadway

Another shot of the roadway. Excellent view of the pavement that was laid directly on top of the Motor Parkway.

In the Woods

In the woods, here you see two sections of the roadway that made up Dead Man's Curve. The first section is to the left of the tree, the second is to the right. The piece that connected these two sections somwhere in the last 60 or so years, must have collapsed.

Post

Along with the pieces of roadway, many of which I've taken pictures of but haven't posted on the site, there's a post just lying in the ground. A trip through the woods near a Motor Parkway site wouldn't be complete until a post is found.