You Can Only Get Here From There

There seems to be no shortage of geographic anomalies in New York City (NYC). In this case I use geography in a non-academic sense, as a proxy for all that defines location: street and place names, addressing, jurisdictional divisions, etc. Having lived and worked here (NYC) for more years than I care to admit, nothing seems to shock me any more. And in hindsight, for a city as old (by U.S. standards) as NYC, the depth and breadth of geographic anomalies really should not come as a surprise. When you consider that NYC was originally separate cities, has developed over the course of separate administrations, and generations of city workers with their own ideas of standards and best practices, it sometimes seems shocking that there is as much geographic order as there is. But I digress.

The latest addition, in what I have termed geographic anomalies, was brought to my attention by Rudy Lopez of the Department of City Planning. There is a development (i.e., network of streets) largely in Westchester County (our neighbors to the north) that extends into The Bronx and thus is part of NYC. Nothing out of the ordinary so far, but adding a bit of spatial intrigue, surrounding this development on all sides within NYC limits is Pelham Bay Park, the Hutchinson Parkway and the New England Thruway. This has the effect of isolating the streets within this development (Park Drive bounded by Split Rock Road to the west and Edgemere Street to the east) from any other local road in NYC and thus creating the situation that you cannot enter this development in NYC any other way then through Westchester.

Al text

Location from NYCityMap. Excuse the missing Westchester geography.

And there you have it, yet another geographic anomaly in NYC. Where, in this case, you can only get here from there.