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Union Turnpike is a thoroughfare stretching across central and eastern Queens in New York City. Initially designed as a toll road, it takes a straight-arrow path from Kew Gardens Hills towards Glen Oaks on the Queens-Nassau border. At the time, Union Turnpike traveled through relatively undeveloped areas, serving as a border between the towns of Flushing and Jamaica. Though both towns were absorbed into New York City in 1898, the division is evident today in the addresses. Buildings on the north side begin with a 113- ZIP code, indicating Flushing, and buildings to the south begin with a 114-.

Prior to the construction of Grand Central Parkway in the 1930s, Union Turnpike was heavily used, and developed businesses throughout its length. Among the landmarks found along the turnpike are Forest Park, Queens Borough Hall, St. John's University, Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, and the Queens County Farm Museum. The turnpike crosses into Nassau County at the city's easternmost point, 271st Street, entering the village of New Hyde Park.

With the exception of a section in Glendale, most of Union Turnpike consists of four traffic lanes divided by a narrow concrete median. The Glendale section contains a wide mall with trees, and in Kew Gardens, the turnpike acts as a service road for the Jackie Robinson Parkway rising dramatically above the Long Island Rail Road, before dipping below Queens Boulevard. Between Kew Gardens and the city line, the Q46 bus line travels along Union Turnpike.

Union Turnpike runs parallel to the Grand Central Parkway for much of it's stretch. In fact, it intersects with the parkway twice.
by NYC Metalhead November 20, 2006
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