Car rentals in Harlem are a great way to travel along Harlem River Drive. When visiting Manhattan, there are plenty of locations to check out along this important highway. Let AllCar Rent A Car be your guide as you explore Harlem River Drive along the bank of the historic Harlem River.
Locating River Drive
The Harlem River Drive is 4.2 miles long and runs north-south along the right bank of the Harlem River. It was constructed between 1947 and 1964 as part of an urban expansion project after World War II.
The parkway runs from Exit 17 of FDR Drive in East Harlem to the junction of 10th Avenue and Dyckman Street in Inwood. It is six lanes wide and is anchored by the Triborough Bridge in East Harlem, which was built in the 1930s at a cost of more than 60 million US dollars. Taking in the Harlem River along the parkway is a perfect way to make use of car rentals in Harlem.
Some Harlem History
Harlem River Drive has a long and interesting history. Long before you could find car rentals in Harlem, the drive was called the Harlem River Speedway. Horse drawn carriages raced along the dirt road, which at that time was only 2 ½ miles long.
The man responsible for the modern Harlem Drive is Robert Moses, who lived from 1888-1981. Moses was an urban planner who designed much of the architecture in mid-twentieth century New York City. In the 1950s and 1960s, he oversaw the construction of important landmarks such as the Queens Zoo, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and the Shea Stadium. He also designed transportation highways in New York such as the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, and the Staten Island Expressway. These locations are all easily accessible in the modern era with car rentals in Harlem.
In the mid-twentieth century, Moses wanted to expand the Harlem River Drive for car traffic into six lanes. Since the 1960s, the Harlem River Drive has served as an important transportation route in Manhattan. In 2003, it was labelled the 369th Harlem Hellfighters Drive to honor the 369th Infantry Regiment, which was the first all-black American regiment to serve in World War I.
Lots to See and Do
As the main parkway through the neighborhood of Harlem, the Harlem River Drive is a key route for exploring many local landmarks using car rentals in Harlem. There are lots of attractions to visit in the neighborhood of Harlem just off the parkway. The nearby Apollo Theater was built in 1913 and is located at 253 W 125th Street. The theater underwent major renovations in 2005 and hosts over one million annual visitors. The Studio Museum in Harlem, which specializes in African-American Art, is another popular landmark in the Harlem neighborhood. The Museum is located on 125th street and is open from Thursday until Sunday.
For a hidden historical gem, check out the Morris-Jumel Mansion in nearby Washington Heights. The mansion is one of the oldest houses in Manhattan and was an important military headquarters during the American Revolution. The Museum is open from 10:00-4:00 on Wednesday through Sunday.
Lovers of the outdoors will want to check out the Harlem River Greenway, which runs along portions of the Harlem River Speedway. When you’re in the area, it’s a great location to visit with car rentals in Harlem. The newly-established Harlem River Park runs from 125th to 145th streets in the neighborhood of Harlem and features public restrooms, open recreational spaces, plaques, and art murals. The park was built by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and is open daily from 6am-9pm. For over a century, rowers have also flocked to the Harlem River for recreational activity, and Columbia University operates a boathouse on the banks of the water.
Always Under Improvement
Manhattan roads are always under improvement, so be sure to check out the status of construction projects on Harlem River Drive before making a trip to the city. The New York City Department of Transportation website keeps users up-to-date on construction in the Harlem area, and the website 511NY also shares real-time updates of traffic for drivers using car rentals in Harlem.
Before You Visit
To explore all that Harlem River Drive and the surrounding neighborhood has to offer, visit AllCar Rent A Car for car rentals in Harlem. Our business provides quick and friendly service that will get you on the Manhattan roads faster than any other company in the area. For more information on our rentals, visit our fleet guide page. To book a Harlem car rental, visit our rental center page.
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