Friday Flashback #50

Despite the traffic, construction and removal of trees, the Merritt Parkway is still more pleasant than 95. (Then again, so is colonoscopy prep.)

Back in 1939 — a couple of years after it opened — the Merritt really was a “parkway,” though.

So were the entrances. Here’s a shot of Exit 42 southbound, on Weston Road. The commuter parking lot was decades in the future.

I have no idea when the calming island was removed.

(Photo courtesy of Paul Ehrismann)

9 responses to “Friday Flashback #50

  1. I think they did a lot more than just remove the island over time. I think the radius of the exit ramp was changed a lot, too. Compare the same view today, and the distance from the ramp to the overpass sure looks a lot further. Over the decades a lot of Parkway ramps have been heavily modified to accommodate larger, and faster, vehicles.

  2. John Hartwell

    “…still more pleasant…”

    John 203-216-1425


  3. that’s just the way i (prefer to) remember it. thanks for that picture.

  4. Dennis Stahursky

    That’s a great pic. Thanks Paul E. for sharing it.

  5. Ernest Lorimer

    I wonder how many accidents there were at the double yield to the right, where the two two way ramps merged.

  6. Does anyone remember the Burma-shave-style signs that used to be in the median of the Merritt Parkway in or near Greenwich back in the mid-1960s? They read: “One / For The Road / Gets Trooper / For the Chaser”. At least that’s how I remember them.

    • Peter Barlow

      Yes, I remember those, particularly that one. Wonder how effective they were. That was when 55 was speeding.

  7. And I vaguely remember the rustic wooden signs that were replaced by the uniform green ones. They took much of the charm away from the Parkway.

    Which leads me to ask — why do you drive on the parkway and park in the driveway?

  8. Fred Cantor

    My wife and I don’t travel on the Merritt that often because, among other reasons, we don’t do a lot of driving that requires getting on a highway. But, when we do drive on the Merritt, we both still find that a lot of beauty remains–especially noticeable during early spring or when fall foliage is in season.

    And sometimes it takes an outsider to remind us of the Merritt’s beauty. A friend who grew up in northern Minnesota, went to college in Saratoga Springs, and has lived in southern California most of her adult life, took a drive down virtually the entire length of the Wilbur Cross and Merritt several years ago. She said it was one of the most scenic highways anywhere that she had traveled on.