getting in and out of NYC for free

over the weekend I heard a rumour that there is a way to get in and out of NYC by car without having to pay any tolls. My brother claims that he’s driven with some friends on some out of the way bridge that isn’t tolled to get out of New York City and onto the HRP for free. Anyone know how to pull this off?

Many ways to do it.

Manhattan, brooklyn, willamsburg, Queesburo, willas ave, 3rd ave, 138, 145 st, macams dam, 181, 207 st, broadway bridges are free
I think one direction of the henry hut. parkway may be free, along with holland, lincon tunnel and GWB

Some exits on the cross bronk experssway are in Manhattan and free

What’s the HRP?

Hutchinson River Parkway. Turns into the Merritt Parkway (CT15) at the state line.

Close, but not quite. There’s the Bronx River Parkway, and the Saw Mill River Parkway, but it’s the Hutchinson Parkway (ain’t no Hutchinson River, alas).


BTW, there’s a story, probably aprocryphal, about a British admiral consulting his map, and planning to sail his fleet up the Saw Mill River during the Revolutionary War. If you’ve ever seen the Saw Mill River (which you can jump over in many locations), you’ll realize how hilarious this is.


Maybe there’s no Hutchinson River in Reston VA., but there’s a Hutchinson river running right alongside the Hutchinson River Parkway.

Read all about it here.

yeah, but don’t those bridges just get you between Manhattan and Long Island? If I’m going to Connecticut I still need to get to the north.

Damn, right you are! My apologies to fusoya. I grew up in Westchester County, but that was a long, long time ago. The memory is the first thing to go, it would appear!

Carry on.

According to MS Streets and trips it is the Hutch. River Parkway. When I asked I though the HRP was in Manhattan, should have read the OP more carefully.

fusoya, you said NYC now you’re talking about Long Island, I would ask where are you starting from? If it’s from Long Island, your best bet is the Queensboro Bridge, to the FDR to the Willis Ave Bridge, and get on 87 north(Major Deegan)

Slight nitpick, but my understanding is that the x-bx expressway doesn’t run in Manhattan. The section I-95 in Manhattan is the trans-Manhattan expressway, also known as the George Washington Bridge extension roadway (or so I’ve been told).

But like you said, there are lots of free bridges in and out of Manhattan.

Very possible, but trans-Manhattan Expressway sounds like an oximoron. Actually I never heard of the T.M.E. but would buy into the GWB Extention. If I heard of the TME I would assume they were talking about the proposed connector from the LIE to Lincon Tunnel.

Anyway the only way to get off LI for free is to go to Manhattan on some of those bridges (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Willamsburg, Queensb.), YOu can however get to LI via the Varrazano for free but must pay to get to SI.

Bloomberg will soon make sure that all LIers will have to pay to get off the island I fear.

AFAIK, nearly all of the bridges connecting the the Bronx and Manhattan are free); I think k2dave mentioned a couple of them (Willis Ave., 3rd Street). It looks like you can take the FRD drive to the Willis Ave. Bridge, then get on Bruckner Blvd/Brucker Expressway and take it to the Hutch.

Lets say for the sake of argument that the OP is currently not located anywhere in the STATE of New York… Is there any way to get into and out of NYC from New Jersey or Connecticut for free ?

::stuyguy steps in the room to do that nitpicky New Yorky thing that he does. Most of the other posters roll their eyes as they see him walk in. Someone mutters, “Well, he had to get here eventually.” Several posters run for their coats while others cluster among themselves, hoping he won’t notice them.::

Okay. All I want to add is this:

  1. That road leading to the GWB is called the Manhattan Transverse. (Or so I’ve been told; it may in fact have another name.)

  2. k2dave gave a wonderful list of the free Manh-Bx bridges but missed one. The Alexander Hamilton Bridge (at 179 St.) is the one that connects the Cross Bx Expressway to the (yes) Manhattan Transverse.

  3. Also k2, let’s get those names straight. The name of the bridge at 181 is the Washington Bridge (not to be confused with the GWB), the one at 207 is the University Heights Bridge and the one at 138 is the Madison Ave. Bridge.

~ stuyguy, who is currently leading a campaign to rename the Washington Bridge after the guy who first proposed it be built

Thanks stuyguy I knew some of those names were’t correct but they would get you to the bridge. I guess I didn’t consider the Alexander Hamalton br because I personally don’t consider the X-Bronx, GWB extention, trans Manhattan traverse really in Manhattan so I just used exits on that roadway as ways in. I know it really is in manhattan I just don’t think of it as such.

As for getting from LI (and Manhattan) to Mainland USA for free (this will be free in both directions - if you want to do it for free leaving it is much shorter.)

lets just take the brooklyn bridge, then local streets to the FDR drive north,
to Willis ave bridge,
Find your way to theBruckner North to the bronx river parkway
To Sprain brook
to Tacconic state parkway
to rt 82 (2nd interchange with rt 82) west towards rip van winkle br
to 9H North, into 9, into interstate 90 north into Albany as you cross the hudson

787 south to 144s to 9w
to 6 S, to Palisades Parkway S
into NJ
Near the end of Palisades get on 9W to 9 and take into union City NJ

You have just driven apx 400 mi and took 9 hours to actually go 6 miles and avoid a toll of $6 or $4 or 5 with e-zpass TOLL ONE WAY ONLY.

It is, of course, quite possible to get into the Bronx from Westchester County (to its north) for free, and most if not all bridges across the Harlem River, which separates the Bronx and Manhattan, are free. Consult the above to determine how to get to Brooklyn and Queens from Manhattan without tolls.

And if the object is to “get into New York City from New Jersey without paying a toll,” I’m reasonably certain that at least one of the bridges between the Jersey Shore and Staten Island is free.

The two tunnels (Holland and Lincoln) and the George Washington Bridge are the three connections between Manhattan and New Jersey – as noted, it ought to be possible to take one of them for free going one way (tolls being charged the other). Some NYC-ite ought to have the Straight Dope on this.

If the object, however, is to get from New Jersey or south and west into Connecticut/New England, may I suggest I-84, which runs from Scranton through Port Jervis and across the Hudson to somewhere in Connecticut? This goes nowhere near NYC but obviates dealing with the heavy traffic in the Tri-State area.

Sorry, but the Gothals Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing will both cost you when coming from Jersey.

Unless you hitchhike, I don’t think there’s a way to enter NYC from Jersey without paying a toll (and if you hitchhike without offering to pay tolls you’re an ass).

Headed to Jersey from Long Island, I always took any East River bridge (except the Triboro) and any Hudson River crossing. Coming home, Outerbridge and the V-N.

And no, it’s not called the ‘Outerbridge’ crossing because it’s the furthest south, it’s named for Eugenius H. Outerbridge, the first chairman of the Port Authority.

I’ve used this way to get into Manhattan from the north:
Sprain Brook Parkway (south),
Take the exit that says Triborough Bridge but exit onto the Major Deegan Expressway before the bridge.
Go to Third Avenue Bridge–exit onto the FDR…

I can’t say for certain if this can be done in reverse.

The Bear Mountain Bridge and Newburgh-Beacon bridges are eastbound tolls ($1.00) only, so from NJ you wouldn’t have to go quite as far north as Albany to cross the Hudson for free.