Bronx: Commute Run from 138th to Einstein/Jacoby via 3rd Ave./Boston Rd.

Commute runs are an efficient and fun way to get to where you want to go while getting a substantial workout in at the same time. If your job allows you to dress with a minimum of fuss (i.e. a dress shirt and nice pants), a run like this is completely feasible with a small pack or running vest with a large storage compartment (like this or this).

If you are trying to get to/from Harlem/Manhattan to the Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center, here is a route to consider. One end is anchored by the 138th Street Station of the 2/4/5 train and the other set by a large public space (Jacoby Medical Center).

Screenshot 2017-09-04 23.25.50

Here is a snapshot of the entire route – 6 miles long. 

Route Description:

(Run 3/17/17) This route begins on the corner 138th St. and Grand Concourse.

You’ll head east on 138th St. to 3rd Ave. and make a left, staying on the east side of the street.

Screenshot 2017-09-04 23.26.39

Here is a closeup of the route starting at the 138th Street Station then up through 3rd Ave.

Follow 3rd Ave. north until it winds past 163rd St., then fork to the east (right) onto Boston Rd.

 

Screenshot 2017-09-04 23.27.07

Then you can see how 3rd Ave. forks to the right to become Boston Road.

Follow Boston Road to 180th St. and head east again (right) to Morris Park Ave.

Screenshot 2017-09-04 23.27.27

This shows you the transition from Boston Road, across 180th St. to Morris Park.

Once you reach Morris Park Ave. head north (left) all the way to Eastchester Rd which is about 1.6 miles away at this point.

Screenshot 2017-09-04 23.28.21

And finally, your destination, Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center.

Of course, if you are running from Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center toward the South Bronx/Harlem/Manhattan, just run these steps in reverse!

Mileage:

This is a six-mile route.

Elevation: 

Slightly challenging with variation from 11 to 98 feet with one sharp incline. The rest of the elevation challenges are very gradual.

Hill Ratio:

1 hill for a ratio of 0.16 for the six-mile run.

CPMR: 

0.0. For some reason, I rarely run into smokers on this route despite running through several commercial and residential areas.

%RNPS:

67%. Surprisingly, only two-thirds of this route are roughly a half-mile away from one of the half-dozen freeways that criss-cross the Bronx. I would have expected this run to be at 100%.

Safe after dark?

Despite it’s potential as a good commute run, it does run through the South Bronx and there are sections along 3rd Ave that are still a little questionable despite the recent uptick in new development. The section of Boston Road between 170th St. and 180th St. is also a bit of question mark. Early evening (6-8pm) and mid-morning (7-9am) appear to be good times to run this route.

Crowd Scene?

This course runs through two major commercial areas where you’ll likely encounter crowds on the sidewalk: The Hub and Morris Park. Other than that, the course is pretty uncluttered.

Running Surface:

Sidewalk and asphalt.

Changing Station?

There is a Starbucks on the corner of Morris Park Ave. and Eastchester Road with serviceable bathrooms to change in. No changing stations that I can suggest on the South Bronx side.

Points of Interest:

This route takes you through the heart of the South Bronx. Going south to north, you will see the small section of the Bronx near 138th and the Grand Concourse (right outside the 138th Street Station for the 2/4/5 train) over which the New York Marathon runs. Further up, you’ll run past Patterson Houses, one of the largest public housing developments in the city, then through the commercial area known as The Hub – characterized as a miniature Times Square – on 3rd Ave above 149th St.,  then on through the neighborhoods of Morrisania, West Farms, and finally Morris Park.

Good for Groups:

Narrow sidewalks make this ideal for 2 up to 4 runners.

Safe from Cars:

The cross-streets along the majority of this route are low-volume and the path that you’ll run along is well-insulated from fast moving traffic by either wide sidewalks or street parking.

Prospects for a Break-Free Run: 

By my count, you’ll see about ten possible major streets that may require a stop. On a typical day, figure that you will see stops on about half of them.

Friends Run Into During Run:

0

Is there a route you’ve always wanted to run, but wanted someone else to run it first in case of hidden axe murderers or marauding street cat gangs? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to cover it! Or is there any other route criteria you’d like me to cover? If so, drop me a comment below.

© 2017 Danilo Torres. All rights reserved.

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Bronx: Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center – Morris Park – Bronx Zoo – Mosholu Parkway – Van Cortlandt Park – Yonkers Long Run

Every now and then, we all need a nice, peaceful long run to clear our heads. Alternately, one may need to commute from one end of the Bronx to the other on a daily basis and have opted to spend their hour plus commute exercising instead of sitting (or standing) on a crowded, slow bus across the Bronx. If that person is you, then you are in luck! Today, I am happy to share with you one such route.

This east-west route will take you across the northern portion of the Bronx adjacent to parks and through runnable neighborhoods. Also, running across the Bronx is a healthier alternative to riding the bus from Van Cortlandt Park in the northwestern Bronx to Eastchester Road in the northeastern Bronx given that one can cover the distance on foot in an equivalent amount of time.

Screenshot 2017-08-19 16.31.56

Here is a snapshot of the entire route – 8 miles long. Out-and-back makes it a respectable long run at 16 miles.

 

 

Route Description:

(Run 1/4/15) This route starts adjacent to the corner of Morris Park Ave. and Eastchester Road.

Follow Morris Park Ave. west past Williambridge Road and continue straight.

In about a mile, you will reach 180th Street and the 180th Street Station. Make a right here.

Follow 180th St. along the southern edge of the Bronx Zoo until you reach Boston Road and make a right.

When you reach the Zoo’s southern entrance, make a left and continue along Bronx Park South.

When you reach Southern Blvd., make a right.

Screenshot 2017-08-19 17.20.15

Broken down for clarity, here are the first three miles of the route including Morris Park Ave., 180th St., the short segment on Boston Road, Bronx Park South, and Southern Blvd.

Run another three-quarters of a mile to East Fordham Road and make a left to cross to the west side of Southern Blvd. This is important to do since the sidewalk on the east side of Southern Blvd. mysteriously narrows and disappears along a perilous bend in the road making for a dangerous running situation.

On the west side of Southern Blvd. continue north past Fordham University, the Botanical Garden main entrance, and, later, the Botanical Garden train station.

When you reach Mosholu Parkway, make a left. This diagonally situated street leads you to Van Cortlandt Park via a wide, four-lane street with generally, quiet bike paths on either side. Ideally, you want to travel on the north side of this street to set you up for your next turn and to avoid additional intersection traffic.

Screenshot 2017-08-19 16.33.19

The route between mile 3 and 4 which is runs along Southern Blvd. and Mosholu Parkway.

Head up to West Gun Hill Road/Van Cortlandt Park South and make a left. You’ll know you are on the right path if you encounter a substantial set of stairs at the end of Van Cortlandt Park South. Head down these stairs and continue along 240th St.

Screenshot 2017-08-19 16.33.39

The route between mile 4 and 5 along Mosholu Parkway and the southnern part of Van Cortlandt Park.

Follow 240th St. to Broadway and make a right.

Screenshot 2017-08-19 17.23.55

The route between mile 5 and 6 along Van Cortlandt Park South and Broadway.

Follow Broadway along the western edge of Van Cortlandt Park for about 1.77 miles to Caryl Ave. (past 262nd St.). Stop, say hi to Yonkers and turn around and run back along the way you came.

Screenshot 2017-08-19 16.34.21

And finally, the road to Yonkers via Broadway.

Mileage:

16 miles round-trip or 8 miles each way. For those of you who would prefer to take Pelham Parkway between Southern Blvd and Eastchester Road instead of Morris Park Ave./180th/Bronx Park South, you’ll save yourself .75 miles each way for 14.5 mile round-trip or 7.25 miles one-way.

Elevation: 

Slightly challenging with variation from 49 to 176 feet with two sharp inclines.

Hill Ratio:

2 hills for a ratio of 0.125 for the 16 mile run.

CPMR: 

0.0. Running mostly along parks and parkways has its advantages in terms of avoiding smokers.

%RNPS:

0.875. Heading across the Bronx makes it hard to miss the major freeways in the area. Only two miles of this route are outside of the half-mile range of a major freeway.

Safe after dark?

Safe during the day in terms of both traffic and crime. Night running should be safe with the proper equipment and if you are not familiar with the area around 180th and western end of Morris Park Ave, you should consider bringing a buddy to run with.

Crowd Scene?

The majority of this course is clear of foot traffic. The only areas you’d be concerned with is the 180th St. Station, otherwise, its like your own private running course.

Running Surface:

Sidewalk and asphalt.

Changing Station?

There is a Starbucks on the corner of Morris Park Ave. and Eastchester Road with serviceable bathrooms. On the Van Cortlandt Park side, there are bathrooms at the Golf Course and restaurants along Broadway that you could duck into for a bite and to quickly use their washrooms to change in.

Points of Interest:

This route takes you along the periphery of many of the great institutions in the Bronx, from the Einstein/Jacoby Medical Campus, to the Bronx Zoo, the Botanical Gardens, Fordham University, Mosholu Parkway, and Van Cortlandt Park and Golf Course.

Good for Groups:

Narrow sidewalks make this ideal for 2 up to 4 runners.

Safe from Cars:

Most of this course runs safely along low-volume sidewalks and recreational paths that are well-insulated from traffic, but you do have to cross some well-travelled roads.

Prospects for a Break-Free Run: 

In total, you’ll find eight roads that you’ll likely have to stop at during your run one-way, so 16 potential cross streets to contend with round-trip. Three of them will be along Morris Park Ave. (Williamsbridge, Bronxdale, and White Plains Road), then at Fordham Road, at Mosholu Parkway and West Gun Hill Road, and three as you work your way around Van Cortlandt Park at the entrance/exit of I-87, and the entrance/exit of the Henry Hudson Parkway.

Friends Run Into During Run:

0

Is there a route you’ve always wanted to run, but wanted someone else to run it first in case of hidden axe murderers or marauding street cat gangs? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to cover it! Or is there any other route criteria you’d like me to cover? If so, drop me a comment below.

© 2017 Danilo Torres. All rights reserved.

Bronx: Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center – Williamsbridge Road – Morris Park Zig-Zag for a Low Traffic, Well-lit Night Run

Here is another short run adjacent to the Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center. It is especially useful for those who have had a long day and are forced to run after dark. Basically, it is a zig-zag pattern in the neighborhood west of the Einstein/Jacoby campus that is bound to the north by Pelham Parkway South and to the south by Morris Park Ave. The western boundary is Williamsbridge Road and Eastchester Road is on the eastern side of the route.

This neighborhood is very safe and well-lit. To give you an idea of what to expect from the neighborhood, it is filled with single-family homes valued in the $500,000 to million dollar range. After rush hour, the streets are pretty quiet and your only real concern about running these streets is cross-traffic on the cross streets (Lydig, Neill, and Rheinlander Aves.).

While the streets on this route function almost like a private running route late at night, it is always advisable to run with night lights and reflectors. To give you an idea of what might be appropriate, we can look at what the Ragnar Relays always require for its night runners. They require at least three pieces of safety gear for night runs: headlamps, reflective vest/harness, and a tail light. (Great, inexpensive gear can be had from Amazon – especially for those of you who are Prime members see these links for options – headlamps | reflective vests/harness | tail light). Of course, all three of these items may be considered overkill for most, but I always like to run with at least a vest/harness and a tail light at night while running against traffic. But that’s just me. To each their own!

Screenshot 2017-08-22 23.56.24

Route Description:

(Run 8/14/17) This route starts outside the driveway of 1935 Eastchester Road near the intersection of Stillwell Ave. and Eastchester Road.

Head south to Morris Park Ave. and turn right. Follow Morris Park Ave. to Williambridge Road and make a right.

In about a half mile, you will reach Pelham Parkway South where you will turn right. At the end of the block you’ll make your first zig – a right on Yates Ave. What’s nice about this street and the one to the east of it is that there is a bike line painted into the road that you can run in or you can also opt to run on the sidewalk.

Head back down to Morris Park Ave. and zag to the left and left again on Hering Ave. On a side note, if you end up registering to vote in the Bronx, you’ll pass your polling station on the corner of Hering Ave. and Neill Ave. – P.S. 108. But for now, you’ll really want to continue up Hering until you hit Pelham Parkway South to zig to the right and come back down Tenbroeck Ave.

Take Tenbroeck Ave. back to Morris Park Ave. and zag to the left and left again onto Seminole Ave. Follow Seminole Ave. to Neill Ave., make a right and follow the road back to Pelham Parkway South.

Make a right on Pelham Parkway South and continue about a quarter mile to Eastchester Road and make a right. Follow Eastchester Road back to the starting point for a 3.65 mile run.

Make it a 5-miler! If you want to run further, tack on a full loop of the Einstein/Jacoby campus for another 1.35 miles.

From the starting point, continue south to Morris Park Ave. and make a right.

After about a quarter mile, make a right on Seminole Ave. and follow it around the campus to Pelham Parkway South and make another right.

Head to Eastchester Road and make a right and continue back to the starting point at the 1935 Eastchester Road driveway.

 

Mileage:

3.65 miles for the zig-zag route or 5 miles if you tack on the full Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center loop.

Elevation: 

Nothing too crazy. Varies from 22 to 89 feet with gradual inclines.

Hill Ratio:

0 hills for a ratio of 0.00.

CPMR: 

0.2. I had the one guy standing in front of his house this evening catching a smoke. Otherwise, I am sure future runs will bring this number down to zero.

%RNPS:

0.00. None of this course is within a half mile of a major freeway but it just barely qualifies on the Eastchester Road side.

Safe after dark?

Safe during the day and safe at night in terms of both traffic and crime.

Just don’t try to include Stillwell Ave. between Eastchester Road and Pelham Parkway South in this route to bring it to a full 4 miler. Curiously, the crime and traffic safety issues on this small pocket of street skyrocket compared to the rest of the neighborhood. Just ask the student who was propositioned by the man in the windowless van (160627_CampusAlert) or read up on the recent criminal activity on this street. Yes, that’s right, just a block from the 49th precinct!

Crowd Scene?

Not very crowded inside the neighborhood. A little bit of traffic on Williamsbridge Road as you run through the Williamsbridge business district.

Running Surface:

Sidewalk and asphalt.

Changing Station?

There is a Starbucks on the corner of Morris Park Ave. and Eastchester Road with serviceable bathrooms.

Points of Interest:

You’ll run past some interesting houses and through the length of the Williamsbridge business district where you might find you very next takeout meal experience.

Along with getting a round-trip view of the campus, you get a mini-tour of the fine establishments and institutions along Eastchester Road including the NYPD 49th Precinct, Apple Grocery, Dolphin Fitness, GiGi’s Pizza, Denigris Dominick (tombstones), Enterprise Rent-a-car, Good to Go, Tana Thai, Dunkin Donuts, and Starbucks.

Good for Groups:

Narrow sidewalks make this ideal for 2 up to 4 runners.

Safe from Cars:

Most of this route intersects with low traffic roads. You don’t cross any major roads but you do cross a few low-volume roads.

One caveat as you cross the four entrances to the Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center campus – watch out at the stop sign crossings around the Jacoby campus. Most drivers are not used to watching for runners crossing and will treat the stop signs as suggestions as they speed through their turns.

Prospects for a Break-Free Run: 

Very good. You are crossing mostly lightly used intersections during this run and you will only probably need to stop sporadically.

Friends Run Into During Run:

0

Is there a route you’ve always wanted to run, but wanted someone else to run it first in case of hidden axe murderers or marauding street cat gangs? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to cover it! Or is there any other route criteria you’d like me to cover? If so, drop me a comment below.

© 2017 Danilo Torres. All rights reserved.

Bronx: Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center – City Island for a Solid Long Run

If you are training for a marathon or just looking for a mostly low maintenance long run, you can’t beat the simplicity of an out-and-back, 8-miler from Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center to the City Island Bridge.

Screenshot 2017-08-09 00.14.13

Route Description:

(Run 8/3/17) This route starts at the driveway of 1935 Eastchester Road, near the intersection of Stillwell Ave. and Eastchester Road.

Head south to Morris Park Ave. and make a right.

About 400 meters later, make another right on Seminole Ave. and follow the street around the western side of the Jacoby/Einstein campus to Pelham Parkway South.

Make a right on Pelham Parkway South and continue past Stillwell Ave. until you pick up the bike path adjacent to Pelham Parkway South.

Follow this bike path across the five highway transition roads over the next half mile until you reach Pelham Bay Park.

Turn left and follow the bike path over the Pelham Bridge.

At the other side of the bridge, follow the path to the right along City Island Road and follow it (past the traffic circle) until you reach the threshold of the City Island Bridge.

Then turn around and return along the way you came.

Mileage:

8 miles.

Elevation: 

Basically flat. Varies from 0 to 64 feet.

Hill Ratio:

0 hills for a ratio of 0.00.

CPMR: 

0.00. No cigarette smokers encountered during this run.

%RNPS:

0.50. The 8-mile course places you within a half mile of a major highway for the middle four miles of the course.

Safe after dark?

This route is pretty safe during daylight hours. Safe for buddies after dark with proper lighting especially for the portions along City Island Road.

Crowd Scene?

Very light foot traffic for the majority of the course. Most of the foot traffic you encounter will be in front of Jacoby Hospital along Pelham Parkway South.

Running Surface:

Sidewalk and asphalt.

Changing Station?

There is a Starbucks on the corner of Morris Park Ave. and Eastchester Road with serviceable bathrooms.

Points of Interest:

Good views of the Pelham Parkway, Pelham Bay Park, Pelham Bay, and City Island.

Good for Groups:

Great for group runs of up to 4. Most of the course is on a bike path so be sure to be mindful to leave room for the bikers to pass if you do travel in a group as this path is used enough that you should be aware that they are around.

Safe from Cars:

Once you get past the half mile stretch with the five highway transition roads, most of the course will allow you to forget your car troubles. Bikers are another issue, however. Again, be mindful of them and make room for them to pass.

Prospects for a Break-Free Run: 

The major break points will take place between miles 1.5-2 and 6-6.5 as you cross the five highway transition roads. Depending on the time of day, they can be a non-issue but during rush hour, be extra vigilant as the drivers are usually not.

Friends Run Into During Run:

0

Is there a route you’ve always wanted to run, but wanted someone else to run it first in case of hidden axe murderers or marauding street cat gangs? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to cover it! Or is there any other route criteria you’d like me to cover? If so, drop me a comment below.

© 2017 Danilo Torres. All rights reserved.

Bronx: Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center – Paulding Ave – Pelham Bay Parkway Loop

For those looking for a short, safe route around the Einstein/Jacoby Medical Center Campus, here are two loops to consider – a 2.4 mile loop and a 1 mile loop.

Click on map to enlarge.

Route Description:

(Run 7/28/17) This route starts outside the driveway of 1935 Eastchester Road near the intersection of Stillwell and Eastchester Road.

Head south to Morris Park Ave. and turn right. Follow Morris Park Ave. for about one kilometer (0.62 miles) and then make a right again on Paulding Ave.

In about a half mile, at the end of Paulding Ave., you will see the Morris Park Station for the 5 train on your left, turn right here onto Esplanade and head out to Pelham Parkway South.

Make a right on Pelham Parkway South and head back toward Eastchester Road, about another kilometer.

Make a right on Eastchester Road and return to your starting point at the driveway for 1935 Eastchester Road for a 2.4 mile loop.

Bonus one-mile loop! If your running preferences tend toward the shorter courses and all you need is a simple one-mile loop, then you can do this:

Start at the driveway of 1935 Eastchester Road near the intersection of Stillwell and Eastchester Road.

Head south to Morris Park Ave. and make a right.

Head up to the second entrance path (the one after the entrance with the stairs) to the Einstein Campus and make a right.

Head through the apartment complex, then over the path in the gravel parking lot, past the dog run (on your right) until you get to the service road for Jacoby Medical Center and cross to the western side.

Continue to follow the sidewalk until it hits Pelham Parkway South and make a right.

After about 200 meters, make a right again on Eastchester Road and return to your starting point.

Mileage:

2.4 miles for the Paulding loop or 1 mile for the Jacoby Medical Center loop.

Elevation: 

Nothing too crazy. Varies from 22 to 104 feet with gradual inclines.

Hill Ratio:

0 hills for a ratio of 0.00.

CPMR: 

0! Running through residential neighborhoods helps keep this low.

%RNPS:

0.00. None of this course is within a half mile of a major freeway but it just barely qualifies on the Eastchester Road side.

Safe after dark?

I’d reckon the entirety of this route is pretty safe during daylight hours and into the darker hours with a running buddy. Very residential and mostly busy.

Crowd Scene?

Running through quiet neighborhoods allows you to really focus on your run and not on avoiding folks.

Running Surface:

Sidewalk and asphalt.

Changing Station?

There is a Starbucks on the corner of Morris Park Ave. and Eastchester Road with serviceable bathrooms.

Points of Interest:

Good views of the Pelham Parkway, a taste of the neighborhood, and a great overview of the Einstein/Jacoby campus.

Good for Groups:

Narrow sidewalks make this ideal for 2 up to 4 runners.

Safe from Cars:

Most of this route intersects with low traffic roads, however, you’ll cross one major road, Kingsbridge Road, twice will require a stop on a red light whereas the other traffic lights you’ll cross here are pretty lightly used. One caveat, watch out at the stop sign crossings around the Jacoby campus. Most drivers are not used to watching for runners crossing and will treat the stop signs as suggestions as they speed through their turns.

Prospects for a Break-Free Run: 

Pretty good. You are crossing mostly lightly used intersections during this run and you will only probably need to stop at both of the Kingsbridge Road crossings.

Friends Run Into During Run:

0

Is there a route you’ve always wanted to run, but wanted someone else to run it first in case of hidden axe murderers or marauding street cat gangs? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to cover it! Or is there any other route criteria you’d like me to cover? If so, drop me a comment below.

© 2017 Danilo Torres. All rights reserved.