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).

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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 – Pelham Parkway – Shore Road Long Run

Today’s route takes you down the other road in Pelham Bay Park to the northern edge of the Bronx. And if you aren’t familiar with Pelham Bay Park, it is the largest park in New York City – three times larger than Central Park in Manhattan. On the Saturday morning when I ran this route (what I consider prime weekend recreation time), I was surprised to see few people bike down this route and no one running along it!

In my opinion, it is a hidden gem of a long run for folks who want to get away from it all without really getting away from it all.

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Here is a snapshot of the entire route – 5 miles long. Out-and-back for a 10 miler.

Route Description:

(Run 8/28/17) 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 (be careful!) over the next half mile until you reach Pelham Bay Park.

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

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Here is a closeup of the first/last two miles of the route.

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Here you’ll see the route from the left turn at the park, over the bridge, to the intersection of City Island Road and Pelham Bridge Road. Please exercise caution on the bridge as bikers, pedestrians, and runners can often bunch up on the narrow sidewalk while traffic moves quickly by without much of a safety buffer.

At the other side of the bridge, continue across City Island Road and then make a left immediately across Pelham Bridge Rd. then right to continue on the bike path.

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Here is a closeup emphasizing the crossover you need to make at the intersection of City Island Road and Pelham Bridge Road around mile 3/7.

Continue north on the bike path for about two miles. Except for the entrance to the golf course and the crossing at the Orchard Beach traffic circle, this will give you a total of 4 miles of car-free running space.

You’ll know you’ve reached the turnaround point once you’ve reached the end of the bike path (the border for Pelham Bay Park and the Bronx) and entered a very nice neighborhood in the Village of Pelham. Run about five housing lots into the neighborhood to get to five miles and turn around and go back the way you came.

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Mileage:

Ten miles round-trip or five miles each way. For those of you who would prefer to head straight to Pelham Parkway South from the starting point instead of going around the campus first, this makes the run 4.25 miles each way or a 8.5 mile round-trip.

Elevation: 

Pretty flat with a minimum elevation of 0 feet to a max of 69 feet.

Hill Ratio:

0 hills for a ratio of 0.00 for the 10 mile run.

CPMR: 

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

%RNPS:

0.8. The Hutchinson River Parkway and I-95 mixed with the unique tidal geography in this part of the Bronx make it hard to get too far away from major freeways. 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 is not recommended without a headlamp, rear-LED light, reflective vest, and a running buddy or two. Much of the route along Shore Road and the portion leading into the Village of Pelham are unlighted at night.

Crowd Scene?

The majority of this course is clear of foot traffic. The only area you’d be concerned with is in front of Jacoby Hospital along Pelham Parkway South. Of course, be on the lookout for bikers on this path as they tend to move quickly since it is so lightly used.

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:

This route takes you along Pelham Parkway to Pelham Bay Park, with views of the Hutchinson River and the Pelham Bay/Split Rock Golf Course. It’s also nice to check out how the other half lives in the Village of Pelham. The neighborhood looks like something straight out of a movie with perfectly manicured lawns and stately mansions on either side of the road.

The bike path that runs from mile 3 to 5 and back to 7, is also very peaceful and shady. For parts of the path, its like you’ve entered a forest.

Good for Groups:

Narrow sidewalks and bike paths along the course 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 freeway transition roads and be wary of foot and bike traffic on the narrow Pelham Bridge path.

Prospects for a Break-Free Run: 

In total, you’ll find seven roads that you’ll likely have to stop at during your run one-way, so 14 potential cross streets/on-ramps to contend with round-trip. Five on-/off-ramps will be concentrated between mile 1.5 and 2.25 (mile 7.75 and 8.5 on the way back). Then you also have the intersection of Pelham Parkway South and Eastchester Road and the Orchard Beach traffic circle.

Though it seems like a lot, the breaks are pretty concentrated and the rest of the run is peaceful enough to allow you to run without much stress from worrying about on-coming traffic.

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.