Jun 20 2018

Ham Plans for the Upcoming 110th Anniversary of the Long Island Motor Parkway

October 2018 will mark the 110th Anniversary of the Long Island Motor Parkway. Art Kleiner is proposing a special celebration event combining two of this passions. He is looking for feedback.


Howard Kroplick

Special Event Commemorating the 110th Anniversary of the Opening of the Motor Parkway

By Art Kleiner

In addition to my interest in the Motor Parkway, I have been an Amateur (aka Ham) Radio operator since 1990 (call sign KB2IPH).  Operating an amateur radio has given me the opportunity to speak with people all over the world and learn much about other peoples and cultures.  One of the activities many ham radio enthusiasts enjoy is participating in what we call operating a Special Event Station (SES) which transmits on specific days commemorating a historic event, location, person, etc.  A recent SES held last year commemorated Route 66 during which more than 15 amateur radio operators across the US were assigned special call signs and operated in locations along Route 66 (see the verification cards I received after making contact with several of these).  Other SES stations are held during Indy 500 and other races; the most recent one closer to home was May 20 at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City commemorating the day Charles' Lindbergh took off across the Atlantic.

Okay, now how does this all relate to the Motor Parkway?  Well, speaking with the sponsors of the Special Event Station that day, The Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club (LIMARC) of my interest in the Motor Parkway I suggested that they could sponsor a SES in honor of the upcoming 110th Anniversary of the opening of the Motor Parkway.  Follow-up discussions with LIMARC's president (Rich Cetron) indicated a high degree of interest in sponsoring such a SES, especially since the Club's name actually has "mobile" in it and obviously the club is all about Long Island.  Some degree of logistics have to be worked out including where to set up the SES but LIMARC is very experienced with special event stations and they would take care of  everything having to do with our Motor Parkway Special Event Station.  LIMARC will support it fully by providing equipment and amateur radio operators to man the station for the full day.   Our members could of course come by and witness first hand LIMARC making contacts around the world, or least throughout the US, promoting the Motor Parkway's historical significance, not just to LI but motoring in general.  We tentatively agreed that either Sat. or Sun., Oct. 6 or 7 would be the ideal day as it is the weekend before Oct. 10.

We talked about the station being located on or near the Motor Parkway and I suggested possibly the Old Bethpage Village Restoration Bridge (we also talked about engaging the Model A club to have a car on the bridge with a mobile station broadcasting too).  Might also be good to locate the station where's its a bit more accessible to passersby.  Maybe along Salisbury Park Drive in Westbury or the Garden City Toll Lodge.  Lots of possibilities.  LIMARC has a very good relationship with Town of Hempstead officials and getting the station up and running wouldn't be a problem as they've done this kind of thing a few times a year.  And I mentioned that we and the Model A club use the OBVR for meetings as well so we could get them involved to promote the event. 

After the special event station is held, ham radio operators request verification cards (also called QSL cards) verifying they made contact like the ones I've attached.  We can design a card using photos of the Motor Parkway and have it sent to anyone making contact.  Another way of extending our enthusiasm at keeping the Motor Parkway alive!

Howard agrees this would be great event to jointly work with LIMARC and we see it as a win-win for everyone.  As such, I'd like to gauge the interest among our Motor Parkway enthusiasts and also ask for your comments, help and suggestions about such an event and where it might be best to locate the actual station.  Rich suggested that it could be indoors but that they do operate outdoors (using a tent if necessary to keep out the elements).

Is this a good event, would you want to hear more updates, any contacts you can provide that can lend assistance one way or another, etc.?  

Also, are there any other amateur radio operators within our ranks besides myself?  Post your comments to the blog so we all can see your suggestions and thoughts.   Thanks very much!

Art Kleiner


Carman Avenue, East Meadow looking west

Old Bethpage Motor Parkway Bridge

Garden City Lodge


Jun 20 2018 Audrey 10:12 PM

Get Newsday involved, parkway cuts through their property.

Jun 20 2018 Joey Tabaco 11:08 PM

Great idea! My suggestion for the eastern terminus would be at the Islip Beach Park, a few blocks away from where the Petit Trianon Restaurant was located. We’d probably have to get permission from the Town Of Islip to set up a mobile rig. If not, there’s the Smithtown Beach Park, a few more blocks away. Again the same deal for the mobile rig from the Town of Smithtown. Both have parking lots and restrooms. Sorry I can’t help with a rig, mobile or fixed. I don’t even have a CB anymore for my KZS8723 call sign nor the 2m set for my Restricted Radiotelephone Operators Permit from CAP and when I was a radio operator in the USAF on WC-130s…

Jun 21 2018 Brian D McCarthy 12:11 AM

This should absolutely be set in motion, Art. Ham Radio Operating…must be a hobby you enjoy ( count me out as a fellow operator, not having the gift of gab ). Can’t go wrong wether the setup is outdoor or indoor. Already mentioning Old Bethpage ( not sure how cleaned up it still is ) and the Garden City Lodge, even the Manager’s Office turned residence in Garden City and the Old Courthouse Rd Bridge area seems okay. Guessing the informational cards are distributed like postcards? This is very cool, I’m all for this to happen!

Jun 21 2018 Greg O. 12:18 AM

A Motor Parkway event? Dee and I are always in!

Jun 22 2018 Steve Lucas 8:36 PM

Great idea, Art. Hope all the moving pieces can be put together. Another possible site could be the south-west parking lot of Roosevelt Field Mall; not too far from an existing section of the LIMP.

Jun 23 2018 Bruce Adams 11:43 PM

Count me in !
Perhaps we can do a “Historic Run” stopping at important sites along the LIMP, maybe with radio stations at these points such as Deadman’s Curve, The Old Courthouse Bridge, The Maxxus Road abutment, Battle Row, etc.
We could then run out on CR 67 to Lake Ronkonkoma.

Jun 24 2018 frank femenias 2:18 AM

Sounds neat Art. Making contact with descendants of Vanderbilt Cup races would be rewarding, even in Europe. Newsday location is an excellent idea, also the parkway strip by the Great Neck lodge (the original terminus). Visitors here can also enjoy a slow drive back in time. Sorry, no HAM experience here.

Jun 24 2018 Walt Gosden 7:11 AM

Excellent idea, and I agree with Steve Lucas that the SW parking lot of the Roosevelt Field shopping center would or could be a great location. This is the weekend just before the huge annual antique car flea market and car show in Hershey , Pa. (flea market there open tuesday) so you may get some car owners preparing for that trip and event.

Jun 24 2018 Brian Sansom 11:21 AM

Eagles Nest


Jun 24 2018 Andrew Hartwell 12:21 PM

Hold on/at the beach in Lake Ronkonkoma where the parkway ended?

Jun 24 2018 frank femenias 9:28 PM

Howard, the top photo is the epitome of the Motor Pkwy. I doubt the photographer even knew at the time.

Jun 25 2018 Jerry Mintz 5:16 PM

Back around the mid 1950’s, when I was about 13 I explored about 50 miles of the Motor Parkway on my bike. I was also an amateur rtadio operator (K2BGB)
So I think this is a great idea and would be happy to help with it.

Jun 27 2018 Maureen Standish 1:22 PM

Hello Art and fellow LIMP family.

I love this idea.  Don’t know if I can do the trip back to L.I. but I’ll see if I can work that out.  Long drive from Michigan, about 13 hours one way.  They say you can never go back home but I would sure love to try it.  Would love to trek around area where I use to live.  Will follow your details as they progress.

Jun 29 2018 frank femenias 10:09 AM

Maureen -  I visited the Melville area a few months back in the vicinity of Broad Hollow/Ruland Rds and took photos of the area. If interested, I can send the slideshow with photos indicating location/direction. As Edith mentioned, the place has changed some. 
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Jun 30 2018 Art Kleiner 4:01 PM

Thanks for all your comments and input.  The Ham Radio Special Event station will run concurrently with the soon to be announced Challenge of Champions “race” organized by Motor Parkway pal, Ellen O.  This “race” will also commemorate the 110th Anniversary of the Parkway and Ellen has lots of exciting things planned.  She’ll be filling Howard and the rest of us in on the details soon, so be on the lookout. 

Date of the ham radio special event station and Ellen’s race is Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018.  Ellen and I had a very productive conference call with the President of LIMARC (Long Island Amateur Radio Club) and we all agreed it would be best to have at least three radio stations transmitting along the course (each with a different call sign) - one at the beginning in Cunningham Park, one in the middle and one at the finish in Lake Ronkonkoma.  And to Bruce’s comment, we might be able to have a station operating mobile during the race and/or have a car tracking the race participants real time viewable on a computer. 

More to come on both the ham radio station and the race so we’ll keep everyone in the loop.  But keep Oct. 7 free!  Should be a fun time for Motor Parkway and ham radio enthusiasts alike.

Jul 04 2018 Gene Perry 10:04 AM

A Limp Celebration would be awesome. All 3 counties ahould be coordinated for a massive event. From the Queens western terminus to the Lake Ronkonkoma terminus. Somebody should contact Di Blasio to get the ball rolling!

Jul 27 2018 Art Kleiner 8:33 AM

Additional information provided here - LIMARC, the ham radio club sponsoring the Parkway’s 110th anniversary’s special event station has secured the use of call sign W2V, authorized from the FCC for the special event. This is in addition to the club’s current call signs of W2VL and WV2LI which will also be used.  Using the W, V, 2, LI combinations work well for the event (such as WV2LI -  William Vanderbilt to LI).  And we are still hoping to outfit a mobile station (i.e. a Model A?) driving on the Parkway.

LIMARC has published a page on their website about the special event station which is also accessible through the New York-Long Island Section newsletter of the ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League).  The ARRL is the national organization of ham radio operators.


The ARRL newsletter is member accessible only but here is the blurb about the special event station.

LIMARC is in the process of negotiating a special event this coming
October 7th commemorating the Vanderbilt Races on the Long Island Motor
Parkway. This Special Event Station will be on the air October 7, 2018
and will commemorate the 110th Anniversary of the The first parkway
built exclusively for the automobile and part of the courses for the
1908 to 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Races

For more information see:

More to come!

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