Hackensack Meadows Rivals IMS

The August 20, 1909, Indianapolis News article contained in the attachment below is about bold, ambitious plans to build a super speedway to dwarf the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but is perhaps more closely tied to the "good roads" movement of the early 20th Century. A group of investors and consultants referred to as a "syndicate," organized to oversee construction of a massive auto racing track and airfield in New York. This group consisted of P.S. Parish, Arthur Alexander, and George Robertson - winner of the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup. Worthington M. Jacobus was listed as the civil engineer.
The area of land was known as Hackensack Meadowlands - 400 acres lying between Newark Plank Road and the Pennsylvania Railroad Tracks. The article indicates that Robertson would have a heavy hand in shaping the race track configuration. That part of the facility was to involve two race courses - on a two-mile oval, which would be surrounded by a three-mile road course.
The flat contour of the Meadowlands was seen as ideal for construction of the track but also, the terrain necessary for an airfield. Airplanes, dirigibles, other aircraft could be tested and even stage airshows. One of the objectives was to make the entire race course visible from any spectator vantage point. Plans also called for a grandstand with a capacity of 100,000 people. Estimates for the cost of design and construction were reported as between $2.5 and $3 million. I have yet to unearth evidence these plans progressed any further than talk. Note that this article was published during the first automobile races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is hard to know if the tragic results of those races had any bearing on plans to proceed with the expensive venture.
That said, there was tremendous interest in the good roads movement in the northeast, the most populous area of America at the time. Many felt race tracks were necessary for auto manufacturers looking for a suitable running surface to test and showcase their products. Some efforts by other groups, such as the concrete-paved Long Island Motor Parkway, were privately funded.
The Long Island course was used for auto races such as the 1908-1910 Vanderbilt Cup contests. For the most part, though, it was an outlet for automobile owners frustrated by the lack of suitable roads for high-speed travel. It also provided improved access to countryside homes owned by wealthy citizens who had their primary residence in New York City. 

HacknesackNews080209.pdf1.67 MB