» Congestion / Traffic Pricing

February 12, 2015

Image,_Move_NY_Plan,_TollsCongestion Pricing for anyone driving in NYC is back on the table. With the removal of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the MTA’s $15 billion capital-plan deficit, Sam Schwartz’s Move NY plan could fix both congestion and the deficit.

Move NY Plan’s premise is to increase costs of driving into Manhattan where there are good public transport options, and reduce the costs where there are limited public transportation options. As a result, the flow of traffic gets spread around the various NYC bridge and tunnel crossings.


  • East River bridges — implement tolls of $5.54 for E-ZPass users, $8 for others on the Queensborough/Koch Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge.
  • Crossing below 60th Street in Manhattan — implement toll of $5.54 for E-ZPass users, $8 for others.
  • Outer Borough Bridges — reduce tolls from $5 to $2.50
  • Off Peak Hours — lower toll rates
  • NYC Taxis and app-based services — implement a surcharge based on a distance entered below 96th St in Manhattan.


February 22, 2014

Image,_NYC_TrafficNew NYC Mayor Bill DiBlasio has announced significant changes to improve NYC traffic. DiBlasio’s primary objective is to reduce the number of NYC traffic fatalities to zero. He plans to accomplish that by:

  • Instituting a police crackdown on NYC speeding motorists,
  • redesigning 50 dangerous intersections and streets each year,
  • increasing NYC police enforcement against dangerous moving violations, including speeding, failing to yield to pedestrians, signal violations, improper turns/disobeying signage, and phoning/texting while driving,
  • getting Albany’s permission to decrease the citywide speed limit to 25 mph from 30 mph,
  • increasing the number of red-light cameras beyond the current 120 locations,
  • implementing eight new neighborhood slow zones,
  • installing speed
  • cameras at 20 new authorized locations,
  • installing 250 speed bumps, including in neighborhood slow zones,
  • enhancing street lighting at 1,000 intersections,
  • creating 25 new “neighborhood slow-zones” to help minimize speeding,
  • imposing stiffer penalties on NYC taxi drivers who drive dangerously, and
  • maintaining an interagency task force to oversee the implementation of Vision Zero.

Image,_Vision_Zero_logoVision Zero is Mayor DiBlasio’s plan to reduce the number of NYC traffic fatalities to zero. Read more…

December 19, 2013
Queensboro Bridge

Queensboro Bridge

Tired of NYC traffic and want to do something about it? Check out the group, Move NY, established to reduce NYC traffic in midtown NYC. Led by Sam Schwartz, former NYC DOT Commissioner, Move NY’s plan includes:

  • $5.33 E-ZPass toll to cross into Manhattan via these East River bridges: Queensboro Bridge/59th St Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge. These NYC bridges are currently free to use.
  • Reduce the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge toll to $5.66 with E-ZPass. The toll is currently $10.66.
  • Reduce the Triboro RFK Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge and Whitestone Bridge toll to $2.83 with E-ZPass. The current toll is $5.33 with E-ZPass.

The idea is to ease NYC traffic by discouraging drivers of commercial vehicles and private cars from motoring through some of the city’s most congested neighborhoods to reach the toll-free East River bridges.

Previous Congestion Pricing plans aimed to reduce midtown NYC traffic Read more…

Filed under: Congestion / Traffic Pricing — Tags: , , , — mtohn @ 6:05 pm
February 21, 2013

NYC TrafficEvery day, 70,000 vehicles travel in and out of NYC’s Manhattan. Add pedestrians and bicyclists to all these regular cars, delivery trucks, and emergency vehicles, and you get quite a mess of NYC traffic.

So the NYC Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) got together with Transcore and a few other companies to create an Active Traffic Management System to improve NYC traffic. Now dubbed ‘Midtown in Motion’, this is a broad network of 100 microwave sensors, 32 traffic video cameras and E-ZPass readers initially installed at 23 intersections in NYC midtown. These devices measure traffic speeds covering a 110-block area from 2nd – 6th Aves & 42nd – 57th Sts in an effort to get NYC traffic moving faster by adjusting Midtown traffic signal patterns, unplugging bottlenecks and smoothing the flow of traffic.

Phase I resulted in an overall 10% improvement in travel times on Read more…

November 29, 2012

NYC traffic during the November and December holiday season can be brutal. There are certain days when the NYC traffic is at an all-time high, and you are advised to use NYC subways and buses on these NYC Gridlock Alert days:

  • Friday, December 7th, 2012
  • Thursday, December 13th, 2012
  • Friday, December 14th, 2012
  • Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
  • Thursday, December 20th, 2012
  • Friday, December 21st, 2012

During this holiday season, NYC Department of Transportation will again implement the Holiday Traffic Mitigation Plan. The Holiday Traffic Plan was developed in coordination with other agencies and includes nine NYC Gridlock Alert Days, as well as right turn restrictions and temporary adjustments to parking regulations at key locations in Midtown Manhattan. You might also find some lanes on North-South Avenues either blocked or not letting you change lanes. Good luck!

You can also expect NYC parking garage rates to be a bit higher during events such as the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony.

July 9, 2012
NYC Midtown in Motion traffic congestion diagram

NYC Midtown in Motion real-time information

Big Brother just got bigger. Remember back in July 2011 when NYC Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) installed 100 microwave sensors, 32 traffic video cameras and E-ZPass readers at 23 intersections to measure traffic speeds covering a 110-block area from 2nd – 6th Aves & 42nd – 57th Sts to fix NYC traffic? What is now being referred to as the ‘first phase’ resulted in an overall 10% improvement in travel times on all the Aves (based on E-ZPass readers and taxi GPS data), so DOT just announced Phase II — which expands the ‘Midtown in Motion’ area to Midtown from 1st – 9th Aves and 42nd – 57th Sts.

Midtown in Motion uses all these sensors, NYC traffic cameras and E-ZPass reader data to adjust Midtown traffic signal patterns, unplug bottlenecks and smooth the flow of traffic.

The Phase II area will now cover 270 square blocks and will include an additional 110 microwave sensors, 24 traffic video cameras, and 36 E-ZPass readers. It will be fully operational this September.

Something to Think About: We’re not sure how we feel about NYC being able to read the E-ZPass tags we keep in our cars. Is NYC using the data in aggregate, or can the readers identify individual E-ZPass tags and vehicles?

Phase I was funded by a $1.2 million grant from the US Department of Transportation’s Read more…

May 25, 2012

NYC parking meterFollowing in the footsteps of Chicago, Indianapolis, Sacramento, Harrisburg PA, and other cities, NYC is considering leasing NYC parking meters to an outside company. This private company would ideally leverage current technology to:

  • reduce congestion and get you to your parking spot faster using real-time NYC street parking occupancy data from companies like Streetline,
  • bring in more revenue with remote payment options via telephone, text, or online.

What would the NYC government still do?

April 30, 2012

We adore Sam Schwartz, aka ‘Gridlock Sam’. He’s a one man army dedicated to making NYC driving and traveling a pleasant experience, which means less traffic, happy drivers who don’t honk the horn, and a fantastic public transportation system that runs on time and gets you where you want to go.

How is he doing it? All on his own time, this owner of an internationally recognized transportation and engineer firm has designed a plan to bring peace to the roads and underground of NYC. The plan includes:

  • $5 toll on all bridges and tunnels coming into Manhattan below 60th St to spread out the congestion on the currently free bridges — Williamsburg Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, and Queensboro/59th St Bridge — and the currently tolled crossings — Queens Midtown Tunnel, Brooklyn Battery Tunnel,
  • $5 charge to enter Manhattan below 60th St if you haven’t used any of the tolled crossings, and
  • $1 surcharge on all taxi trips below 60th St.

During his career as NYC’s Traffic Commissioner, Sam saw it all. Read more about Sam’s career and his love for NYC.

March 27, 2012
NYC Bridge & Tunnel Toll Plan, Sam Schwartz

Courtesy: Wall St Journal

Sam Schwartz, aka ‘Gridlock Sam’, has been working on a new plan to ease NYC’s traffic and congestion. This isn’t the Congestion Pricing Plan from 2008. This plan is designed to encourage public transportation where it’s available by charging vehicles at congested areas, and not charge where there isn’t good public transportation. Here are the highlights of the plan:

  • Queensboro Bridge/59th St Bridge: No toll into Manhattan becomes $7 toll to reduce the congestion on the bridge. Read more…
November 2, 2011

The Annual Urban Mobility Report conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute is out. The news isn’t good.

  • Average commuters endured 34 hours of delay in 2010. This is 14 hours more than in 1982, nearly 30 years ago.
  • Congestion costs the US more than $100 million, or about $750 for every commuter in the U.S.
  • “Rush Hour” is six hours of not rushing anywhere.
  • Congestion isn’t happening only at Rush Hour. About 40% of delays are happening during midday and overnight.

What are the Most Congested Cities in the U.S.?

1)   Los Angeles is still the most congested U.S. city, with nearly 522,000 cumulative hours of travel delay.
2)   NYC, with 465,000 hours of travel delay. That’s a lot of horn honking and cranky drivers. Read more…

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