February 27, 2013
If you have been driving in NYC in the last few months, you probably have swerved to avoid a pothole. You know what a pothole is, but here’s the office NYC definition:
- A hole in the street with a circular or ovular shape and a definable bottom.
- The bottom may be the concrete roadway base and may be partially filled with mud, dirt, or loose gravel.
- Condition does not look man-made and usually is not sitting in an area of collapse.
These large holes — some as big as 2 feet wide — slow down NYC traffic, can be hard to avoid, destroy NYC road conditions, ruin your car and never seem to get fixed fast enough.
How do these enormous holes that can be as deep as 10 inches, just show up suddenly? There are a few different theories:
- Theory 1 says that roads need to drain water. Read more…
February 21, 2013
Every 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…
January 24, 2013
NYC DOT (NYC Department of Transportation) and Transcore have been awarded International Road Federation’s Global Road Achievement Award (GRAA) for deployment of a modernized citywide computerized traffic control system. This system monitors and controls 12,400 traffic signals throughout the five boroughs – creating the largest such system in North America. It also includes Manhattan’s Midtown in Motion program, which we’ve written about before.
Midtown in Motion is a series of 100 microwave sensors, 32 traffic video cameras and E-ZPass readers 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 all the Aves (based on E-ZPass readers and taxi GPS data). Read more…
December 25, 2012
The New York City Council Transportation Committee met in early December 2012 to review a series of bills proposed to make NYC parking either easier or more clear. The three bills described below, however, were not supported by the NYC Department of Transportation (NYC DOT).
- Int. 762 would make it easier for vehicles to stand near a school or day care center for longer than it takes to drop off or pick up a passenger.
- Int. 527 would require the DOT to post notice of permanent street sign changes that affect parking.
- Int. 824 would make it expressly legal for homeowners to park in front of their own driveways. Read more…
September 13, 2012
If you regularly walk crosstown from 5th Ave in NYC to 7th Ave or 8th Ave, you know how those long blocks can seem endless. Well, there’s now a new place to sit down and enjoy the view.
New Yorkers, meet ’6 1/2 Ave’. I noticed the street sign a few weeks ago on 57th St, and the NYC Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) has just announced the completion of ’6 1/2 Ave’. This is a series of pedestrian walkways running North-South between 6th Ave and 7th Ave from W 51st – W 57th Sts.
In additional to these mid-block arcades, NYC DOT has also installed either traffic lights or crosswalks at 6 1/2 Ave so you can cross the street mid-block.
6 1/2 Ave runs from W 51st – W 57th Sts, between 6th & 7th Aves
According to the NYC DOT site, ‘the six spaces connected by these new crosswalks are part of more than 500 areas citywide known as Privately Owned Public Spaces, which were built near ground level of newly constructed buildings. The spaces that comprise 6 ½ Avenue were created between 1984 and 1990 and include commercial, hotel and residential buildings, with public spaces ranging from open plazas and atria to wide lobbies and enclosed corridors. The new crossings shorten trips eliminating the need for pedestrians to Read more…
July 9, 2012
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…
February 1, 2012
Last year, we told you that you could use a NYC Muni-Meter receipt at more than one NYC street parking spot. So if you purchased 3 hours and only used 2 hours, you could still use that receipt for the third hour if you needed to park somewhere else — that also had a NYC Muni-Meter.
Sadly, that convenience may be changing. The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) is considering changing the rules so that you can use what’s left on the Muni-Meter receipt ONLY at a meter that charges the same rates. Read more…
August 29, 2011
Next time you are stuck in NYC traffic, Big Brother may be watching what’s happening and will be working to get rid of that congestion. It’s all in the name of making driving in NYC better.
If you’re driving in NYC in the 110-square block area between 42nd – 57th Streets from 3rd Ave – 6th Ave, the eyes will be on you in Queens, in NYC’s Department of Transportation Traffic Command Centre. There are three guys watching everything what happens. They know how many cars are waiting at a red light, or how fast – or slow – it’s taking vehicles to get 10 blocks. Based on the situation, they can make a traffic light turn red or green, speed up or slow down the timing of the NYC traffic light, re-route traffic, or send police officers. Read more…
August 23, 2011
Protected Bicycle Lane on NYC's 9th Avenue
So I’m waiting to walk across 2nd Avenue at 56th Street this past Saturday afternoon at the left-hand lane, which is on the east side of the street, when a cyclist — not wearing a helmet — careens past me with a frightened look covering his face. He’s in a newly painted NYC bicycle lane and a NYC taxi is trying to pull over to let out a passenger. Chaos ensues.
Painted Bicycle Lane on NYC's East 90th Street
Turns out that NYC DOT (Department of Transportation) has just painted bicycle lanes on 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue from 34th – 59th Streets. These NYC bicycle lanes are being treated as regular lanes, though, unlike the other bicycle lanes which are protected from moving cars and NYC taxis by a lane dedicated to parked vehicles. These photographs show the difference between a ‘protected’ and a ‘painted’ bicycle lane. Obviously, a protected bicycle lane shield cyclists from moving vehicles and doors opening into them, plus dedicates that lane solely to cyclists. A painted bicycle lane, on the other hand, means that vehicles can use that lane along with cyclists and many vehicles see a painted lane as an opportunity to double-park or stop to pick up and let off passengers.
Painted Bicycle Lane on NYC's 9th Ave
Why all these new NYC bicycle lanes? According to CBS2 News, Joshua Benson, Director of Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs for the NYC DOT, says that where bicycle lanes have been installed, they’re seeing 10% of the traffic coming from bicycle users. NYC has added 250 miles of bicycle-only lanes in the past four years and these bicycle lanes are popping up all over NYC, which means you need to be extra careful if you’re doing any NYC driving.
And there’s still a whole lot of confusion out there if bicyclists are supposed to follow pedestrian or vehicle traffic rules.
July 27, 2011
NYC Midtown in Motion real-time information
There’s a new sheriff in midtown, and it’s called ‘Midtown in Motion’. A $1.2 million grant from the US Department of Transportation’s Federal HighwayAdministration has given NYC the ability to change NYC traffic signals in real-time based on what’s happening on the street. If you’ve done any driving in NYC, you know how bad the traffic can be.
Mayor Bloomberg launched the program on July 18, 2011, and it’s part of Bloomberg’s plan to reduce NYC traffic and improve pedestrian safety.
Using video cameras, E-ZPass readers, and sensors, the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) can see traffic jams and congestion that might have happened because of an accident, construction, weather, special events, or any random event that happens only in NYC. Using the data, the DOT can anticipate a traffic problem and change the traffic signals to avoid the congestion.
This is great for drivers and pedestrians alike in the 100-square block area in midtown Manhattan. It’s surely going to improve NYC traffic and it’s a win for driving in NYC.