» NYC Driving

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.


January 22, 2015

Uber’s taxi hailing app has certainly made a small dent in the world of using a NYC taxi, though not without a series of legal battles and some really bad PR highlighting Uber’s surge pricing on New Year’s Eve and other holidays.

In December 2014, NYC’s City Council decided that it’s time for NYC to have its own app, rather than let Uber, Lyft, and Hailo have all the fun, and business. Councilman Benjamin Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island, proposed the app.

Chicago is also considering its own app for e-hailing taxis, as reported by The New York Times.

Stay tuned, and we’ll see how this might affect congestion that comes with NYC driving.

Filed under: Taxis — Tags: , — mtohn @ 7:26 am
December 16, 2013

With Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio trying to improve daily life for NYC residents, Crain’s New York Business has gathered a list of ways to make getting around NYC easier. Here are some ideas for walking, NYC driving, NYC parking, subways, buses, ferries, deliveries, pay by phone, NYC Muni-Meters, bike lanes, and pedestrian plazas:

NYC Parking Ideas

Text to pay NYC Muni meters. Allow drivers to register a credit card with the city, text the number of the Muni meter to register their location, and pay the NYC parking fare, says Michael Woloz, a lobbyist for the taxi industry. No more fumbling for change, running out to feed the meter or waiting for approval in the freezing cold.

Neighborhood parking permits. Residents would pay an annual fee to park in their neighborhood. Everyone else would pay a metered or daily rate.

NYC Driving Ideas

Give NYC control of all the roads within the five boroughs. Read more…

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…
October 18, 2012

If you’re doing any NYC driving, please be careful. With probably more than 50,000 vehicles in Manhattan alone at any time (it’s a guess since there are 13,000 NYC taxis), NYC traffic is tough to navigate.

Mayor Bloomberg’s office has released it’s bi-annual Mayor’s Management Report, and the stats are not great for NYC traffic fatalities form July 2011 – June 2012:

  • 23% increase in NYC traffic fatalities.
  • Increase from 236 to 291. There were 310 NYC traffic fatalities in 2007.
  •  176 cyclist or pedestrian fatalities, up from 158 during July 2010 – June 2011.
  • 115 motorist or passenger deaths, up from 78 during July 2010 – June 2011.

According to The New York Times article, Bloomberg’s office is being pressed to explain these increases against its earlier claims that Read more…

Filed under: NYC Driving — Tags: , , , , — mtohn @ 5:51 pm
June 26, 2012

Virtual_Driver_Interactive_SimulatorThink you can drive and text, or drive and put on mascara? Test your skills using Virtual Driver Interactive’s ‘One Simple Decision’, and think again. This very cool simulator will ask you to drive and do things like text, and boom! – you’ve suddenly run into a stop sign or even worse, hit a small child.

It doesn’t stop there, though. The Simulator may take you through being arrested and found guilty of vehicular manslaughter, or being airlifted to hospital and into surgery. One of the scenarios takes you into a police checkpoint for drunk driving.

The video reminded me a little of that documentary, Scared Straight, just without the inmates. If you’re thinking about doing any NYC driving, the Virtual Driver Interactive Simulator could convince you to stop that texting and help you avoid a NYC traffic ticket.

You can’t buy the program on your own, so you’ll have to find it at your company or driving school, sorry.

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.

April 20, 2012

www.cityvalet.comIf you don’t want to pay for an expensive limousine or risk not getting a NYC taxi to the airport, City Valet is your answer.

City Valet has licensed, insured professional drivers who will drive you where you want to go — in your very own car. It’s great for:

  • airport drop-off and pick-up,
  • showing clients around the city,
  • bringing your car in for a service or inspection,
  • driving to your weekend or summer house,
  • running errands, Read more…
Filed under: NYC Driving,Parking & Driving Advice — Tags: , — mtohn @ 9:47 am
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…

September 28, 2011

Remember all the hullabaloo about Congestion Pricing a few years ago? It was Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to charge vehicles to enter Manhattan below 60th Street as an effort to reduce congestion from NYC traffic. It got voted down, and now it’s back.

There will be 22 entry points where vehicles will pay the NYC Congestion Pricing Toll.

What Will the Congestion Pricing Toll Plan Be?

The Rate is Unknown at this time.

Congestion Pricing Tolls would be in effect 24/7. Peak rates from 6am – 6pm. Lower rates on weekends and overnight.

NYC Taxis don’t have to pay a toll. But passengers will pay a $1 toll per trip. Read more…

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