» NYC Traffic

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…

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…

January 6, 2013

Let’s say you’re driving NYC traffic. NYC taxis are speeding past you, trucks are double-parking, limos are cutting in to your lane, you see brake lights ahead, and you’re not sure if you can make a right turn at the next intersection.  Stressful, yes? But do you want to know your stress level? And would that help?

According to Edmunds, car company Ford is starting to install in-vehicle sensors that will measure a driver’s stress level and use that data to personalise ‘driver-assist’ technologies.

In the 2013 Ford Fusion, there are 74 biometric sensors that can “can monitor the perimeter around the car and see into places that are not readily visible from the driver’s seat,” Ford said.

Both radar and cameras will gather data including traffic congestion and incoming phone calls. Ideally, this data will be used to both predict driver behaviour and manage the vehicle’s controls for results such as better energy management.

We’d need to know a lot more about this technology before signing up for it. After all, I drive in NYC traffic nearly every day and my stress level is definitely going to be different than someone’s who is driving in NYC traffic for the first time.

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.

November 14, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012 will be the 86th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC. More than 3 million people will watch the 2.5 mile parade route in person, and another 50 million will watch the floats, bands, and balloons from the warmth of their homes.


Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade_Route_2012

Starting at 9am, the parade begins at 77th St and Central Park West, then heads down Central Park West to Columbus Circle at 59th St. The marchers will turn left (east) on 59th St for 2 blocks, then turn right to go south on 6th Avenue until 34th St.

At 34th St, the parade will turn right (west) and end at Broadway right in front of Macy’s Herald Square.

Note: you cannot watch the parade on 6th Ave between 34th – 38th Sts OR on 34th St between Broadway – 7th Ave.


As much as we want to help people find great parking, it’s probably best to take public transportation if you can to avoid the hassles of NYC traffic and over-priced parking. But if you do want to drive in to NYC:

Street Parking

You can park on the street for free, if you can find a space. NYC Alternate Side Parking Regulations are suspended on Thanksgiving Day, but you still have to obey the No Standing, No Parking, and No Stopping signs.

Garage Parking

Most NYC parking garages near the parade route will be charging an Event Rate, which will be about $40 – $55.

To find less expensive NYC parking garages: 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
September 25, 2012

The East side of NYC is in a major gridlock this week with the UN General Assembly, with checkpoints, gridlocks, and closed streets. When you add in all the meetings, dinners, TV shows, and parties that the world’s leaders are going to, the entire city becomes a maze of detours and frustration. Just last Saturday night after midnight, a NYC police officer did not allow me to cross 6th Ave at 54th St because ‘6th Avenue was being closed’. Undeterred, I calmly walked across 54th St and hopped in a taxi up 6th Ave, then waved to the police officer as I passed him.

WNYC has done a great set of interviews covering how technology can help us improve NYC traffic and transportation.

Types of Technology Being Used

NYC has spent $300mm on hightech ‘toys’ that make transportation better. An interview with Transportation Nation’s Alex Goldmark shares information about:

Midtown in Motion — this program comprises NYC’s most congested 200 square blocks. Read more…

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