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…
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.
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.
WHERE TO PARK
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:
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.
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…
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…
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…
March 27, 2012
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…