» NYC Traffic

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…

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…

October 27, 2011

W_36th_St_bet_9th_&_10th_Aves_NYCIs Hell’s Kitchen going to get some new small parks? If the DOT (Department of Transportation) has its way, they’ll replace about 21 diagonal parking sports on the north side of West 36th Street, between Ninth and Tenth avenues, into a small “micropark,” according to DOT planner Andrew Lenton.

According to DNAinfo.com, DOT has done a NYC traffic study with the overall goal of reducing congestion in Hell’s Kitchen. Traffic there can ‘slow to a crawl due to buses from the Port Authority Bus terminal, loading trucks, and vehicles coming into the city from the Lincoln Tunnel.’

The DOT’s NYC traffic study has a few ideas for reducing NYC congestion including:

  • making better access to the Lincoln Tunnel,
  • moving the bus and shuttle parking to a different area,
  • improving pedestrian safety with longer time to cross that area’s Avenues.


Filed under: Driving & Traffic News — Tags: , — mtohn @ 7:52 am
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…


New York City and traffic … They’re virtually synonymous! If you drive in the city, then you most likely spend a fair amount of time stuck in traffic. Sure, you could do all your driving at 3 a.m. to totally avoid getting caught in delays, or you can just do these simple things you can do to help avoid NYC traffic.

This Guest Blog comes to us from Bernie Wagenblast, who has been involved with NYC traffic and transit for over 30 years. He was one of the original Shadow Traffic reporters in 1979 and currently is heard on weekends on 1010 WINS. Sign up for Bernie’s newsletter here.

1) Call 5-1-1- to Check the Road Conditions Before you Leave

You know about 9-1-1 and 3-1-1, but did you know there’s also a free number you can dial from your cellphone or landline to get real-time NYC traffic and transit information? The automated system, operated by the New York State Department of Transportation, lets you say the borough or roadway you want information on. Then you’ll hear alerts about Read more…

September 19, 2011

It’s that time of year again — UN General Assembly! Expect the leaders of most countries, along with their entourages of people and dark cars with tinted windows — to make driving and getting around NYC’s East Side from 40th – 60th Streets an exercise in logistics and patience.  Here’s what you can expect for NYC driving and traffic:

FDR DRIVE — Expect random freezes below 63rd St.

1st AVE — Closed from 42nd – 48th Sts. closed. Demos at nearby Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. Read more…

August 29, 2011

NYC TrafficNext 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 12, 2011

Just four years ago, Google Maps launched a ‘traffic estimating’ service that was supposed to estimate travel time based on typical travel patterns.

But Google found out that its ability to predict wasn’t that much better than yours or mine, so it has decided to pull the service while it figures out a better way.

Until then, you’ll need to rely on your local news and radio traffic folks, who are on the ground and in the air, seeing the traffic as it happens.

For NYC traffic, check out CBS 880 radio. It’s the best way to handle driving in NYC!

Filed under: NYC Driving — Tags: , , , , — mtohn @ 11:19 am
July 27, 2011
NYC Midtown in Motion real-time information

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.

Filed under: NYC Driving — Tags: , , , , — mtohn @ 11:13 am
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