Friday Evening Commute: Manhattan Traffic Analysis


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Passenger Vehicle Restrictions Reduce Rush Hour Travel Times on Local Roads

KIRKLAND, WA--Nov. 2, 2012:  Traffic in the New York metropolitan area is flowing smoothly through the Friday evening rush hour cutting travel times by 30 percent compared to a typical commute.  Traffic speeds on Manhattan streets were anywhere from 10-15 mph faster than normal. 

Vehicle restrictions requiring passenger cars have at least 3 occupants to cross available bridges and tunnels combined with fuel shortages at local gas stations kept vehicles off local roads helping improve traffic speeds and travel times.  INRIX reported the most significant delays during the Friday evening rush hour in the following areas:

  • Westbound on the George Washington Bridge to New Jersey is taking 2x as long as normal likely resulting from drivers in single occupancy vehicles not realizing that the 3 person carpool restrictions are only for vehicles heading into the city.  Traffic on the GW Bridge between the Major Deegan Expressway and Fletcher Ave. on the West side of the Hudson River is moving at an average speed of 15 mph.
  • The I-278/Bruckner Expy Eastbound is experiencing delays from the I-87 interchange to 163rd St. where it is taking drivers 2x as long to travel the short 2 mile stretch compared to normal. 
  • FDR Drive Southbound from East 93rd St. to the Queensboro Bridge remains gridlocked with vehicles traveling just 6 mph taking drivers 16 minutes to go less than 2 miles.
  • In New Jersey, drivers heading north on Rt 9/US-1/Tonnelle Blvd from the Pulaski Skyway toward the I-495/George Washington Bridge interchange is taking drivers 20 minutes to go just 3 miles. 

Major road closures, travel restrictions and public transit outages of note impacting traffic on Friday include:

  • All passenger vehicles entering Manhattan via the Lincoln Tunnel, Brooklyn Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, Triborough Bridge, Queensboro Bridge are required to have at least 3 persons. 
  • The only routes via car into Manhattan not requiring a 3 person carpool are the George Washington Bridge from New Jersey or the Macombs Dam, 145th St., Madison Ave, 3rd Ave. and Wills Avenue Bridges over the Harlem River from the Northeast. 
  • Queens Mid-Town Tunnel, Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and the Battery Street underpass are all closed.  The Holland Tunnel is open to buses only.
  • The Long Island Expressway is open.  However, drivers headed to Long Island will encounter road closures near Freeport and Port Washington because of flooding and debris in the roadway.

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