How Bad Is Traffic in New York?

Just how bad is New York’s traffic? For resident New Yorkers, the answer to this question is something they live through the day in day out, especially for those who live or work in and around Manhattan. In a report detailing the cities with the worst traffic congestion in the US, New York was ranked fourth among urban cities. Taking the enormity of the situation into context, over 200 cities across the world were ranked, but the city still managed to attain such an unenviable position. For motorists playing EZ Pass enabled routes without an EZ Pass NY tag, the situation is a lot worse.

Furthermore, for road users within the tri-state area, traffic consumes a substantial chunk of their time. Being one of the most densely populated cities in the world like Mumbai, Lagos, and London, it is not uncommon to find a fleet of cars packed in a section of the road unable to navigate freely. This is why road users, especially motorists, are advised to have a plan in place before leaving their homes so that they can arrive at their destination safely and quickly.

The Economic consequences of New York’s traffic gridlock

On average, New Yorkers motorists lose about 133 hours of productive time or $1859 in cash due to traffic congestion, according to a report published by Patch. Although some other cities, such as Boston, suffered more in terms of gridlock aggregate, the State of New York remains the hub of the US’s most congested road ever.

Routes such as the Cross-Bronx Expressway attained a top spot on the INRIX list of worst traffic corridors in America, with drivers spending an average of 114 hours yearly navigating this route.

Concerted Effort by successive Administrations

Although traffic administrators introduced EZ Pass NY tags to create new corridors for drivers who wished to kill time, other measures have been put in place in recent times to alleviate the situation. Some of the concerted efforts by the authorities include:

  • Installing pedestrian plazas to block the entire traffic lane
  • Installing bike lanes on busy avenues thereby forcing the double packing of trucks
  • Installing traffic intersections that delay drivers for a time before they drive onto specific avenues
  • Traffic agents are made to spend more time on writing tickets as sanctioned moves over directing of traffic

How to avoid traffic in New York?

The truth is that you cannot avoid traffic all the time as the situation can be really hellish during peak periods in the Big Apple. However, if you are plying a route with non-stop toll lanes, you can reduce the time you spend at traffic intersections. One of the smartest ways to reduce traffic delays is by using EZ Pass Only lanes wherever they are available.

E-Z Pass is a regional toll collection electronic system that has been installed all over New York and in other states as well. The system has been able to achieve the following:

  • It has created a convenient way to pay for tolls
  • Reduced traffic congestion
  • It has made non-stop locomotion possible

If you have an EZ-Pass NY tag, you can make payment for tolls, parking facilities, and traffic violation charges with ease.

How does it work?

The system is quite functional, with just a few steps:

  • Your EZ Pass NY tag is read electronically as you drive through the toll lane
  • The toll is deducted from your EZ Pass account
  • Once the amount is deducted, the toll gate will open
  • There is also an active video enforcement camera in play to identify traffic violators

Other ways to avoid New York Traffic

There are other proven ways to avoid traffic in New York if you do not have an active EZ Pass account. We share some of the tips below.

  • Always tune in to radio stations of NYC 511 to know about the current traffic situation in every area in the city. Local radio stations and the NYC release detailed traffic reports regularly.
  • Do all you can to avoid roads and areas with heavy, ongoing construction work.
  • Avoid driving in and out of Manhattan if you can between 8-9 am and 3-7 pm as these periods are the rush hour periods with so many cars heading towards the same direction. To speed things up, use alternative routes.
  • Some of the hugely congested routes are the George Washington Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, and the Brooklyn Bridge. If you must use any of these routes, schedule extra time to make up for potential delays due to traffic congestions.
  • Keep calm and avoid road rage when behind the wheels. Keeping calm will protect you and others from accidents, and you will also find navigation a lot easier.
  • If you are feeling fatigued, pull over to catch your breath before commencing your journey.
  • Put your phone away when driving through traffic because of the potential hazards caused by cell phones. When in traffic, you need maximum focus.
  • Fight the temptation to slow down to view an accident. Doing so will lead to time-wasting for you and other motorists.
  • Use navigation apps to look for alternative routes with less traffic. Combining the information provided by apps and what is aired by radio stations and NYC 511 is quite helpful.

Also Read: How Do Road Tolls Work in New York?

So, in summary, if you want to avoid spending too much time in New York traffic, make sure you get an EZ Pass NY tag to cut down on the time you spend behind the wheels. Although the tips listed in this article may help in some regard, the only way to drive through traffic without interruptions caused by heavy traffic is to use EZ Pass routes and toll lanes.

These routes are largely free of encumbrances, and you can significantly cut down on your daily travel time. However, do note that each time you use an EZ Pass lane, you will pay a fee. EZ Pass electronic systems automatically deduct the toll fee from your EZ Pass account each time you pass through any of their toll lanes. If you don’t have an EZ Pass account, make sure you get one today to escape the horrors of New York’s terrible traffic situations.