New York City is known as the city of dreams as thousands of people travel to NYC to streamline their careers or explore the busy streets of time square at night. However, most people need to talk about the city’s traffic. New York City is known to be one of the world’s worst cities in terms of traffic.
With approximately 102 hours wasted to congestion in 2021, NYC reportedly dominates the list of some cities with the most packed roads in the world.
Nobody enjoys being caught in traffic while visiting or planning to live in a city; hence, knowing the city’s most congested regions may help you navigate the city smoothly and save you hours that would otherwise be wasted in traffic.
Here is a list of some areas with the worst traffic in New York City.
Canal Street is one of the busiest streets you will ever encounter in New York. The 1.6 km-Long Street is located in Downtown Manhattan, New York City, and it connects East Broadway, between Jefferson Streets and Essex, to West Street, from Spring and Watts Streets.
In addition to marking the southern and northern limits of SoHo, Little Italy, and Tribeca, Canal Street also spans the Chinatown neighborhood. The route is a crucial link between NYC and Brooklyn, the Manhattan Bridge, and Jersey City through (I-78) Holland Tunnel.
Most of its course comprises a two-way road, although there are two separate segments between Manhattan Bridge and Forsyth Street. Since the streets connect some central locations and have become a tourist attractions throughout the years, they can be severely crowded throughout the day.
So if you want to avoid traffic in New York, Canal Street makes the top of the list.
Cross Bronx Expressway
According to studies, Cross Bronx is rated as the nation’s busiest roadway. Each time INRIX has done its study, the highway has managed to maintain its reputation. There is an average wait of almost half an hour for cars traveling on cross-Bronx between the Trans-Manhattan and Bruckner Expressway.
The typical motorist loses a hundred and fourteen hours on Cross Bronx annually. Although crashes do not constitute the leading cause of traffic congestion, accidents are a significant issue on the Cross Bronx.
Over 5,800 traffic incidents occurred on the Cross Bronx from June 2014 to January 2019, according to Transportation Department of NYC data. Only seven incidents ended in fatalities, out of which 1,536 included injuries. Driving too close to other vehicles, dangerous lane changes, and distraction is the most frequent reason for collisions on this expressway.
BQE sits near the long island highway and Manhattan Bridge, where motorists waste an average of thirteen minutes per trip and approximately 51 hours annually. BQE is among the busiest roads in New York City, with more than 129,000 cars passing through it daily.
According to reports, the highway is jam-packed with traffic all day long; therefore, choosing an alternate route is the greatest thing you could do for yourself if you want to avoid traffic.
Major Deegan Expressway
The name MDE expressway was given to this road as an honor for Major Deegan, a significant Bronx architect, politician, and veteran. Major Deegan’s parents were Irish immigrants, and Deegan attended Copper Union, a prestigious educational organization in Manhattan, to study design.
Recently, the expressway received several improvements aimed at enhancing safety against accidents. Some improvements include removing 2 of the 6 lanes at specific crucial intersections, increasing paved edges, and constructing dedicated ramp tracks.
These upgrades make it easier for commuters to use the Deegan Expressway to travel to and forth from the five significant boroughs of NYC. However, even after these improvements, Deegan Expressway continues to be one of the busiest roads, crowded with traffic throughout the day, which can give rise to unsafe situations and lead to more accidents.
According to reports, Motorists spent an average of twelve minutes and forty-nine hours on the Deegan Expressway.
Why Is There So Much Traffic In New York City?
NYC ranks as the most highly populated large city in the US, with a population estimate of 8,804,190 in 2020 spread across an area of 778.2 km. Considering that NYC is one of the most populated cities across the US and worldwide, the fact that the city has extreme traffic is no shock.
A large population means more cars and more people traveling to work daily, which can contribute to the daily traffic on the roads. Furthermore, in addition to its large population, New York is also known as the world’s most famous city in terms of tourism.
Since 1991, the number of tourists to NYC has been rising continuously, with only minor declines from 2001 to 2009 due to recessions and 2020 due to the pandemic and the following prohibitions. Furthermore, a study demonstrates how
Nearly half of the potential British tourists say they want to visit NYC at some point, making it the most sought-after US city pick among tourists. Therefore, more tourists also come with an increase in traffic since thousands of tourists travel within New York City daily to explore famous destinations like Times Square.
The massive population and abundance of tourists have also increased the number of cab services in New York. Due to the city’s heavy traffic and the rising expenses of owning a vehicle, many people are turning to taxi services for transportation. In response to the increased demand for taxi services, more people are investing in taxi businesses, resulting in more vehicles on the road and more traffic.
How Can NYC Reduce Its Traffic?
The authorities responsible for managing traffic on New York City streets have tried for years to devise plans and put forth efforts to decrease the traffic volume on NYC roads. However, nearly all of their attempts have been failures because traffic volume has increased each year significantly.
The city plans to impose a congestion charge in Manhattan in 2022, which would require motorists to pay a toll to travel through the county’s commercial and tourist locations between the hours of 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. This proposal may minimize congestion in Manhattan and have some positive effects on the environment.
However, is it enough to make a difference in NY traffic? Here are a few other measures NYC could take to reduce road traffic.
Encourage the Public to Take Public Transport
As discussed above, the total population of NYC is 8,804,190. If we divide this by half and consider that even half of these individuals own cars, then there will be approximately 4,402,095 vehicles on the road daily, which can lead to long hours wasted in traffic each day.
The best solution to this issue is encouraging the public to take more public transport rather than purchasing vehicles. The state could reduce public transport costs so more people can afford to take public transport and sell their cars to save money by traveling on public transport.
The state could also increase vehicle taxes so that fewer people purchase them. The authorities could also hold awareness sessions across NYC to spread awareness about how increasing traffic on the roads has become a problem and how all New Yorkers can come together to reduce the traffic by taking public transport every day rather than traveling in their vehicles.
Hiking up the car parking costs could be another way to discourage people from owning their vehicles. Moreover, the city could implement a new rule where a family cannot own more than one car. All these measures allow NYC authorities to encourage the public to turn towards public transportation as their primary source of navigating the Big Apple.
Build More Tunnels and Bridges
Even though New York has a fair number of tunnels and bridges, the city may benefit from some more structures to alleviate traffic. Authorities must examine the city’s most congested areas and develop construction plans to build bridges or tunnels in the most congested areas.
This will enable the authorities to minimize traffic in specific regions and regulate traffic throughout the city.