A Snapshot of New York City Gridlock

Bruce Schaller’s new study, Battling Traffic, released this morning at a standing-room only Manhattan Institute panel discussion, digs in to the question of what New Yorkers really think about the city’s traffic congestion and the idea of using road pricing and other tools to manage it. Want to see what New York City gridlock looks like? Take a look at this remarkable map from Schaller’s study:

Evening "Rush Hour" Visualized: Average traffic speeds from 4:00 to 8:00 pm


Key: Average peak direction driving speeds during the evening "rush hour."

Red: Under 6 mph
Pink: 6 to 10 mph
Gray: Over 10 mph

  • Steve

    This is a thorough, persuasive and excellent report in every respect and I am convinced of the need for all three of the sets of anti-congestion measures discussed (OK, I was convinced already, but I understand better now). In addition to laying out the reasons for favoring these measures, the report helps one appreciate the enormity of the political process that will be necessary to bring public opinion around. While further study of the type described in the Scott Stringer post below is hardly necessary, another study will at least create a new platform for future advocacy.

    What’s so disappointing is the Mayor’s response–he could integrate anti-congestion into his development agenda, but based on his comments I do not expect he will. And I have a hard time imagining a future mayor with the same level of independence and clout as Mayor Bloomberg.

    So it looks like a long steep climb ahead for road pricing advocates. I am still hopeful that the market-priced parking proposal might get some near-term traction. That in itself would significantly reduce the number of vehicles on Manhattan streets by eliminating the “free parkers”, and it apparently doesn’t carry quite the stigma that road pricing does.

  • I think Parking reform will come first in midtown and the outerboroughs. We could really use an end to placard abuse too. Then I suspect they will enact real targets via Intro 199 and when that fails….oh well, new mayor…

  • Dave

    Parking reform needs to cover all of the city to really have an impact; you need a disincentive for non-NYC’ers to drive into the city, park on the streets for free and then take the subway. Every other East Coast city has permit parking; why can’t NY?

    Placards are such a scandal it will take Mayor Mike to address it. From all accounts the abuse and harassment handed out to those who dare investigate it is astonishing.

  • Frank

    Parking reform for sure. No NY plate no street parking. Amp it up with local parking decals for neighborhoods. Also cuts down on insurance fraud, people who live here and register cars elsewhere.

    and what about no parking on major cross towns during key hours. 7-11am no parking on 59th 34th 42nd etc. At least that might kill double parking.

    And lets think big, put the park drives underground, makes the park better and you can increase the speed limit. Rangel/hillary bring NYC some of that bacon! Just don’t get those guys who did the big dig!

    Enforce the bus lanes! It is a joke.

    Train cabbies to drive, courtesy, safety. they set the mood on our streets. Remember when they went on strike, just 12,000 less cars out there but it seemed like 50,000.

    Congestion charge also, but last. The more $ we send to the gov the more they will waste. Lets make them work to fix this problem.

  • Pollution of course is one problem of auto use, but so is high speed movement heavy metal objects. It is interesting that one consequence of traffic congestion is that you actually get calmer roads. The pollution of standing cars in congestion is bad – definitely. But the slowed pace of traffic is good. As a cyclist it is not an absolute that I want to see average driving speeds increased. I’d rather have wider bike lanes with completely jammed traffic.

  • hey! this website is the best show case of a fine wordpress template right? seems all so organized that it even makes me think its perfect! fine posts btw, waiting for more!


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