The NY Times bursts the bubble for a lot of New Yorkers who complain about city traffic. While most of us blame out-of-towners for clogging up streets, it turns out that city drivers make up most of the vehicular traffic. The reasons are varied: many people drive from the outer boroughs where subway service is less accessible. Many are government workers who get free parking (think about that one, Mayor Mike, as you PLANYC). Some just prefer cars to the subways or buses.
There have been many studies which offer different numbers of cars entering the city. The NY Times created this helpful graphic to illustrate the flow of car traffic into Manhattan:
Another cause for traffic, as the study suggests, is that many drivers just pass through Manhattan as they travel in and between its surrounding boroughs and suburbs. Queens and Brooklyn subway riders know the feeling. Yes, Manhattan Island is a transportation hub, but it’s also a car magnet. Unless the city improves its mass transit and figures out ways to decrease vehicular congestion, giving the finger to the driver who came inches from running over your foot won’t do much to solve the problem. Luckily, Mayor Mike seems to have put solutions on the table (see 2nd Avenue subway and congestion pricing), but how far that goes, nobody knows.
Photograph of traffic on the Grand Central by Vidiot on Flickr