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Thread: What time to get to New York (traffic)

  1. #1

    Default What time to get to New York (traffic)

    I am coming to NYC on April 4th and I have a question. What time is the best time to have to drive from the lincoln tunnel to 52nd and broadway? Everytime I have driven I have gotten there at like 4am so traffic all together was minimal. However, this time I am looking to get there at around 2pm on the Monday. Is traffic horrendous at this time? If so, when during the day is the best time?

    Thanks guys.

  2. #2
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    2pm shouldn't be so bad. It's neither rush hour nor lunch hour.

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    I suggest taking the Merit pkwy (rt 15) to the cross bronx to the henry hudson - IF you're heading to the west side. Traffic won't be a problem, but get in as early as possible for parking. I lived in n'Aven for a while, and that was the best route I found.

    As for leaving, if you're in midtown, I usually take the Lincoln tunnel - you'll wait no matter how you go, but NO DOT try your brooklyn shortcut... that's asking for hours of sitting in traffic. bad.

  4. #4
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    Route 15 basically runs parallel to I-95 starting around New Haven. If you're coming from the Hartford area, I definitely suggest taking that as opposed to I-95. It's a much nicer roadway, and I always remember taking it to avoid traffic on I-95 when coming back from long weekends in Vermont.

    The road is known as the Merritt Parkway while you're in Connecticut. Then it becomes the Hutchinson Parkway once you cross into New York State. You can take that basicall until it ends, which I believe is at the Cross Bronx interchange. Personally, I would recommend staying away from the Cross Bronx. I've had my shares of backups during the most unsuspecting times of the day. A better alternatuve would be to take the Cross County Parkway west from the Hutchinson, and that will get you right onto route 9A. Then you can take that down right into Manhattan and bingo, you're on the West Side Highway.

    Also, where are you going at the end of your trip that you considered taking the Verrazano?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686
    A better alternatuve would be to take the Cross County Parkway
    100% correct - the cross bronx is terrible and currently under construction, so definitely avoid. I confused my Cross yadda yas...

  6. #6
    The Dude Abides
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    Since you're coming from Vermont, I'd recommend to take the exit for Route 15 (The Cross County parkway at that point) when you're approaching New Haven. There are a couple opportunities, as 15 and I-91 get pretty close for a few miles. If you would want to switch back to I-95, there are several opportunities to do so. 15 and I-95 run parallel to each other for the duration of the Connecticut coastline, with 15 being about 5 miles north of 95. It's pretty easy to switch back and forth.

    I can't honestly tell you what the traffic will be like at exactly that time. What I can tell you is that I've been on both roads several times, and I-95 is very unpredictable as far as traffic goes. The highway has probably one of the highest continuous volumes of any in the country, and is especially packed with 18 wheelers. Merritt Parkway is a much more pleasant drive - two lanes in either direction, cars only. The speed limit, I believe, is 55, but from what I remember, the quick traffic flow lets you drive at least 65-70 for a good part of the time. Don't count on going any faster than that if you take I-95.

    As for leaving the city: On a Sunday, don't worry about traffic in the Lincoln Tunnel. It's definitely the easiest way to get to the turnpike/I-95 south. If anything, you'll see traffic in the opposite direction, coming into the city. As for which entrance to use: I personally try to use the 36th street entrance into the tunnel whenever possible. Not many people know about it, and most will go down 9th or 11th and then turn into the main entrance, which is about 40th street. If you want to avoid 9th avenue traffic, which could be heavy even on a Sunday, take a different avenue to 37th, then go crosstown until you hit 9th, then make a left and a quick right, you'll go down this long ramp and it'll take you right into the appropriate tube.

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    Traffic on 15 will be relatively light on saturday, but much heavier on 95 b/c of summer traffic. I always avoid 95, so unless there is an accident on 15, if there is traffic on 15, there is probably more traffic on 95, so you are better off staying on 15. Unless you drive into the city late at night there is always traffic - it is unavoidable.

    From Vermont, I would suggest you avoid Fairfield County, CT altogether and take 91 to 84 to 684 to 15. Connecticut isn't really on the way, and it has more traffic than Westchester County...

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    The two roads run parallel a few miles away from each other, so I don't know how much better you can know where you are on 95. Buy a map or get google directions for peace of mind. I've sat in bumper to bumper traffic on all roads in and out of the city at all times of the day (2am on a tuesday was surprising, but...) so figure time into your schedule for it, and you might get a happy surprise with less traffic.

    I grew up in a place with no traffic, so I know it's hard to accept that there is potentially stop and go traffic on every expressway. Took me much swearing at traffic to get a more zen attitude and an appreciation for NPR.

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    If you have an appointment that matters (like a school interview) I would plan 3-4 hours extra for worst-case senarios. If you're just going for fun, I would figure on an hour.

    Like I suggested above, I take 15 to 684 to 84 to 91 when I go to Boston. Much less traffic, though next time I think I'll take the fung wah for a change...

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    90? Don't know what that is. I use the whitestone bridge, which turns into 15, but I live in Brooklyn. You should absolutely, 100% take the cross county to the henry husdson from rt 15.

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    Yes, sorry. When you said "the city" I only thought of Manhattan. duh... I never thought I would fall for that bs.

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    I've tuned into the thruway advisory (don't know the station - it's on signs) but I didn't find it to be to be very useful. Information isn't detailed or timely enough to be useful.

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