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DOT Report Sheds Light on Traffic Patterns in NYC

Those who must navigate the busy streets of New York in cars or trucks frequently seem to have two primary complaints: traffic violations and the speed of traffic. Interestingly, the New York City Department of Transportation recently released a report that could shed some light on this latter point, particularly in regards to when traffic moves the fastest.

The report, the Sustainable Streets Index, is released once a year and contains a veritable treasure trove of information on traffic patterns here in the city. Specifically, it uses data gathered from Global Positioning Systems placed in the city's over 13,000 taxis.

"It's the most comprehensive set of traffic speed data of any city that I'm aware of," said Bruce Schaller, Deputy Commissioner for Traffic and Planning and one of the primary authors of the report.

What then did the report reveal about 2011 traffic patterns in New York City?

Some of the more interesting findings include:

  • The slowest day for traffic in 2011 was January 28, the Friday after two feet of snow fell in a three-day period. The average speed was 6.9 miles-per-hour
  • The fastest day for traffic in 2011 was August 28, a nondescript Sunday. The average speed was 16.3 miles-per-hour
  • 65 percent of people either walk or utilize public transportation to get to and from work
  • Drivers are able to get around the fastest on weekends and holidays
  • Drivers are able to get around faster in the spring and fall as opposed to the summer and winter
  • Drivers are able to get around faster on Mondays and Tuesdays than the remainder of the work week
  • The overall volume of city traffic in 2011 was virtually the same as in 2010, which saw a 1 percent increase

What do you make of the conclusions of the report? Are they similar to your experience?

Stay tuned for more from our New York vehicle traffic law blog...

If you have been issued a traffic violation, fight to keep your driving privileges and your insurance premiums as low as possible. Consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


The Wall Street Journal, "Decoding traffic in a jammed city," Ted Mann, Aug. 19, 2012

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