Study: Manhattan Traffic Moving At Slowest Pace In Years

August 15, 2019 - 3:06 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Traffic in Manhattan is moving at its slowest pace in decades.

The city Department of Transportation's annual Mobility Report shows the average speed of vehicles below 60th Street was seven miles per hour last year -- which was 23 percent slower than in 2010.

Many days traffic moves even slower.

"There are plenty of days when it's below seven miles an hour and when we look in Midtown right now the average is five miles an hour meaning there are days that it could be four or three and I guarantee you one month from now it's going to be three and two and one when we have UN week," "Geidlock" Sam Schwartz told WCBS 880's Steve Scott.

The data also shows the number of cars registered in the city jumped nearly nine percent, with much of that increase attributed to Uber, Lyft and other for-hire vehicle services.

"We always had taxis all those years and then we added another 100,000 drivers to the mix and the meatest part of their business is midtown Manhattan, lower Manhattan and they are increasing the number of vehicle miles traveled in that area and as a result they are slowing the traffic down," Schwartz said.

He believes micro-deliveries also attribute to the slowdown.

"More people are ordering smaller things online and that means trucks and cars delivering small packages rather than in large trucks delivering a large number of packages as people would go more to stores," Schwartz said. "Technology has actually worsened things, the technology of providing for this on-demand car service and the technology for on-demand trucking deliveries."

But Schwartz believes there could be some relief coming as the city looks to limit the amount of time for-hire vehicles can cruise around the central business district looking for customers and when congestion pricing goes into effect in 2021.