New York Metropolis site visitors picks up, nevertheless it nonetheless isn’t what it as soon as was
City traffic officials say the area’s roads have returned to a new, if temporary, normal state in recent months. The average daily speed in Manhattan remains slightly above pre-pandemic levels, according to the city. This also shows that some roads are significantly faster at night than they were before.
If New Yorkers feel like the streets are worse than ever, it’s because people get used to the free flowing traffic in the spring and early summer, said Eric Beaton, the city’s assistant commissioner for traffic planning and – management. “People don’t necessarily remember how it was a year ago every day,” he said.
Sam Schwartz, a traffic advisor and former New York City traffic commissioner, said the data shows that total traffic in New York City is about 10% below normal.
The reduction is due in part to a significant drop in traffic in the New York business district, which extends from the southern tip of Manhattan to 60th Street.
This area is less busy than it used to be. According to the partnership for New York City, a group of companies that represents some of the city’s largest private employers, only 10% of employees have returned to their Manhattan offices. Tourism has all but disappeared, nightlife has been curtailed, and demand for taxis and rental vehicles is weak.
Mr Schwartz said once Manhattan’s business district is separated from the rest of the city, traffic will be almost on, or in some cases, as poor as it was before the pandemic.
The worst places for traffic jams are expressways and other highways that trucks are allowed on, Schwartz said, rather than park lanes where the heaviest vehicles are banned. “If you have a choice between a parkway or an expressway, take the parkway,” he said.
Motion sensors on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Brooklyn Heights show that truck volume is largely back to its previous level, according to city data analyzed by Jingqin “Jannie” Gao, a senior research fellow at C2SMART, a New Zealand traffic research center Pandemic lies officials from York University’s Tandon School of Engineering. Transportation officials say morning average speeds in this area of the BQE are close to or slightly higher than last year’s average speeds.
Shipping companies and delivery companies say they are as busy as ever. The main difference today is that a significant portion of demand has shifted from Manhattan to the outskirts, where package delivery was becoming increasingly popular even before the pandemic.
“A lot of office supplies go home instead of to the store,” said Kendra Hems, president of the New York Trucking Association. “Also, a lot of people choose to get supplies of household products instead of going to the store.”
Large numbers of deliveries are still being made in Manhattan’s business district, which is home to about 600,000 people, Beaton said. With a lack of distribution opportunities in Manhattan, most deliveries are made over a bridge or tunnel using a smaller truck. This has helped reduce the number of vehicles entering the area to near pre-pandemic levels, Beaton said.
At the height of the first wave of the pandemic, daily speed in Manhattan averaged 13 miles an hour, according to the city. Speeds have since fallen to about 8 mph, from about 7 mph before the pandemic. Beaton said slowdowns are also caused in part by an increase in hospital activity, an increase in daytime construction and utilities, and some delivery companies shifting operations from overnight to daytime to take advantage of the decline in traffic.
Night traffic did not return as quickly as day traffic, said Beaton. Empty night streets coincided with a significant increase in fatal motorcycle and car accidents, many at night, he said. City data shows the number of pedestrian deaths has been at a record low this year since the city launched its Vision Zero campaign to eradicate road deaths in 2014. Motorcycle and motor vehicle occupant deaths are well on their way to reaching their highest level since the campaign began.
The biggest concern among transport specialists is that people have started swapping local transport for private vehicle travel and that the trend may continue.
The number of local transport drivers in the region continued to decline and is recovering more slowly than vehicle traffic. The average number of riders on weekdays on the region’s three major commuter railways, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and NJ Transit, is down at least 75% from the prepandemic. The average number of metro on weekdays has decreased by about 70%.
Kaan Ozbay, director of C2SMART, said the small shift from local transportation to cars shows how disastrous it would be for more people to choose private vehicles to go to work as offices open next year as a vaccine is distributed . “People won’t be working every day, but we are still seeing the effects of congestion and high demand for tunnels and bridges,” he said. “It shows the importance of transit for this region.”
This story was published by a wire agency feed with no changes to the text.
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