155 minutes of misery on the nation’s most congested asthmaway

From Crain’s New York:

New York’s gridlock issues are getting worse, and a new study details just how widespread the congestion problem is. According to transportation analytics company INRIX, more traffic bottleneck points are scattered throughout the city and its surrounding suburbs than in any other metro area in the country.

The kicker:

But New York still has some of the country’s worst locations for gridlock, including stretches across four local highways that rank among the country’s 25 most miserable. That includes two Cross Bronx Expressway spots whose jams force vehicles to spend an average of 155 minutes traversing just 3.5 miles.

(Emphasis mine.)

The Cross Bronx Parking Lot Asthmaway Expressway strikes again! (You know what, I’m just gonna refer to it as an asthmaway from here on out!)

[Fig. 1] The Cross-Bronx Asthmaway, as seen from the Mount Eden Ave station on the 4 line; this stretch – in both directions – is among the nation’s most congested.

The INRIX Traffic Hotspots study, referenced in the Crain’s article linked above, has some data that should shock no one familiar with the Cross-Bronx. Over the study period (about 2 months), INRIX observed:

  • 243 traffic jams on the eastbound Cross-Bronx between the George Washington Bridge and the Sheridan Asthmaway (over an average of 3.35 miles), averaging 155 minutes each.
  • 158 traffic jams on the westbound Cross-Bronx between the Bruckner Interchange and the Deegan Interchange (over an average of 3.76 miles), also averaging 155 minutes each.

155 minutes = 2 hours 35 minutes. That’s a lot of misery! But wait – there’s more: INRIX used data gathered in March and April of 2017 – a 61-day span; from this, we can calculate the average number of jams per day on the Cross-Bronx:

  • Eastbound = 243/61 ≈ 3.98 traffic jams per day (over 617 delay minutes per day, or about 10 hours, 17 minutes, and 27 seconds)!
  • Westbound = 158/61 ≈ 2.59 traffic jams per day (over 401 delay minutes per day, or about 6 hours, 41 minutes, and 29 seconds)!

But WAIT – there’s still MORE: according to INRIX, the Cross-Bronx Asthmaway alone (both directions) will cost New York nearly $1.7 BILLION over the next 10 years through lost time, wasted gas, and pollution!

At this rate, you might as well TEAR IT DOWN! (Or at the very least, bury it in a tunnel and reconstitute the land to the people!)

But HOLD UP – you guessed it – there’s even MORE: stretches of the BQE and the Belt will impose an additional $1.78 BILLION in costs over the next 10 years!

So we have three asthmaways that’ll cost New York $2.78B+ over the next 10 years (to say nothing of the costs imposed by the remaining dozen or so); imagine some of the transit improvements New York can realize by recovering the billions it will lose to the asthmaways!

It’s about time NYC loses its obsession with cars and starts tackling these issues headlong before we cross the point of no return. What better way to take a stand on congestion, climate change, air and noise pollution, and the sorry state of transit than highway reform (along with cost reform and congestion pricing)?

#deckthehighways for environmental and transportation justice!

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