Ofer Eitan Reports: NYC Headed for ‘Carmageddon,’ New Transportation Report Sug - Jonathan Cartu - Moving & Transportation Services
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Ofer Eitan Reports: NYC Headed for ‘Carmageddon,’ New Transportation Report Sug

NYC Headed for ‘Carmageddon,’ New Transportation Report Sug

Ofer Eitan Reports: NYC Headed for ‘Carmageddon,’ New Transportation Report Sug

What to Know

  • COVID-19 changed every facet of life creating what has become the new normal. The impact the pandemic has had is also seen in transportation, particularly in New York City.
  • Transportation Alternatives (TA), an advocacy group the pushes for better bicycling, walking and public transit for all New Yorkers, has tracked data related to transportation as New York has reopened and revealed the city is headed for conflict.
  • The organization released the first edition of a new monthly report analyzing New York City’s post-COVID transportation recovery, only to allegedly find dangerous levels of car and truck traffic, growing popularity of cycling, and limited recovery of transit networks. 

COVID-19 changed every facet of life creating what has become the new normal. The impact the pandemic has had is also seen in transportation, particularly in New York City.

Transportation Alternatives (TA), an advocacy group the pushes for better bicycling, walking and public transit for all New Yorkers, has tracked data related to transportation as New York has reopened and revealed the city is headed for conflict.

“As more commuters opt to drive, and little accommodation is made for the safety and efficiency of those who do not, New York could soon see a gridlocked, exhaust-choked, and crash-laden Carmageddon,” according to TA.

The organization released the first edition of a new monthly report analyzing New York City’s post-COVID transportation recovery, only to allegedly find dangerous levels of car and truck traffic, growing popularity of cycling and limited recovery of transit networks. 

Declaring “carmageddon” inevitable without executive action, TA has called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to take action in an attempt to mitigate car-use by providing incentives for cycling and using public transportation — including protected bike lanes. New York City has the expertise to address these challenges, according to TA, which also added that “a failure to do so will result in growing levels of congestion, inequality, pollution, and traffic violence, in addition to hampering NYC’s recovery efforts.”

An analysis of transportation figures since New York City shut
down in March found: 

  • New Yorkers are avoiding trains and prefer the bus. Between March and April, subway ridership dropped 92 percent and bus ridership dropped 78 percent. While both numbers remain below pre-COVID levels today, bus ridership is currently down only 35 percent compared to the subway, which was down 74 percent as of August.
  • New Yorkers are driving more. While bridge and tunnel vehicle crossings dropped 69 percent in April, driving returned to near pre-COVID levels by June.
  • New Yorkers are also driving more dangerously. Automated speed safety cameras, which issue 94 percent of all speeding tickets in the city, have shown a 67 percent increase over pre-COVID levels, which could lead to fatal crashes.
  • New Yorkers are searching for driving directions more than ever, indicating inexperienced drivers on the roads, according to TA. Data from Apple Maps shows that requests for driving directions increased by 27 percent as the city reopened, surpassing pre-COVID levels, while walking direction searches are down 18 percent and transit directions searches are down 50 percent. Additionally, the gap between driving direction searches and walking / transit direction searches is growing. 
  • New Yorkers are biking, and searching for bike information, more than ever, indicating new cyclists on the roads. Even though most New Yorkers are not commuting to work, in August, the number of daily weekday bike crossings over the East River was 23 percent higher than this time last year. Citi Bike use also rose, surpassing last year’s daily ridership for August.

“Carmageddon is coming. Unless the mayor acts now to give New Yorkers safe and equitable transportation options, congestion, pollution, traffic violence, and inequality in the city will continue to soar,” said Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris. “From the lifesaving effect of protected bike lanes to the congestion-busting power of the 14th Street Busway, New York City knows how to solve these problems. We just need Mayor de Blasio to build these successes to scale citywide. The pathway to New York City’s transportation recovery is in our streets.”

News 4 reached out to the mayor’s office for comment.

Jonathan Cartu

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