new york city traffic
New York City traffic is expected to get even worse during the UN General Assembly. Photo: Pixabay

Among the many things New York City is known for is its traffic, which can often be at a standstill at any time or place across the five boroughs. That’s something Mayor Bill de Blasio hopes to change with the unveiling of his five-point action plan to combat traffic congestion.


“With 8.5 million people, New York City is experiencing both record population and economic vitality, but our success has put serious demands on our already crowded street network,” de Blasio said Sunday. “With a targeted effort to help clear travel lanes, delivery zones, intersections and highways, these initiatives will address these concerns head-on, using established and new tools that will keep our city moving, from Midtown to all of our neighborhoods.”


The mayor revealed his initiatives at one of Midtown’s “Clear Lanes” corridors, where vehicle travel time has dropped 23 percent since 2010.


The 5 keys to de Blaiso’s traffic congestion plan

1. Clear Lanes


To keep traffic flowing through Midtown, the NYPD will double its Traffic Enforcement Agents, who will focus on moving and parking violations, double parking and off-route trucks.


Additionally, 11 crosstown streets will have deliveries relegated to one side, while the other will be “no standing” from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. These “Clear Lane” streets are:

• 59th and 60th Streets from Fifth to Second Avenues
• 49th and 50th Streets from Ninth to Third Avenues
• 58th Street from Lexington to Second Avenue
• 46th and 47th Streets from Ninth to Third Avenues
• 54th Street from Eighth to Third Avenues
• 53rd Street from Ninth to Third Avenues
• 36th and 37th Streets from Sixth to Second Avenues

In Lower Manhattan, additional traffic cameras will be added and Midtown in Motion, the city’s Department of Transportation’s signal-based system to manage congestion, will include the area. Double parking and other curb regulations will be revamped to make it easier for drivers to comprehend and for authorities to enforce.

2. Clear Curbs

For six months beginning in January, the city will pilot curb access restrictions from 7-10 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. at these commercial zones:

• Midtown: from Sixth Avenue to Madison Avenue and 45th Street to 50th Street
• Jackson Heights and Corona, Queens: from Roosevelt Avenue to Broadway and 108th Street
• Downtown, Park Slope and Prospect Heights, Brooklyn: from Flatbush Avenue and Grand Army Plaza to Tillary Street.

3. Clear Intersections

The city will strengthen its “block the box” restrictions at 30 Manhattan and 20 outer borough intersections, including updating signs, adding markings and increasing NYPD presence for enforcement. 

4. Clear Zones

To tackle congestion hotspots that include Downtown Flushing and Jamaica, Staten Island’s North Shore and Hunts Point, the city efforts will include sidewalk expansions, new signal systems, updating truck routes, redesigning streets and more.

5. Clear Highways

City officials will work with state and local counterparts to address bottlenecks on the Cross Bronx Expressway and the Staten Island Expressway/Verrazano-Narrows Bridge/Gowanus Expressway corridor.