New York City is finally officially acknowledging what many locals already knew: The city has many more than just 10 so-called “gridlock alert days.” City officials increased the number of gridlock alert days to 16 for 2018, beginning on September 24.
Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said the city added six days related to the U.N. General Assembly when heads of state and many other dignitaries were in town.
A gridlock alert day is a day when an influx of additional vehicles adds to the already heavy traffic on Manhattan streets. Former DOT Commissioner “Gridlock Sam” Schwartz coined the term in the 1980s to describe the 10 most congested days in the city.
Schwartz used data that determined 7 mph was the average speed of cars on gridlock alert days. Now, between app-based car services and increased biking, the DOT estimates the average speed of cars is around 4 mph.
Other U.S. cities have adopted “gridlock days” to describe their own dramatic traffic influxes. Schwartz believes New York’s DOT should add a few more – “such as around Labor Day or around the Memorial Day weekend – at least an alert for those people trying to get out of town,” Gridlock Sam said.
2018 Gridlock Alert Days
There were seven gridlock alert days between September 23 and October 1. The following gridlock alert days close out the year:
- Friday, November 16
- Wednesday, November 21
- Wednesday, November 28
- Friday, December 7
- Wednesday, December 12
- Thursday, December 13
- Friday, December 14
- Wednesday, December 19
- Thursday, December 20
- Friday, December 21
Source: Fox5 New York