We knew getting to work was going to be miserable today, but the gridlock is almost hard to fathom. It seems like people have given up wheels altogether in many spots and have just started walking.
As is his want, Gridlock Sam Schwartz is out trying to warn people about troubling traffic conditions. As Mr. Schwartz explained in a profile earlier this year in The Observer, you tell people about how terrible the roads will be, and they have a remarkable habit to stay out of their cars. After all, everybody hates traffic.
So when Mr. Schwartz says this will be the worst traffic week of the year, we are want to give the former traffic commission his due. Here’s what we have to look forward to in the coming “Carmageddon” (his term, not ours, and we think it’s a technical one at that).
So, just how much traffic did Mother Jones receive to their website after publishing their blockbuster video of Mitt Romney?
“The traffic melted the needle of our live meter,” said Monika Bauerlein, an editor at the liberal magazine, when we reached her this afternoon. “Our metric software just couldn’t keep up.”
“But you know, online publishing metrics are kind of voodoo anyway,” she said.
Ms. Bauerlein noted that the video has gotten 2.4 million views – that they know of.
Planes Trains & Automobiles
Nothing ruins holiday plans like being stuck in traffic, but it looks like New Yorkers pretty much have no choice. The city will suffer the worst backups in the nation tomorrow, according to Seattle-based traffic monitoring firm INRIX.
Los Angeles typically takes the crown, but as everyone flees the city one last time for the summer, historic data shows we are in for some serious delays. Coming in third is our neighbor to the north, Bridgeport, Conn., which, being trapped between us and Boston on the I-95 corridor, gets it from both sides.
Congestion grows in Brooklyn
The residents in the neighborhoods bordering Barclays Arena will almost certainly be stuck with congestion and beer-swilling visitors, but at least they may be spared a multi-level nightclub.
The landlord is evicting Kemistry Lounge’s owners for non-payment of rent, putting a halt (if only a temporary one) to their clubbing brainchild, Brownstoner reports. That’s good news for those nearby the lounge’s would-be home at 260 Flatbush Avenue.
It’s June, and yet we’re still wearing our London Fog raincoats and carrying around our Brollys. It’s almost as if New York’s weather gods didn’t get the memo that it’s Hamptons season, and some of us don’t like getting soaked waiting for the Jitney.
Another thing seasonal annoyance for New Yorkers is traffic created by out-of-towners,
Mental Health Protest
Update: The man let go of the rope on purpose or accidentally fell into the water around 2 p.m., according to The Nation’s Greg Mitchell. He landed in water or on the deck of barge and was taken to police barracks, Mr. Mitchell reports. The man’s condition is unknown, but NBC New York reports the man fell in the water, not on the barge. Right now he’s on an emergency worker’s boat, according to Gothamist. Before jumping he also took off his pants, apparently, and tried to swim away but emergency workers gave him a life preserver, which he took.
Occupy Wall Street might have to step up their protesting efforts. A man is currently dangling off the Tappan Zee Bridge, protesting his termination at a mental health facility Rockland County. Michael Davitt is clinging to a banner that’s tied to a van blocking traffic on the bridge over the Hudson River, occasionally taking sips from a thermos. The banner reads “ROCKLAND EXECUTIVE LEGISLATURE COVER UP RETALIATION,” and Patch reports his car has closed one lane.
Office workers may want to look both ways before crossing the street on the way home tonight.
Transportation Alternatives released their first “crash map” today, which reveals that, at over 8,500 crashes involving pedestrians from 1995-2009, Midtown is not the place to go for a stroll. The map, based on the civic group’s new CrashStat.org interactive index, charts motorist crashes involving pedestrians by community.
Most people heave a sigh of resignation when the calendar turns from August to September. But Manhattan residents have a special reason to dread the approach of summer’s end. As routines return to normal, as the pace of commerce resumes its hectic pace, as deadlines loom once again, the world descends upon Manhattan for the annual opening of the United Nations General Assembly.
The result: Extreme chaos, frustrating delays, jagged nerves and wasted time. Portions of midtown and downtown are turned into armed camps to accommodate the schedules of the world’s leaders, a fair portion of whom attend the session just for the sheer fun of insulting the U.S., Israel and the West.
This is the burden of being the capital of the world. For the most part, Manhattanites understand that sharing their island with the globe’s leaders requires patience, sacrifice and a certain degree of resignation.
The four outer-boroughs suffer the worst commutes in the country, according to the 2010 Census. No wonder drivers get so worked up about Transportation Czarina Janette Sadik-Khan. Even if the city’s D.O.T. is improving the roads for drivers, any efforts even perceived to be undermining cars, like bike lanes and pedestrian plazas, is seen as a threat, regardless of whether or not it improves transportation not only for drivers but bus riders, bicyclists and pedestrians, too.
Besides, whether or not Ms. Sadik-Khan can take all, or even any, of the credit (as some readers have argued to us, these programs have been in the works for years—still, all the experts we talked to applauded), a new report by IBM shows that New York’s commutes are better than many in the world and are getting better.