Driving, New York City
My third time to NYC I decided to actually drive into the city. It was a lot less intimidating than I had feared!
There are two tunnels connecting Manhattan with New Jersey, the Holland Tunnel and the Lincoln Tunnel. The Lincoln Tunnel is the northernmost of the two.
The cost was $6 to get into Manhattan and no charge to head to New Jersey
way more expensive to do especially the atrocious parking rates for manhattan but is very handy of a friend or relative will drive for you hehehe and since my uncle lives in new york and I have planned to revisit months in advance then he got a 3 day off from work to drive me around and the rest of the time I was there I took the taxi, subway, bus and walk.
I do not recommend driving in New York especially midtown and Washington Heights.
1. It can take up to 15min to an hour to find a parking space and no this is not an exaggeration.
2. Sometimes even if you do park in a good space you will still get a ticket because the policemen have a quota to fill. There is often a time limit on where to park as well.
3. There are garages where you pay for parking but it is expensive
4. You can only pay for one hour of parking by the meter
5. Taxi's cut you off and many times they are not patient.
6. Crazy drivers
7. Mean drivers
8. Bus drivers and taxi drivers think they own the road
9. Many honk for no reason
10. It is excruciating trying to drive when there is a parade and a festival going on. In the summer this is practically always.
The stress will ruin your vacation.
Walk, ride the subway, take bus, or ferries please! especially if you are in Manhattan.
If you are going to drive in Manhattan,Be careful,Follow the traffic laws,Especially don't cross red lights because they have installed cameras at various intersections.Red Light ticket will cost you around $60.I am listing some locations having cameras.
1-WEST ST & W HOUSTON ST
2-CANAL ST & 6 AVE
3-CANAL ST & BROADWAY
4-E HOUSTON ST & ALLAN ST
5-E72ND ST &3RD AVE
6-W66ST & WEST END
7-E42DN ST & 2ND AVE
NYC is defiantley not a place to drive around in if you have slow reflexes or it you are jumpy. It seems that no matter where you are in NYC there are always pedestrians walking out in front of your car or other driver pulling out of what seem to be invisible parking spaces. I prefer to take the train in and use mass transportation to get from A to B to C when I am in the city or I just walk.
Getting to the NYC area is easy ... numerous turnpikes, parkways, and interstates converge here from all directions. From the west, I-80 takes you straight to the George Washington Bridge, I-78 dumps you out in downtown Manhattan (Holland Tunnel) and I-84 will steer you around the city to the north. From the northeast and south I-95 also takes you to the GW Bridge. Also from the south, you can use the Garden State Parkway. I-87 brings you to NYC from due north such as Albany and takes you straight into the Bronx. Other, less-traveled, routes from the north include the Taconic Parkway, the Palisades Parkway, and the Merritt Parkway (in New York, big trucks are prohibited from using parkways). From Long Island, I-495 is the major highway to the city.
From north to south, the major entryways from across the Hudson are the Tappan Zee Bridge (I-87 & I-287 from Nyack, NJ to Tarrytown, NY), the GW Bridge (I-95, US 9, US 1 from Ft Lee, NJ to northern Manhattan and the Bronx), the Lincoln Tunnel (US 495 from Weehawken, NJ to Midtown Manhattan), the Holland Tunnel (I-78 from Jersey City, NJ to Downtown Manhattan), and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge (I-278 from Staten Island to Brooklyn).
I went to Harlem today to meet with a client about a Website I am creating for him. The drive was fast, and confusing. I had to bring my boyfriend along, so he could be the designated "Sign Reader". If he wasn't there, I think I would have gotten lost - BIG TIME ! The people in the city , drive like animals . I don't know how they even got their license. What's worse , is the fact that out of state drivers, think they can drive at slow speeds and get away with it. City driving, is deffinatly not for out of state drivers. Parking is scarce, so If you see a spot, grab it quick ! Street parking in most places is usually free, no parking meters or anything. Remember to park very close to the curb and if you've got folding mirrors .. USE THEM ! Its very common to come back with a broken off one if your not careful . Good Luck , and Happy Driving !
The 8,500-foot long Holland Tunnel connects New Jersey with New York City, passing beneath the Hudson River. The Holland Tunnel was finished in 1927 and was named after Clifford Holland, the architect of the tunnel. The toll for crossing this tunnel Manhattan bound is $5; it carries I-78. During rush hours in New York, the Holland Tunnel will often become packed and jammed beyond imagination. Due to its sensitive location (it pops up right in Lower Manhattan), the Holland Tunnel is often controlled with strict regulations; the tunnel was closed after the September 11 attacks and was not reopened until quite a while later. In summer 2006, the US foiled a plot to bomb the Holland Tunnel (though details on that aren't quite clear yet.) Check the conditions before setting out on this tunnel.
Driving in Manhattan should be easy: above 14th Street, the streets forma perpendicular, numeric grid - avenues are north - south, streets are east - west. Fifth Avenue divides the East side from the West side. However the combination of traffic, crazy drivers, and one-way streets makes driving a nightmare for the inexperienced. If you can avoid it, do.
Don't block the intersectionl it's illegal and causes gridlock. Technically, you are not allowed to honk your horn unless someone is in danger of hitting you or being hit by you, but no one pays attention to this. (But DO pay attention if you are in a residential neighborhood, like the Upper East side, where you WILL be fined). Parking tickets are a serious business here, so read the signs before you park. Alternate side rules mean that one certain days you cannot park on one side of the street, because it is being cleaned. You cannot park in loading zones, within 20 feet of a fire hydrant, at a bus stop, or anywhere else a sign tells you not to. Lock your car doors, remove the stereo if you don't want someone else to do it for you and don't leave anything valuable in plain sight.
My sister and I traveled by car around the United States. We found if we stopped just after each state's border at the visitor center, we could pick up any maps we needed to navigate through areas we had never seen. We did not find one as we entered into New York/New Jersey area and decided to just "wing it". Not a good idea as we found out shortly. We were very intimidated and overwhelmed at the shear volume of traffic, bridges and highways. We ended up taking a bad exit into a very bad part of the city.
We managed to get through and finally decided to push on up into Maine where we could get a grip and figure out how to really navigate New York before attempting it again. We went to a truck stop where we chatted with some great truckers, who were a wealth of information for us. They gave us maps, tips on where to go and never to go, along with places to stay within our very limited budget. When we arrived back in the big apple, we found we had no problems getting around after being tutored by the best. Our visit was great and non-stressful. So bottom line - get a map, talk to a trucker!
There are signs here and there that warn: "No honking; $350 fine" but does that stop the cabbies/drivers? Noooo. People still honk, but it's not near as bad as Seoul. However, if you're one of those poor souls who drives on the island and honks and gets a ticket...this is your warning.
New York is well known for big traffic. Don't go out with your car either rented or from a friend on rush hour. Follow my advice ma friend! in and out of the island can be very complicated, so if you plan to arrive in the morning do it before 6am and in the evening after 10pm.
Driving in the big city was no where near as bad as I expected. Other than cars double and triple parked, taking up the side lanes of traffic, it really wasn't much of a problem at all. I recommend you get a good, detailed map and become familiar with your route before you drive... oh, and avoid rush hour! I only drove on the weekend!
Sometimes, especially in a small group, renting a car is the way to go. However, NYC has the most insane rental prices anywhere. Enterprise is pretty good, but I've found some more affordable companies in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
151 East 51st Street (and other locations)
This place has good prices, and the cars are fine. Nothing fancy, just gets you out of or around town.
303 96th Street
I've never rented from these guys, but the prices look decent.
800 Union Street
Most importantly, compare. The prices are crazy, and if you can, take the MetroNorth or NJTransit out and rent from somewhere outside. Otherwise, do the best you can! Good luck!
Be aware that if you decide to drive into the city, the traffic is terrible.....getting into the tunnels, it turns into just one line of traffic and everyone tries to get in front of the other cars to get in front of the line and its terrible. Drivers cut you off in town and drive very fast and get angry if you dont drive fast enough! I think my next trip I will take the train because driving there really stresses me out too much!!! I am much less stressed when taking the train!!!