Press Release Article


Date: May 20, 2004
Press Release Number: 67-2004

Traffic congestion and travel time on the approaches to the New Jersey-bound Lincoln Tunnel along Ninth and Tenth avenues in Manhattan have decreased during the weekday evening peak period, according to a six-month assessment of a new traffic pattern.

In November 2003, the Port Authority, in cooperation with the New York City Department of Transportation, implemented new weekday approach routes for the Lincoln Tunnel from 4 to 7 p.m. in an effort to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow on New York City streets surrounding the tunnel.

These measures have reduced the amount of merge points for traffic approaching the Lincoln Tunnel, which has helped to improve the overall traffic flow. In addition, the measures were designed to increase utilization of the Lincoln Tunnel Expressway, a dedicated roadway that runs between Ninth and Tenth avenues from 30th Street to the Lincoln Tunnel.

Port Authority Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals Director Ken Philmus said, “These traffic changes were difficult to implement because people had to relearn their tried and true approaches to the Lincoln Tunnel. The easiest thing for us to do would have been to do nothing, but we were confident that these changes would make a difference. We are very pleased with the results and are fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in concert with the New York City Department of Transportation in advancing these changes. The cooperation between the Port Authority Police and New York City Police departments was tremendous, and their coordinated traffic control and enforcement made these traffic changes work.”

New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall said, “We were happy to partner with the Port Authority to enact these innovative changes, which have resulted in an improvement in traffic flow along Ninth and Tenth avenues. We’ll continue to work with the Port Authority, the Police Department and the community to find new ways to further reduce traffic congestion and improve pedestrian safety in the area.”

Assessment of the new traffic patterns shows that motorists using Tenth Avenue from West 27th Street to the Lincoln Tunnel portal reduced their travel time by 14 minutes – a 60 percent decrease from their previous travel time. Vehicles traveling northbound within Manhattan from West 27th to West 45th streets reduced their travel time by 20 minutes – a 75 percent decrease from their previous travel time.

On Ninth Avenue, motorists traveling from West 45th Street to enter the Lincoln Tunnel at West 36th Street have seen a 12 percent reduction in travel time. Vehicles traveling southbound within Manhattan on Ninth Avenue from West 45th to West 27th streets had their trips reduced by nearly 16 minutes – a decrease of 65 percent.

Buses leaving the Port Authority Bus Terminal’s upper levels also have seen trip time to the tunnel reduced by nearly 50 percent as a result of a newly designated lane used almost exclusively by buses during the weekday evening peak period.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.