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Jul 23, 2018

Road Tripping And Driving In NY Are A Changing

Road Tripping And Driving In NY Are A Changing (click to tweet)

Driving in NY and NJ is changing. And it is actually for the better. For many years driving during the summer months, and others, have been a test of patience and maneuvering skills.

Driving into or through some area toll lanes, you would be crammed with a whole lot of other cars trying to get into one lane. There are parts after a toll where 10 plus lanes try to all squeeze into two narrow ones. Most of this is due to the bottlenecks created by the toll booths and cash-paying drivers. Even those that have signed up for and use E-Z Pass, have to deal with the same congestion since the lanes are blocked and there is no express route.

Based on what we have seen, there are at last significant changes coming to or are already implemented on NY highways.

HOV lanes

They are getting built and extended for additional miles. This helps open up additional lanes and gets more people through since these are designed for vehicles with 3+ occupants. We have exactly that number and it works.

Prior to the changes, the HOV lanes were only designated to be used during weekdays and by buses. Now they are available seven days a week and to all passenger vehicles.

New Express Tolls

EZ pass has made things faster but also slower on highways. It is easier for EZ-pass holders to go through the tolls, but they are held up by many cash-paying customers that are unsure what lane they should be and block entrances to get to the right one.

Now they are removing toll booths all together for smooth fast transactions and drive through. For EZ-pass holders, their tag is read automatically and those without will get a bill in the mail based on their license plate read by cameras. We have already driven through several of these in other states and now in New York as well. It is awesome. You just fly through. There is a lot less congestion than with booths even with EZ-pass, as those required you to slow down as you drive through.

There are also additional and new bridges being built that increase the number of lanes in both directions. Gothels bridge used to be car drive version of walking a tightrope. It was very narrow one lane. You had to really hold on to the wheel to make sure you avoid concrete walls. Now, this bridge is two. One is going West and the other one going East. Each bridge has 3 lanes and the traffic is moving a lot smoother and quicker. This is great for the summer high traffic and gets you to the beach and on to your road trip destination faster.

We have been paying higher and higher tolls over the last few years. And it is good to see at least a portion of that being used to improve the drive.

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