NY Car Facts

New York is an odd town for drivers. On the one hand, it’s hard to find a single friend in NYC who owns a car, and on the other the hand… those roads sure seem jam-packed nonetheless, right? As you might assume, there’s a lot of things that set NYC car culture apart from the rest of the country’s. Here are ten facts to prove it:

  1. There’s no way you’d ever guess this based on a typical day in NYC, but it’s illegal to honk your horn in traffic except for in emergencies. Obviously, this is one of those laws that they’re not too worried about enforcing on a day to day basis in the city.
  2. It’s estimated that the average New Yorker spent seventy-four hours of their life stuck in traffic jams back in 2014. And you thought California’s jam-packed freeways were bad! It’s like they say: Nobody drives in New York, there’s too much traffic.
  3. Some forms of automotive transport are illegal in New York City. Namely: Hoverboards. Yep, those two-wheeled scooter-thingies you see people rolling around on are banned in New York. Looks like you’re walking to the subway. Luckily, the furthest apartment from a station within the city limits is only .8 miles away, so it’s not too long of a trip.
  4. UPS trucks reportedly collect about 15,000 parking tickets a month in NYC. If you think about it, that kind of makes perfect sense. You’re not going to finish your route on time if you’re always looking for a place to park, so it may be more cost-effective to pay the ticket than it is to waste your time looking for somewhere to park legally. In fact…
  5. It’s estimated that the average NYC driver spends one hundred seven hours a year looking for parking spaces. This racks up a total cost of over two thousand bucks in fuel and wasted time. So maybe UPS’s strategy makes perfect sense. Anyways, it’s a good thing a defensive driving course can save you money on insurance, because driving in NY can get very expensive very fast.
  6. Yo Yo Ma, you know him, right? The only cello player you can name? He once left his two hundred and sixty-six-year-old cello, valued at two and a half million bucks, in the back of a cab in New York City. Miraculously, it was returned to him in time for the night’s concert.
  7. That incredible car chase in The French Connection was shot live. Those were not stunt drivers on the road, but real NYC motorists. How they pulled that off without winding up in jail, we couldn’t tell you, but the results are stunning.
  8. NYC traffic is bad by design. In most cities, the roads are built for cars. In NYC, the congested traffic is a result of city planning that is orchestrated to favor pedestrians and cyclists over drivers. This is one reason why NYC drivers generally keep their cars parked unless they’re planning an out-of-town road trip. We’ll keep an ear out for CES car news and see what kind of effect this has with self-driving cars.
  9. Cab licenses, or “medallions” are in limited supply, and a pair went for two and a half million at auction in 2013. Maybe this is why you’re seeing more Ubers and fewer yellow cars lately.

Driving the NYC coastline would take you longer than cruising the beaches of Miami, L.A., San Francisco and Miami combined. It’s a series of islands, so while it takes up less land mass than those cities, it’s pretty much one hundred percent coastal real estate. If you want to cruise around New York City, and we mean all the way around, you’re looking at nearly six hundred miles of road.

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