Urban traffic datapoint of the day

By Felix Salmon
August 24, 2010
62-mile traffic jam which is currently moving at one third of a mile per hour, and which is likely to last until mid-September. And that's not even the really scary bit:

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Beijing has a 62-mile traffic jam which is currently moving at one third of a mile per hour, and which is likely to last until mid-September. And that’s not even the really scary bit:

The mega-jam on the city outskirts comes as officials warn that downtown traffic in Beijing is steadily worsening. State media on Tuesday reported that average driving speeds in the capital could drop below nine miles an hour if residents keep buying at current rates of 2,000 new cars a day.

Here in New York, we literally haven’t seen rush-hour driving speeds of nine miles an hour in living memory. The average speed during the morning rush between 6am and 9am is 7.03mph; in the six-hour-long afternoon rush between 2pm and 8pm, it’s just 6.78mph.

The answer in both cities, of course, is the combination of better public transport with congestion charging. In Beijing, that’s going to happen. In New York, I’m not holding my breath.

6 comments

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Guess that’s why living space is $150/sqft in Manhattan…

Posted by CDN_finance | Report as abusive

If presumably the same amount of people are entering NY city as are leaving it, how is the average speed faster in the morning when those commuters are all compacted into 3 hours rather than over the 6 hour rush hour leaving the city?

Posted by KevyD | Report as abusive

Traffic jams stretching from Beijing suburbs to the inner Mongolian border are merely part of the tapestry of madness this August 24th…

http://nbyslog.blogspot.com/2010/08/sket ch-spanish-incest-barclaysconi-bank.html

Posted by nbywardslog | Report as abusive

$150/sqft? To rent? I don’t think it’s that expensive to rent 1,000sf in New York. Hold on.. Carigslist informs me that a Manhattan 3BR should be had easily for $4,000 ~= $50,000 a year, which looks a lot more like $50/sf than $150/sf. Of course, if you were talking to purchase, then your estimate is delusionally low. You can’t buy 1000sf in Manhattan for $150,000.

On average speed, I suddenly feel better about the SF Muni. Yes, they have been terribly unreliable lately and during the first hot day of the summer yesterday the train’s AC was broken, but they get me home at an average speed around 6 mph. Woo hoo!

Posted by wcw | Report as abusive

2000 new cars a day are purchased. Ford and GM have got to be LOVING that opportunity

Posted by STORYBURNthere | Report as abusive

Traffic conditions can get rather horrendous these days. I remember reading about a driver in Essex who received a parking fine while being stuck in a traffic jam. It does make me wonder whether our cars need to go for servicing more often if we drive regularly in such start-stop situations since I drive to work every morning and face the same jam day after day. Any one has any idea or any BMW specialist who can answer this question for me? Thanks in advance!

Peter
http://www.pmwltd.co.uk/

Posted by Peter_Mould | Report as abusive