NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Better traffic flow? Fuhgeddaboudit!
Drivers in Manhattan aren’t buying the city’s seemingly half-baked plan to ease congestion on 11th Avenue, heading towards the Lincoln Tunnel.
The DOT claims the change to a one-way street should make it easier to get out of the city on Fridays in the summer.
On this Friday however, it took a CBS2 photographer nearly an hour and 45 minutes to get from 57th Street to the tunnel entrance at 40th Street.
On any given Friday afternoon, driving in New York is a test of patience.
Though drivers now say the new traffic pattern on 11th Avenue hasn’t made anything smoother like the city alleged it would.
That avenue all the way up to 57th Street will also transition to one-way in the next few weeks.
“11th avenue one way doesn’t work. Look at this… you see all the traffic, it’s ridiculous, ridiculous,” one frustrated driver said.
“Whoever’s idea this was they should be fired, it was a fail big time,” Stacy Griffin added. “This one-way thing… this is a disaster.”
Griffin works at the Chrysler Jeep dealership along 11th Avenue and told CBS2 the switch has not only been bad for traffic, but also bad for business.
“It’s only been a couple days, it’s bad for New York. We’ve got enough problems already.”
The change in direction came as a surprise to most drivers earlier this week. Making matters even worse, some cars appeared to be getting tickets from the NYPD despite having no warning their regular route was now illegal.
Later, after CBS2 demanded answers from the police about the tickets, fliers were handed out explaining the new traffic pattern instead.
The NYPD’s chief of transportation Thomas Chan claimed there would now be a five-day grace period, but wouldn’t give a firm answer on what happens to all the drivers ticketed.
Friday, CBS2 saw one driver so upset he got out of his car to beg an NYPD traffic agent for help.
Another driver was more willing to just accept the circumstances.
“I am not frustrated because this is New York City, I live in New Jersey, it’s New York traffic, what can we do?” Claudia Waxman argued.
The DOT’s Manhattan borough commissioner claims the plan was in the works for years, but some are now calling on the mayor to make a change.
“De Blasio stop trying to be president, just come back and handle New York, we need all the help we can get,” Griffin said.
CBS2 reached out to the Department of Transportation for comment on the disastrous traffic on 11th Avenue.
A spokesperson said since the additional southbound lanes were added, the backups no longer extend as far as they did before.