When does the traffic get bad in CT?
May 10, 2008 2:51 PM   Subscribe

When in the morning does the traffic get bad along the CT shoreline on 95 and the Merritt (towards NYC)?

The specific reason I ask is that I have to get from Bridgeport to Laguardia in time for an 8:30 AM flight on Monday, and I'm wondering if I'll still hit traffic if I'm on and off the road by 7 AM.
posted by smackfu to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (10 answers total)
I drive from the Cross County to exit 48 on the Merritt (Trumbull) in the morning. By 7am, traffic around 287 and the Hutch is often pretty slow going southbound. I don't know what it's like earlier, though, so this isn't all that helpful of an answer.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 3:04 PM on May 10, 2008

I would suggest leaving at 6am. At 7am traffic is definitely not good.
posted by hazyspring at 3:07 PM on May 10, 2008

Best answer: Yeah, the earlier the better. I'm from Bridgeport (woo woo!) and live near LGA now, and it takes just about an hour with no traffic, and I'm definitely a keep up with traffic kinda girl. If I were doing it, I'd leave around 5:15-5:30, to get there around 6:30 just in case and to cover if there is a little traffic. Then (I'm assuming) you've gotta park and get to the terminal from the lot, right? That could be 20 minutes on a good day right there. LGA isn't big, but can be annoying if the lots are busy.

If you have Cablevision where you are in Bridgeport, check out the traffic channel in the morning to see which route to take. (In Bridgeport, on my parents non-cable box hookup, it's channel 61.) It's super helpful and accurate. If everything is clear, take 95 to NY exit 14 (Hutch south) and go over the Whitestone, and then follow signs to LGA (basically just stay to the right - every time the highway splits, you go right), it's much faster than taking the Merritt all the way down to the Hutch since the Merritt is all curvy. Plus I can't stand the stupid stinkin' Merritt, but maybe that's just me.
posted by AlisonM at 4:10 PM on May 10, 2008

If I were you, I'd leave no later than 6. Even if traffic isn't bad Monday mornings are a VERY BUSY time at Laugardia, tons of business travelers heading out at that time
posted by Mr_Chips at 4:35 PM on May 10, 2008

Lots of the folks who work in/near the City live in Fairfield County and many of them drive in to work. As a result, during the hours surrounding rush hour, I've found 95 to be a horrorshow and the Merritt can get bad, too. I've had such bad experiences on both highways southbound in the morning. I'd leave as early as you can bear to, as people have already suggested.
posted by sneakin at 7:39 PM on May 10, 2008

Best answer: I do this all the time. Anytime after 7:00 am towards NYC from exit 24 downwards is bad on regular weekdays. And don't listen to the traffic bulletins - when they say things are good, they still mean under 40 mph stop and go.

Mondays are double trouble. Honestly, for an 8:30 am flight on Monday morning, I would leave Fairfield (where I live) at 5:30 am. Preferably 5:00 am and have breakfast at the airport if I'm lucky.

And if it's raining (which I believe it will be), traffic is that much slower and more unpredictable.

Merrit is just as unpredictable - as long as I leave time, I would take I-95.
posted by blue_wardrobe at 8:03 PM on May 10, 2008

What AlisonM said.

Assuming you want to get to the terminal by 7:30, definitely leave Bridgeport well before 6. Traffic flow on 95 as a function of time practically a step function in the AM, and on bad days it'll start getting backed up around Black Rock Turnpike by 6. Yes, if you leave by 5:30 you should get there wicked early, probably to the lot by 6:30 and in the terminal by 7, but leave a half-hour after that and you're pushing it. A wreck on the Whitestone and it's all over.

IME, the Merritt tends to back up a little later than 95, so if you're running late it might be worth a shot. But if you're at the point where you're thinking about that you've probably come close to blowing it anyway.
posted by Opposite George at 8:18 PM on May 10, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks all. That is about as awful as I figured. Guess I'll just leave insanely early and kill time at the airport as needed.

(And yet last Monday was worse, since I had a 6 AM flight at Bradley. I don't know how people do business travel for months at a time... I can't handle two weeks.)
posted by smackfu at 9:40 PM on May 10, 2008

Maybe a pointless suggestion, but can you take Metro-North from Bridgeport to 125th st, and then the bus to LGA? The trains can be crowded, but at least there are no traffic jams. And the 125th St bus is really direct and easy.
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:29 AM on May 11, 2008

Response by poster: Follow-up: I was on the road in Bridgeport around 5:15, got to the Avistar lot around 6:30, and was at the gate by 6:45. And there were a lot of cars on the road at that time. I did get there a bit early, but I'm glad I didn't leave later because it started to pour right when I got to the parking lot, and that would have made traffic really bad.

(Overall, I don't think LGA is worth it. The parking is very expensive, it's technically close but not really given traffic, and it seems like every arriving flight is delayed. I was delayed 3 hours on Friday which was no fun.)
posted by smackfu at 7:08 AM on May 20, 2008

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