Staten Island, NY: traffic & driving tips?
June 19, 2008 4:25 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any driving tips for travel between Albany, NY, & Staten Island, NY? I'm leaving Albany at 6AM tomorrow (6/20), and I expect I'll hit the Island at around 10AM (Google maps says 3hrs 8min. - is that even realistic?). I'm headed toward the southern end of the Island (Richmond Ave) first; should I anticipate any heavy traffic, and if so, how bad will it be? After a few stops, I'm headed back to Albany at around 5PM, departing from the northern tip (Richmond Terrace); how's the traffic at that hour? Any tips to avoid the bulk of any traffic delays? Thanks a LOT for any help!
posted by NYScott to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
Heading from the Rock to Albany on a Friday afternoon will be traffic filled. Heavy traffic. The Thruway will suck. Getting north to the Thruway will suck. I am not familar with driving on the Rock (Staten Island) but I drive north from NYC to the lake George area (passing Albany) and it can be painful. If at all possible, I recommend taking the Taconic up through Westchester and Putnam all the way to the Capital. It is scenic and will be faster. Warning: north of 84 there will be radar traps. I am not sure how fast they tolerate, but 80 is not it.

In the morning going down to the Rock, you will hit traffic about 20 miles outside of NYC starting at 7:00 am so be prepared for that. I am not sure you can avoid it.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 5:36 AM on June 19, 2008

I do this trip every year and I've learned that best time to leave Albany is around 3-4 AM, getting into Staten Island around 7. With the early morning lack of traffic, you'll complete the trip in just under 3 hours (assuming speed limits and blah blah blah), otherwise traffic can reasonably add another 2 hours to the trip. Leaving at 6 AM Unfortunately puts you in the NYC Metro Area right at rush hour.

Also, I'm assuming Google Maps told you to take 87S to Exit 15, then getting on 17 to the Turnpike and taking that to the Goethals Bridge. Route 17, depending on the time of day, can be stupefyingly horrendous. Alternately, if it's NOT horrendous, there are speed traps at every hill.

Traffic once you're on Staten Island is moderate (which translates to very heavy by Albany standards), but still unnecessarily aggressive. Also of note, once on Staten Island, you cannot turn right on red.

Travelling back up you're going to be hitting a slew of weekend traffic going up north. There's not really a way around this, as that traffic is going to last for a few hours.

Sorry for the bad news! Enjoy your trip. If you're looking for any info, feel free to memail me.
posted by coryinabox at 5:50 AM on June 19, 2008

It'll definitely be longer than 3 hours... I'd plan for at least 5 hours each way (if being on time is at all important for this trip).

I'd say avoid Staten Island Expressway and the Goethals Bridge, those are the most trafficky areas. Bayonne bridge has the least traffic. Good luck!
posted by KateHasQuestions at 6:34 AM on June 19, 2008

Uhhhhhhggg... Thanks for the help! I've been dreading this trip for weeks, now I'm even more angst-ridden.

Thanks, JohnnyGunn & coryinabox (and I may take you up on that extra info).
posted by NYScott at 6:39 AM on June 19, 2008

Thanks, KateHasQuestions! The Staten Island Expressway and the Goethals Bridge are, of course, the routes suggested by Google maps, so I'll have to take another look. Also, unfortunately, this is a work trip & being on time is important, so I better plot another route.
posted by NYScott at 6:44 AM on June 19, 2008

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