Help me pick a route into Manhattan
August 17, 2008 10:25 PM   Subscribe

NYC Move: I'm driving a UHaul from Brooklyn to Morningside Heights in Manhattan. What's the best route?

Alright, the big move is here. We're going from Bay Ridge to the Columbia area in Morningside Heights. What's the best route? We're driving a 14' UHaul truck (described here). Google Maps sends us on the BQE, through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, and up the West Side Highway all the way to 92nd street. I gather trucks aren't allowed for part of the West Side Highway, so how far can I go (I'm getting conflicted information) and what should I do when I can't use the highway?

This will be around 7:30 pm on a weekday, if that makes a difference.

Many thanks, MeFi New Yorkers!
posted by rustcellar to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I think you can take the West Side Highway up until it becomes the Henry Hudson at around 72nd. From there, I'd scoot over on 72nd to Broadway (you have to loop around a bit at Amsterdam Ave.). I personally don't like tunnels or the West Side Highway and would probably do the Manhattan bridge to Broadway all the way up. You might get slower moving traffic that way, but I always felt safer with the moderate speeds on Broadway than hauling ass on the West Side Highway.

7:30pm on a weekday will not be fun no matter what route you take. You'll be lucky to make it to your new place by 9pm.
posted by mexican at 11:09 PM on August 17, 2008

Best answer: What mexican said, for the most part. BQE through the Battery Tunnel and up 9A/Westside. However, 9A/Westside forks onto 10th Ave at West 14th, and I would take that up instead of shifting over at 72nd, as 10th is a straight shot into Morningside. It'll also be less crowded than the Westside Highway. (Well, in most parts.)
posted by greenland at 11:45 PM on August 17, 2008

Best answer: What mexican said, but don't take Broadway -- take Amsterdam after 72nd st. It's faster and less complicated than Broadway, because all of the green lights turn on after another in a 'wave' going uptown. You'll be in a platoon of cars steadily coasting uptown following green lights for 30+ blocks, unlike Broadway, which will have cars turning left/right, pedestrians crossing, etc. etc.

This is from past Uhaul moving experience -- I once had to move into a storage space in the area.
posted by suedehead at 12:21 AM on August 18, 2008

Best answer: When I moved out of Manhattan in 2004 I ran in to a lot of problems with trucks being banned on many of the routes I knew from taking cabs. I'm pretty sure the FDR and West Side Highways ban truck traffic. There is truck information here:
scroll down to DOT Truck and Commercial Vehicle Information.
I ended up driving all the way up 9th or 10th Ave. Of course, things may have changed one of the big wrinkles in my plans was that the Lincoln tunnel was closed to truck traffic, and the linked map shows it to currently be a truck route. I remember there were more restrictions "because of 9/11" at various times.
posted by at 12:37 AM on August 18, 2008

Best answer: Two years ago we had to move a decent sized load of equipment from the area around South Ferry (actually the Battery Maritime Building where the Governors Island ferries stop) back up to Columbia. We used a small box truck, the 10' size (you're taking one size larger it seems).

Based on that experience I'm pretty sure that you will be fine on the West Side highway until it becomes raised (somewhere in the mid 50's). At that point there's a sign about no trucks and you have to get off the highway. This is as good a time as any to get over to 10th Avenue/Amsterdam Avenue (as suggested above) for the rest of the ride up.

Going through the DOT site more carefully I found this truck route map:

It agrees with my memory about the west side highway, it appears that you're ok taking the west side highway up to around 57th (with the last turn off at 59th).
posted by NormieP at 1:36 AM on August 18, 2008

It's best not to trust Google Maps on this, since it doesn't know you're driving a commercial vehicle. As others have said, trucks and commercial vehicles are banned on some roadways, including the West Side Highway and some bridges. I got a ticket on the West Side Highway while driving a U-Haul in 2001.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:36 AM on August 18, 2008

Is it possible to tell us the SPECIFIC block of where you will be understanding is that Morningside heights (from living there) starts somewhere in the 130s...and if thats the case why would you get off at 92nd street? I did a similary move from Bayridge to 170 something in manhattan......We took the FDR but if I was going to morningside I would have taken the West Side highway and gotten off on 125th...
posted by The1andonly at 8:16 AM on August 18, 2008

The1andonly: Morningside is generally thought of as being 103rd st to 125th or so. Above that that is West Harlem (Manhattanville, then Hamilton Heights) up to 165th or so; then above that Washington Heights, etc.
posted by suedehead at 11:25 PM on August 18, 2008

Response by poster: Well it worked. We went up the West Side Highway until 57th street, then cut over to 10th/Amsterdam and took that all the way. I even (sort of) parallel parked the monstrosity.

In case anyone else finds this thread who's doing the same thing, note that none of the garages in the area will take UHauls, and I know from prior experience that there is a risk of getting a $65 ticket if you park it on a residential street over night. I called up the 126th Street UHaul, and they said they could take it for the night, for $25, although I still need to return it to Brooklyn tomorrow.

Thanks for the help!
posted by rustcellar at 10:05 PM on August 19, 2008

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