New York Getting Less Congested

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A study of citywide traffic created using GPS data from the city's fleet of cabs revealed that the average speed of progress in Manhattan is actually increasing — owing to less traffic because of the recession and increased reliance on public transportation. But that doesn't mean we're speeding around: The average speed of a car in the city is about 9.5 miles per hour, or, as the Times puts it, "about the speed of a farmyard chicken at full gallop." (Who knew chickens were running under-seven-minute miles?) The study also revealed some things you probably already could guess — that the speediest hours to drive in Manhattan are the early-morning hours, and that even though rush hour is relegated to the beginning and end of the workday, during midday the streets are pretty much just as congested. And the four fastest days to drive are New Year's Day, Christmas, Memorial Day, and July 4, in that order. But it did reveal one thing we didn't know — that Wednesday is on average by far the worst day to drive. Just when you want to get home in time to watch Cougar Town!

Gridlock May Not Be Constant, but Slow Going Is Here to Stay [NYT]