Help! Drive into NYC

Old May 12th, 2003, 09:02 AM
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Help! Drive into NYC

Help! Will be driving into NYC from Liberty State Park, NJ. Hotel in Times Square. Is it better to go in the Holland Tunnel and drive north through the city? (and how do I do this) OR Go north to the Lincoln Tunnel and get into the city farther north (if so how do I get up to the Lincoln Tunnel from Battery Park)?
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Old May 12th, 2003, 09:16 AM
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You should listen to traffic reports to see if there are any tie-ups, (WINS, 1010am is a great choice), otherwise, all things being equal, you are better off using the Lincoln Tunnel.
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Old May 12th, 2003, 09:26 AM
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If you do use the Lincoln Tunnel keep LEFT when exiting. Get over as soon as you can. There's only the one far left lane for going north towards Times Square. Take a look at a map showing the one way streets and plan your route to your hotel. Note that there are parking garages in the theater district where the overnight parking rate is $28 or so, compared to the $40 or more the hotels charge, often right across the street from the hotel.
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Old May 12th, 2003, 10:43 AM
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Thanks for the replies. My confusion is how to get from Liberty State Park up to the Lincoln tunnel? Do I have to go west out to route 95 before I go north or can I take a more local route north and still access the Lincoln tunnel? Help, it is hard to tell if local routes going north can access the tunnel?
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Old May 12th, 2003, 11:11 AM
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Take the New Jersey Turnpike North to the exit for the Lincoln Tunnel. That is probably the easiest way to get into the city.

There are signs everywhere on the roads in NJ on how to get into the City so just follow them to the tunnel.

When you get out of the tunnel, again there will be signs to point you in the right direction. So head North to Times Square.

I would find a parking lot close to your hotel and leave your car there for the duration of your time here, driving in the city without knowing where you are or where to park is more of a pain than you can imagine.

Take the subway, buses and taxis to get where you want to go and bring some good walking shoes and most importantly have a GREAT time and enjoy the city.

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Old May 12th, 2003, 12:01 PM
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Bo
 
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Taking the NJ Tpke from Liberty State Park will likely add 25 minutes onto our trip (as you'll be at exit 14B, which is part of the NJ Tpke EXTENTION, and need to travel west back to the main part of the Tpke)

The above is certainly the easiest (following direction-wise), but not the most direct.

I would get on the Tpke heading towards exit 14C "Holland Tunnel". Then take the local roads thru Jersey City and Hoboken to the Lincoln Tunnel.

If you can't figure it out from a map, post back and i'll send you turn-by-turn directions.

Unlike the above posters, i would consider taking the Holland Tunnel into NYC. There's usually much less traffic than the Lincoln, and it would be a straight drive up the Westside Highway towards midtown.
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Old May 12th, 2003, 12:09 PM
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whatever road you take, get ready for a hellacious, stressful, pain-in-the-arse driving experience that only New York can provide. Remember that pedestrians have the right of way no matter what, but that doesn't mean they're tougher than your bumper! A little bumper kiss and they'll learn not to walk on Red.
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Old May 12th, 2003, 12:10 PM
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Bo. Thanks for your reply, I do need more detail. I will be coming back by Ferry to the Liberty State Park after a whole day around Ellis Island and dinner in china town. I will need to pick up my car and drive to my times square hotel (that has a garage).It will be night. I want to get out of Liberty State Park and go the most direct route that is safe to drive at night and not too difficult to find. I prefer not to go west to 95, but I can't tell if the local roads like the JFK Blvd will access the lincoln tunnel. PS. We're starting from the Jersey side in order to get from Philly and onto the ferry in the early AM with a group. I will be the only one not returning to Philly at the end of the day.
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Old May 12th, 2003, 12:31 PM
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Bo
 
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I'll re-iterate taking the Holland Tunnel, but if you choose to do otherwise, here's how'd i'd go:

NJ Tpke 14B to NJ Tpke 14C "Holland Tunnel". Exit 14C isn't really an exit, it's more like the end of the Tpke portion of the road, so just pay the toll and stay on that road.

Follow signs to Holland Tunnel. At one point the road splits, with Holland Tunnel on the left and Grand Street on the right... STAY LEFT towards Holland Tunnel.

When you hit the first traffic light you'll see the Holland Tunnel ahead of you and a lot of gas stations. Make a LEFT TURN at this first traffic lite.

Go thru 3 traffic lites and then you'll be forced to bear right under a train trussel (a train bridge over head) onto Observer Highway (not really a highway, but the name of the road)

Go 3-4 traffic lights and make a LEFT TURN onto Washington Street. Take that straight, almost to the end, and make a LEFT ONTO 14th Street.

At the 3rd Traffic Light (will be a HESS Gas Station and a Hertz rent a car on your right, and a tall hill in front of you), make a RIGHT TURN. (i think this is Willow, Park, or Clinton Ave, but not certain, at the names change slightly in this area).

After 2-3 lights you'll go up a hill and down a hill, thru another traffic light (Exxon Gas Station on right hand side). Continue straight. After you pass the Exxon station, you'll see the Lincoln Tunnel entrance about 50 yards up the road on your right hand side.

Did i mention i'd recommend the Holland Tunnel?

Feel free to ask any add'l questions, or if somebody wants to add anything, feel free to do so.
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Old May 12th, 2003, 01:30 PM
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Whoops! Bo - you did say Holland Tunnel. Here is my concern. Is it going to be a traffic headache driving north through lower Manhatten from the Holland Tunnel up to Times Square? My guess is that I will be doing it after 8PM. I was thinking it might be less congested to come into the city farther north? Also, can I get on the Westside Hwy (route 9A) from the tunnel? Lastly is it safe to drive up 9A into midtown at night? I will be with 3 children.
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Old May 12th, 2003, 03:27 PM
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Bo
 
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The directions above are for the LINCOLN Tunnel; however, it is my opinion that the Holland Tunnel would be easier.

I recommend the Holland Tunnel because traffic is almost always lighter then the Lincoln, just a few turns out of the Holland Tunnel and you're on the Westside Highway (unlike the Lincoln which, if you don't enter the correct tube, you'll be 'forced' to go to 35th St before you can start heading north), and the Westside highway is more like a highway with traffic lights than typical "NYC driving", so it's easier to drive in than the city streets.

Traffic is unpredictable at any hour, but i don't think you'll have any problems after 8pm on the Westside Highway.

The problem is that there's no fast moving road to get to the Lincoln from Jersey City. When you make that left hand turn at the first traffic light off of the NJ Tpke mentioned above, it will take you about 15-20 minutes to get to the Lincoln Tunnel toll booths, although it's only about 2 miles!! The problem is that the entire area is "city" and therefore you're hitting traffic lights every few blocks.

As for safety, i wouldn't be concerned, just use common sense and lock your car doors, even while you're in it.

Since the directions above (to the Lincoln) take you right near the Holland, listen to the radio in the car at the start of your trip. The above poster mentioned 1010am which gives traffic reports at the "1's" 01, :11:, :21, etc) while 1130am gives traffic on the "5's", and 880am gives traffic at the "8's". Not every traffic report will cover the "Hudson Crossings" as they're refered to, so set the station before you go and juggle them a bit until you hear the traffic at the Lincoln and/or Holland. Once you're able to hear the back-up at each location, you can make a determination of which route is best(that's what the locals do).

There's <almost> nothing worse than making the trip thru the local streets of Jersey City and Hoboken, only to find that you now have a 45 minutes back-up at the Lincoln Tunnel to sit thru.

Hope that helps and sheds some light on my thoughts. Feel free to continue to ask any questions you may have or anything that needs clarification.
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Old May 12th, 2003, 05:47 PM
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Since you are doing this at night, taking "back" roads would not be a good idea, just in case you get a bit lost.

I would follow signs to the Lincoln Tunnel and go North from the exit of the tunnel.

It is very safe so don't worry, just want to make sure you don't get any more stressed out and lost.

Take the main roads and you will be fine. Also you will get a great view of the city as you approach the Linoln Tunnel, the kids will love that.

Have a great time while you are here.
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Old May 12th, 2003, 11:09 PM
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You write " I will be coming back by Ferry to the Liberty State Park after a whole day around Ellis Island and dinner in china town". You will take the ferry from NJ to Ellis Island and then get on the ferry and take it to NYC in order to get to Chinatown. How do you intend getting back to Liberty State park. I would think you would be better off driving direcly to your hotel and then going to Ellis Island.It would probably be time efficient. At any rate, if you do as planned the simplest way and probably the fastest way to the city is going through the Holland Tunnel, I don't know that it is a good idea wandering through local streets to get to the Lincolnn Tunnel from the park - easy to get lost. The park is around 10 minutes from the Holland Tunnel. Once through the tunnel it is less than 15 minutes to TImes Square - assuming there is no delay getting through the tunnel
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Old May 13th, 2003, 07:30 AM
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Thanks to everyone! I will take Bo's advice and go to the Holland Tunnel from Liberty State Park and up the west side highway. The reason we are going from NJ and back to NJ after the day, is because I will be traveling with other family and all coming from Philly. We want to get to Ellis as quickly as possible to avoid crowds and that seems best from the NJ side. The rest of the group will be going back to Philly at the end of the day. I will be the only one going up into NYC. So it is round about for me, but will save time for everyone else, especially in the morning coming up from Philly. If anyone disagrees and has a better idea, please share it with me.
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Old May 13th, 2003, 08:19 AM
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I would agree that in your situation you should take the Holland. As a tourist, you don't necessarily need the quickest way, you need the easiest way (because, if you get lost, the quickest way may not be so quick after all). From Liberty State Park, it is much easier to get to the Holland Tunnel than it is to get to the Lincoln. And once you are in the City, it's not too difficult to travel north (traffic may suck, but you're less likely to get lost in NYC than in NJ). Have a great trip!!
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Old May 13th, 2003, 11:53 AM
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bbkay:

Bo laid out a route to the Lincoln that I often use. I would however not reccomend it to a first timer!! That area can get dicey at night. Instead listen to him and take the Holland Tunnel. Just drive safe, and try not to get distracted by the cars, taxis and trucks zooming every which way but loose!! Just keep saying "15 more blocks to the hotel, 14 more blocks...etc." Also, not to scare you any more, but you are driving to the "ground zero" of tourists mecca in all the world" The streets and crosswalks will be jammed with starry eyed tourists at 42nd street. Make sure you are very familiar with the HOtel Parking entrance BEFORE you head up to the hotel. I would call the hotel for the exact street to come down to insure you will hit the parking lot! A navagator to give directions would be very, very advisable!
JOHN
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Old May 13th, 2003, 03:25 PM
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Thanks for the tip about getting into the parking garage correctly! The hotel has a garage that they use that is close but not directly connected. I will call and get exact directions!!!!
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