Transportation in Upper East Side

Percentage of Residents by Primary Mode of Travel to Work - US Census 2000

I am preparing for the local Transportation Survey that Upper Green Side received a grant to conduct. In that preparation effort I have started to sort through whatever secondary data I can find about my neighborhood before going out to collect primary data. So in the first of what will probably be a number of posts about this subject, here are some charts contrasting my neighborhood, defined by Community Board 8's Boundaries (zip codes 10021, 10028, 10044 and 10128) to Manhattan, New York City, New York State and the entire USA. Here is the breakdown on what I have found so far.

Percentage of Residents by Primary Mode of Travel to Work - US Census 2000

Not Surprisingly many more people take mass transit in CB8, Manhattan and to a lesser extent NYC. However, New York State (especially rural Upstate areas) have much higher commute to work rates which look more like the rest of the USA. Also of note is that while there is a higher percentage of people carpooling outside NYC, the percentage of all the people who commute by car who carpool is much higher.

However, that's not the whole story.

Percentage of Residents by Primary Mode of Travel to Work - US Census 2000

CB8, Manhattanites and to a lesser extent New York City residents walk to work in much higher numbers than NY State and the rest of the USA. And despite the small percentages, CB8 and Manhattanites work from home at double the national rate.

But, despite having higher rates of almost every other form of transportation than automobiles, NYC on the average workday has nearly 1 million cars entering the Central Business district, which causes the most traffic in precisely the same place that more than 75% of people do not own cars or drive to work.

Passenger Entry into CBD by Entry Point and Mode of Travel

The load of people entering the Central Business District (CBD) by car is particularly high from the north (above 60th Street) where over 600,000 people (+50% of the total)people traveling by car cross into the CBD.

Some ideas that I have already started thinking about are who these drivers in CB8 are, how many far are people from their place of employment, how many people bike to work, how many would bike to work if there was a bike lane/bike parking at their place of employment, how often they take taxis, what type of incentives would induce them to walk, take mass transit and ride their bikes more...any ideas from TOD: NYC readers for questions to ask in our upcoming surevey?

Can you clarify those charts? Do they represent the % of residents of CB8, Manhattan, NYC, and so on? And was the question "How do you get to work"?

As for the CBD, that's mostly not CB8, right? So if you're asking about car usage in CB8, it's probably not the case that people are driving to work in Manhattan, although they may be reverse commuting somewhere. Truthfully, you've got a small pool of people to work with in CB8 on the car issue, since it looks from the top most graph that ~62% took public transportation, ~18% walked, and another ~7% worked from home. These aren't quite the right numbers, but that leaves you with about 13% of people who took some kind of car.

So I think your time might be better spent on talking to the people who are in the cars that are driving around CB8 on any given day. Why are they there? Where did they come from? Could they have taken mass transit? Most likely these are not CB8 residents, but right now you probably don't know who they are, and it would be enlightening to see why people come there.

Yes, the Census Question is something like your "Primary means of traveling to work" for only people with employment.

And Yes, since CB8 only has about 230,000 people and of that about 130,000 or so are employed, they make up a small fraction of the drivers - probably less than 10,000 of the 600,000 that drive to Manhattan's CBD from north of 60th Street.