Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

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URSnshn
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Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by URSnshn » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:44 am

I'm planning on driving from Syracuse, NY to Hauppauge, NY. Would anyone have any route advice?

Google Maps says the trip takes 5 hrs and 24 minutes but I'm wondering about reality. I'd be leaving around 6 am on a week day and returning on a Sunday.

Is taking the George Washington Bridge and Throg's Neck Bridge the best route?

I wouldn't mind taking a slightly longer route if it had a bit less traffic and congestion.

Your thoughts?

livesoft
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by livesoft » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:54 am

Just drove across GW bridge on Memorial Day. Toll is $15. I think following Google maps is your best bet. Timing is correct.
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Jack FFR1846
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:03 pm

It always depends what's going on on the road and what time and what day you're travelling. I come from the Boston area and for whatever reason, I always forget that getting through the city to the island is usually a nightmare. Last trip, I was going for business and traffic stopped because a car was on fire. I called the salesman who was meeting me at the client. He was coming up from Jersey and he was also stopped because of another car that was on fire. I took the ferry from Orient Point home. Saved me 3 hours and was a heck of a lot less stressful. There's another ferry in Bridgeport, I believe. If you want to avoid the risks, maybe consider that, even though it's a little out of your way.
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Rob5TCP
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by Rob5TCP » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:16 pm

I would compare options on Google and Waze. The time you hit the area reflects (to a degree) the amount of traffic you will encounter. You don't want to be going towards the LIE at 5:30 at night heading East. I've found usually 2pm or a bit earlier for best (or at least not the worst) traffic (for daylight hours).

Using Waze - you could look at traffic over the Tappan Zee bridge (just check Waze or goolge to see which has better times)

It is a bit out of the way, but may have better travel speeds than the G.W.
From there either the Whitestone or Throgs Neck Bridge (usually the Throgs Neck is better).

stats99
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by stats99 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:39 pm

I would check traffic scenarios in advance via Waze/Google at time you want to travel.

As far as GW Bridge. There is often 1 hour delays at the tolls. That is a bummer. I'd investigate getting across the Hudson above NYC, either Tappan Zee or even higher up.

livesoft
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by livesoft » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:58 pm

Google maps will tell you about delays crossing bridges and elsewhere.

I was in a hired car where the driver used Waze. It was hilarious how he trusted that app so much. He had no idea where he was. At least on Long Island, Waze couldn't find its way out of a paper bag. Full disclosure: Lived on Long Island many years.
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badger42
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by badger42 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:07 pm

Assuming one human....

Delta and Jetblue do that trip for 200 bucks round trip (SYR <-> JFK)

At 600mi round trip you would have to have total car expenses of under 33c/mile (versus IRS rates of 58c/mile) to break even, and that doesn't count the extra time / hassle / stress.

I'm ignoring both tolls and the LIRR ticket from JFK to Happauge, which should just about cancel each other out.

Even for two humans, drive vs fly is basically a break-even.

Unless your purpose is either moving many humans (driving is a great deal with full seats) or moving the vehicle (one-way), the best answer is "don't".

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beyou
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by beyou » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:27 pm

Good questions for such a long trip, since google maps will tell you to take a route that is minutes faster for a 5-6 hr trip.
Also maps will not have much useful to tell you about traffic 5 hours from your start.
Personally I prefer a more relaxed route if possible.

We do an Ithaca to Long Island round trip often.

While google maps tells you to go to Scranton and eventually to the GW bridge, I usually take route 17 east from Binghamton.
I follow it to 87/287 to take the old Tappan Zee (now Cuomo) bridge. Really enjoyed watching them build this bridge going back and
forth over the last few years. Love the small town stops along route 17 (eat at Liberty or Roscoe Diners). I also find the NYS Thruway more pleasant with decent rest stops along the way. So for you take 81 south to 86/17 east and watch for signs to 6/87 and the bridge.

The thing with driving through NYC is to try and time the trip around rush hour.
I try to avoid M-F 6am-10am and 4pm-8pm, as well as Sunday 4pm-10pm.
My last trip from New England to Long Island, I left MA at 9pm and arrived 2am on Long Island, to avoid traffic.
From Syracuse, I would either leave really early and try to arrive in the city around 11am, Long Island by 1pm,
or leave mid-afternoon and plan to get to the city around 10pm and Long Island 11pm+.

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TheAccountant
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by TheAccountant » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:28 pm

My advice? Find someone else to drive.
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HotRod140
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by HotRod140 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:43 pm

This is one subject I can answer. If possible try to time it so you cross the GWB at either 4am or 11am. The route is correct, but be aware after you leave the bridge, you will come to the Hell known as the Cross Bronx Expressway. Be prepared for a 5 mile journey to the Throgs Neck Bridge that will take you from 45 mins to an hour. Good luck

protagonist
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by protagonist » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:58 pm

URSnshn wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:44 am
I'm planning on driving from Syracuse, NY to Hauppauge, NY. Would anyone have any route advice?

Google Maps says the trip takes 5 hrs and 24 minutes but I'm wondering about reality. I'd be leaving around 6 am on a week day and returning on a Sunday.

Is taking the George Washington Bridge and Throg's Neck Bridge the best route?

I wouldn't mind taking a slightly longer route if it had a bit less traffic and congestion.

Your thoughts?
Put the Waze app on your cell phone and do whatever it says,
I drive from MA to NYC and back at least every other week. Traffic patterns change regularly and there are several options...the info on Waze is real-time. It rarely steers me wrong.
And of course, the obvious....avoid entering NYC during morning rush hour or leaving it during afternoon rush hour. That shouldn't be a problem if you leave Syracuse at 6 am....just don't dawdle because traffic leaving NYC can start early in the afternoon during the summer, especially on Fridays. If you leave LI on a nice Sunday you may run into a lot of beach traffic returning to the city and suburbs which can be awful.

scrabbler1
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by scrabbler1 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:02 pm

I live on LI and have driven to and from Albany several times over the years. My route may be a little too complicated for someone unfamiliar with NYC-area roads, but I found it quick and without much traffic. It was also rather scenic.

Once you get to the NYS Thruway going south from Albany (I-87), I would get off at I-84 in Newburgh and go east. It crosses the Hudson River via the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge which has far less traffic than the Tappan Zee or GWB.

From I-84 east, you go to the Taconic Parkway and go south. It's a scenic drive. You take that down to the Cross County Parkway and go east. You could instead take the Cross Westchester Expressway (I-287) and go east. From either highway, you get off at the Hutchinson River Parkway and go south. That takes you over the Whitestone Bridge. From there, keep left onto the Cross Island Parkway and go south to the Long Island Expressway east (I-495) until you get into Suffolk County.

You avoid the crowded GW and TZ Bridge and the awful Cross Bronx Expressway as well as the Thruway in the Bronx.

Starfish
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by Starfish » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:06 pm

protagonist wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:58 pm
Put the Waze app on your cell phone and do whatever it says,
This.
I really don't get these questions. There is absolutely no useful information you can get here comparing to Waze with real time traffic info and rerouting.

Starfish
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by Starfish » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:11 pm

badger42 wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:07 pm
Assuming one human....

Delta and Jetblue do that trip for 200 bucks round trip (SYR <-> JFK)

At 600mi round trip you would have to have total car expenses of under 33c/mile (versus IRS rates of 58c/mile) to break even, and that doesn't count the extra time / hassle / stress.
IMO, regardless of cost, going through airport and multiple transfers (home -> airport -> bus -> LIRR -> LIRR station to final destination) is much more stressful than a 300 miles drive. The time is also similar or worse with the plane if the trip is done avoiding peak times. Just not worth it.
Last edited by Starfish on Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

eddot98
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by eddot98 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:37 pm

URSnshn wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:44 am
I'm planning on driving from Syracuse, NY to Hauppauge, NY. Would anyone have any route advice?

Google Maps says the trip takes 5 hrs and 24 minutes but I'm wondering about reality. I'd be leaving around 6 am on a week day and returning on a Sunday.

Is taking the George Washington Bridge and Throg's Neck Bridge the best route?

I wouldn't mind taking a slightly longer route if it had a bit less traffic and congestion.

Your thoughts?
I drove from western Massachusetts to Hauppauge many times for meetings. Our preferred route was the Taconic Parkway south to I-84 east to I-684 south to the Hutchinson River Parkway south to the Whitestone Bridge. Then the Cross Island Parkway east to the Northern State Parkway east to Route 454.

From Syracuse, you could take I-81 south to Route 17 south to I-84 east to I-684 south, then follow our route above. On weekdays, we planned to be at the Whitestone Bridge around 10:00 am and that worked out well. We never left Hauppauge after 2:00 pm on weekdays, which also worked out. I have nothing to offer on leaving Long Island on a Sunday.

Tolls are $1.50 on I-84 eastbound only over the Newburgh Beacon Bridge, then $8.50 on the Whitestone Bridge. More importantly, unless you run into construction or an accident, until you get south of White Plains, there shouldn’t be any traffic issues.

We avoid the George Washington Bridge, the Cross Bronx Expressway, and the Long Island Expressway as there can be traffic jams at any time of the day and night on those facilities.

scrabbler1
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by scrabbler1 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:26 pm

eddot98 wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:37 pm
URSnshn wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:44 am
I'm planning on driving from Syracuse, NY to Hauppauge, NY. Would anyone have any route advice?

Google Maps says the trip takes 5 hrs and 24 minutes but I'm wondering about reality. I'd be leaving around 6 am on a week day and returning on a Sunday.

Is taking the George Washington Bridge and Throg's Neck Bridge the best route?

I wouldn't mind taking a slightly longer route if it had a bit less traffic and congestion.

Your thoughts?
I drove from western Massachusetts to Hauppauge many times for meetings. Our preferred route was the Taconic Parkway south to I-84 east to I-684 south to the Hutchinson River Parkway south to the Whitestone Bridge. Then the Cross Island Parkway east to the Northern State Parkway east to Route 454.

From Syracuse, you could take I-81 south to Route 17 south to I-84 east to I-684 south, then follow our route above. On weekdays, we planned to be at the Whitestone Bridge around 10:00 am and that worked out well. We never left Hauppauge after 2:00 pm on weekdays, which also worked out. I have nothing to offer on leaving Long Island on a Sunday.

Tolls are $1.50 on I-84 eastbound only over the Newburgh Beacon Bridge, then $8.50 on the Whitestone Bridge. More importantly, unless you run into construction or an accident, until you get south of White Plains, there shouldn’t be any traffic issues.

We avoid the George Washington Bridge, the Cross Bronx Expressway, and the Long Island Expressway as there can be traffic jams at any time of the day and night on those facilities.
Yes, the Northern State Parkway would be better than the LIE when getting off the Cross Island Parkway. BTW the Northern State is called the Grand Central Parkway when getting off the Cross Island, then becomes the Northern State. And, OP, if you need to switch to the LIE eastbound later on, you can do so just after Exit 36.

With cashless tolling at the Whitestone Bridge, you won't get delayed at a toll plaza (you move at highway speed). I don't believe the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge has cashless tolling, but the traffic is much lighter on that crossing.

cableguy
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by cableguy » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:56 pm

I’ve done this drive many times. I drive down to Roscoe Diner on 17. Take a quick pit stop. Gas station and mini mart right across the street from Roscoe Diner. Then....take 17 to 87 to 287 over Tappanzee (Mario Cuomo) Bridge. Stay on 287 east until Hutchinson River Parkway South. Take that south to Whitestone Bridge to Cross Island Parkway to LIE East. A few of my rules.

Avoid GW Bridge.
Avoid Cross Bronx Expresway.
Avoid Tappanzee Bridge to LIE from 6AM - 10AM and 4PM to 7PM.

Good luck. Safe travels.

HereToLearn
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by HereToLearn » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:01 pm

A couple of people have suggested avoiding the NYC area from 4pm-7pm. I would bump 4pm back to 2pm as the latest time you want to cross the TZ or GWB. While those bridges will may be fine at 3pm, Long Island will not be OK at 4pm, so you want to get out ahead of the nightmare Long Island traffic.

I would not depart too late from Hauppauge on a Sunday afternoon as you will be competing with the beach traffic. Not sure what departure time to advise, but earlier is better.

bck63
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by bck63 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:00 am

I take the Thruway to the Cross County to the Hutchinson River Pkwy, over the Whitestone Br, then the Cross Island Pkwy to the Southern State Pkwy east.

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URSnshn
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Re: Travel Advice driving through NYC to Long Island

Post by URSnshn » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:18 pm

Thank you everyone for your suggestions, tips and experience - they are very helpful and useful even though I use Google Maps and Waze. I'm looking forward to re-reading your comments and checking out the routes and suggestions.

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