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Hello - Can anyone give me some inisght on the traffic at the more crowded times? Is it more crowded if one leaves at 4 pm or at 6 pm on a Friday evening? Is 6 still too early? If we want to drive out Friday and can't leave until after, say 3 pm - what are the best/worst times to do it?
We used to take the train but now with 2 toddlers, am trying to work out the best times to leave. TIA!!
6 is still too early. there might not be traffic once you hit the hamptons, but you will certainly be stuck in traffic through queens and nassau. if you must leave after 3pm on a friday, i would not leave before 7.
we have a kid and drive out there almost every weekend in the summer. we try to leave either friday morning, and when we can, thurs morning/afternoon.
By 4pm on a Friday the traffic is nuts before you even get to the tunnel.
That adds time right there.
6pm is better but why not wait until 7pm. It's not like you are rushing out there to be in time for parties and to start your night of dinner/nightclubs. You have 2 toddlers ;)
After 8pm or before 8am.
After 8pm should be pretty smooth driving.
I don't know from 8am for anything. I would only leave before 8am if the city was being evacuated.
If you're not on the road by 2:00 PM, just screw driving and head to the heliport. Otherwise, after 8:00 PM.
I don't take helicopters. Not ever not even for free.
I would only take a helicopter if the city was being evacuated.
Had a hedgefund friend taking the helicopter to the hamptons 4/5 years ago every week.
$300 each way per seat.
THought that was pretty reasonable
If you're making that kind of money, and it really behooves you, business wise, to stay in Manhattan until the last possible minute (and even early cocktails) while still needing to do late cocktails/dinner in the Hamptons, then $300 is pretty much just like cab fare for most mere mortals.
The traffic in Queens does not dissipate until at least 7, but it is bearable after 7 and usually non-existent after 8. By August, when half the world is on vacation, you can leave at 6. There will be traffic, but manageable (well, maybe not with two toddlers in the back seat). $300 is a bit cheap for the chopper. It is more like $500. Sea plane is about the same
Sport, wouldn't be surprised.
It was 4/5 years ago.
Gas was under $3 a gallon and it's likely he had a 10 trip plus package.
You might be better off on the train. Toddlers LOVE trains and the trip will take the same amount of time it always did. (Yes, I do know what it is like going through the train with toddlers. I have two myself. And another on the way - What was I thinking?!)
The only other suggestion is take a car and have a lot of patience on your part and some DVD players for the kids.
I'm all for seaplanes. Love them, if they crash into the sea they float. In warm seasonal water better chance of arriving alive.
Keep those kids quiet if you take the on the train!!
Just kidding. Ive raised a few myself, am quite tolerant of kids, and have noise canceliing headphones. And I prefer the Jitney. Getting to Penn sux as does the station itself.
One of my first flights on a seaplane was down in St. Thomas decades ago.
"The Bomba Charger" to Tortola.
Took a seaplane to Key West once during a bad thunderstorm.
Between the prop noise, the thunder, and the black clouds that looked like flak, I felt like I was on the Memphis Belle.
20 years of experience pre and post HOV lane and experimenting with all hours all year long:
1) Agree: leave by 2pm or wait until 8pm
2) If leaving at 8pm, plan on a 2-1/4 hour trip from GV to East Hampton with one stop for either gas or Starbucks or the like.
3) If traveling past Southampton, learn the back roads so you can avoid Rte 27 between the towns if it is backed up.
truthskr: The "Bomba Charger" had a crank for the pilot to crank the gear down.
kyle: Jerry Delafamina's daughter published a guide to taking the back roads a few years ago.
>kyle: Jerry Delafamina's daughter published a guide to taking the back roads a few years ago.
I was furious when she did that. Backroads were so wide open before that.
Of course the subsequent GPS in every car and the 400% boom in houses since the 90s didn't help either.
I know, truhskr.
We once went to Marty Richards' house for one of his great parties. Took a bus full of Broadway actors/singers to do a show for him and have a nice day at the beach.
Major traffic problems and Marty gave up on us getting there on time. I was the navigator through the back roads, we got there not too late. The fun was driving the back roads with a bus full of mostly black people. We got lots of looks. They must have thought we were bringing in household help by the busload. Then we hit the beach behind his house. We had some fun.
If I couldn't leave by 2 pm, I left after 8 pm on Fridays. I left once at 3 pm and another time at 6 pm and the 1-3/4-hr drive became a 3 to 4-hr drive.
Ask Bloomie Babes if you can borrow his private chopper.
It's very fuel efficient, as it's the 1st of its kind to run solely on sugary soft drink fuel.
Before you can even say "10th Term - you'll be there!
walpurgis isn't here on this street very often but he drops in with a good one now and then.
Bloomie Babes would be surprised to see black folk float and shocked to see they can swim.
Thanks all for your insight. We ended up being at 22nd and 1st Ave at 6 pm so decided to just risk it and go then, rather then going back cross town to our apt. The drive out was surprisingly easy - congestion in Queens but smooth after. Took 2 hr and 45 min to Amagansett, including 1 bathroom./gas stop. I think a rain-forecasted weekend in June is not a great indicator but our experience was quick, gratefully.
So - as long as we are discussing it - when do you all drive back? On sunnday days, do you leave at a different time? Thanks!
left east hampton at 7.30pm yesterday. I was back in battery park at 9:45pm
Sunday from Amagansett is a crap shoot. If it is overcast or rainy, people space themselves out all day so you can really leave any time you like. If it is nice, everyone lingers so leaving in late afternoon up to 7pm is peak. We like to have dinner and just leave around 7-8pm. Get you to NYC at about 10:30pm. The traffic is worst between Bridgehampton and Southampton so do back roads as far as you can. We go south of the highway to Watermill and then cut north of the highway until we reconnect with Rte 27 just before the Lobster Inn. The other hotspot is LIE Exits 39-24 or some section of that stretch. Nothing to be done since the GCP and Northern suck just as much typically. Otherwise it is pretty smooth sailing. Exit 63 is good for gas refills--the station just north of the highway has the cheapest gas usually. But if anyone else has good cheaper gas location, I'd love to hear it.
anything to do/eat at hampton?
Kyle - you are the best, thank you so much! You should write a book of all of your advice - from buying a toilet to cheap gas on the LIE!
Lately I have been doing 27 to so state to cip to gr central to lie, to avoid the traffic on lie from glen cove into queens as much as possible and have rarely hit traffic leaving between 3-8pm.
I have also found friday night eastbound traffic to be lingering far later than i recall, i have left betw 8-9pm and still had significant traffic through queens
For me even the worst trip doesn't seem so awful since I drove it in the 1990s when they were building the HOV lanes and it was HORRIBLE!!!! Before HOV it was awful, and during endless years of HOV it was awful. A poorly times trip or day like Mother's Day could mean as much as nearly 5 hours of traffic. Deadly. I was young and tolerant. Couldn't do it anymore. HOV really did help. So did the changes to "the merge" on east bound 27 which used to back cars up for miles. All in all things have improved immensely since the early 1990s. And honestly, my brother in the Catskills suffers trying to cross the Hudson, my friends in many Berkshire towns have a longer drive at faster speeds which still takes longer than my 2.25-2.5 hours, and the Jersey Shore is...well, I don't know; not for me. The Brewster/Bedford/etc area is fine but I grew up close enough to there that it just feels like going to suburbia and back to H.S. for me. Connecticut is a nowhere land that I really don't want to find myself in after a 2 hour drive--and like Bedford, I spent too much time growing up in many southern Connecticut towns so they aren't all that great seeming to me--I don't miss them. And that leaves...the Hamptons. With all their drawbacks, share of obnoxious people in really expensive cars, ugly new construction, summer congestion, they are still my choice when weighed against all the alternatives including just staying in NYC. Fortunately, if you live in NYC you do have all these options, so no one has to go east. We all make our choices, and if we are very lucky and work very hard there is much to choose from.
Any restaurant recommendations for a nice lunch in South or EH? I am taking my own parents out for fathers day (his first trip to the Hamptons) out on Sunday for lunch - no toddlers! TIA!
To add to the question - what's the best route through Queens and LI to get to the Hamptons? LIE? Northern State PKWY? Southern State PKWY?
The strangest thing - I find if I leave at 7 pm Friday, I get there at 10pm. If I leave at 8:00 pm, I get there at 10.
JWL has entered the Manhattan-to-Hamptons time warp.
Fridays are such a disaster, usually i wait til at least 8, but thinking of trying to go early today (3-4ish). was going to try queens blvd to gcp to meadowbrook to ssp, has anyone done that on friday afternoon? i just can't take queens lie traffic anymore
If leaving at thattime, there is not a good solution. Gcp is a mess. Ssp is a mess. Queens blvd is slow and if you take lie to get to it then you still have traffic up to exit 18 or whatever it is. I just find it shatters my nerves whereas if i suck it up and just wait until 8 to leave its pretty easy. Getting there 3 hous earlier by leaving at 4 isnt worth it to me. I cant deal with 3.5 hour trip to EH
Haven't your nerves already been shattered by crossing 14th street?
^ h'burg, that's the funniest thing I have *ever* read on this forum. Thanks for the Friday afternoon laugh. :)
Silver's? It's not the fanciest, but it is a tradition ...
omg. if i had to deal with 14th St AND the drive to the Hamptons in one day I'd need thorazine just to get through it even if the drug makes me drool a little. In fact, 14 St between B'way and University is worse than anything the LIE has ever done to me. Why did you have to go and bring all this up!?! I'm gonna take the thorazine anyway now that i'm all riled.
You need drugs to get by?
With young kids, I find leaving around 8:30pm is perfect. They barely have time to whine before the hour and the engine purr put them to sleep, the traffic is much nicer, and I love driving at night.
well, i left at 3pm on friday, 1 hour to ext 23 and my pregnant wife already had to go to the bathroom, i was borderline suicidal, so got off at 23 (went to what used to be the palace diner but apparently now is just another chinese restaurant) then took side streets through the rest of queens and got back on lie at exit 34 or so, thinking the hov lane could be a friend, it was not. there was traffic all the way to arount exit 62. all told about 3:15 to quogue. it was painful but by 630 i was absorbing alcohol with the sun up so i wasn't complaining (any more)
Kyle - Maybe I can help you out for a change ... we just drive up 6th to 23rd. Sure it sucks but it sucks MUCH less than 14th Street.
Thanks Ali - will check it out!
I'm liking red hook a bit. I think train access is key, and it is close to Rhineback and poughkeepsie for the trains. I'm thinking being just above metro north would make it a little more relaxed. And you can buy acres for $200k.
Anybody want to play devil's advocate?
if the train is important, draw a circle around wassaic...last stop on the harlem line.
A decent trick on the way out is to take the Triboro (RFK) Bridge to Grand Central to Van Wyck/Whitestone Exp (678N)to the Cross Island to the LIE. While it is a little roundabout, it get you to the LIE at exit 31, past the queens mess, and about a mile from the HOV lane start. Big time saver. Usually get from City to EH in 2 hours, but I agree with everyone leave early or late. If you have no choice, my route will save you 30 mins or more.
Nobody beats the Van Wyck.
Yes, apparently the Palace is history: http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-12-28/news/30566862_1_downtown-flushing-area-myra-baird-herce-flushing-chamber
Rivas77: sorry for your awful trip. That's why we don't leave between 2pm and 7:30pm from GV. No point. Last Friday we got going at 8pm and pulled into our home in EH at 10:15pm. Speedy trip even with bit a slow moving traffic before the Kew Gardens interchange on the LIE/GCP.
We made the mistake of leaving EH yesterday (a sunny Sunday) at 7PM.....not much traffic until exit 47 on LIE.....crawled for almost 2 hours to exit 25.
Total time to Manhattan: 3 hours 45 minutes
(btw, no accidents or other events.....just lots of volume)
Yjbo: never underestimate messy traffic of mother's and father's days
Kyle: of course you are right....we assumed that Sunday traffic in June wouldn't be too bad, but Father's Day is a killer
yjbo- try southern state next time, i find it much better than lie on sundays
Somewhereelse: Yes being on the East side of the river is convenient for train service and you can find relatively inexpensive properties. I am in Ulster County and while there is no train service past Harriman, the bus alternatives are very good. From a car perspective it's not bad either because, if traffic is bad coming down the Thruway, you can cut across Poughkeepsie or Newburgh-Beacon to the Taconic which typically moves well all the time.
>you can cut across Poughkeepsie or Newburgh-Beacon to the Taconic which typically moves well all the time.
And you can be in C0lumbia C0unty in no time!
Actually you'd be in Dutchess County in no time but why split hairs.
I'm outraged that the Long Island messed with the venerable Cannonball run. It was fun to board it early at Hunterspoint, find just the right seat without much competition, and watched the vermin scramble at Jamaica, a couple of sidecars later.
Now it leaves from the Pennsylvania Station. Yawn.
At least there's still Cannonball Reserve, even though it's not as fun and gets a grodier, Jitneyish, crowd.
Anyway, the Hooterville Cannonball is the dog's bollocks ... I reckon the Long Island felt they could never quite compete. Hooterville has the Shady Rest Hotel, after all. What does the Hamptons have?
I do not usually leave after 2pm on a summer Friday or before 8pm. We have two little kids and the night drive is cool because they just sleep the whole way.
HOWEVER, I have found a little secret, which I call "the eye of the storm". Occasionally I have pulled out at 5:30 or 6pm and have found that the traffic wasn't bad. I think it's the heart of rush hour and so NO ONE is leaving at that time. They all avoid the after-work time frame and leave before or after.
It doesn't always work but I have had some surprisingly good drives from midtown to SH.
Our default summer route is 59th street bridge (upper level) to Queens Blvd, turn right at 34th Street, left on Hunters Point Blvd and right on Greenpoint to the LIE/BQE onramp. There is a good gas station at the corner of Hunters Point and Greenpoint.
Then I take BQE NORTH toward LaGuardia (not the LIE) and then pass the airport and down across the LIE to the GCP. Usually take the Cross Island to the Southern State to the Montauk Highway (27) from there.
Advantages of this route are (a) avoids LIE traffic entirely, (b) no trucks on the parkways, (c) no Queens Blvd or LIE feeder roads with streetlights and (d) gets me onto Hwy 27 and avoids any delays in Manorville or on CR111.
What about going back to manhattan on a Sunday?
Any thoughts on timing for a Thursday night? I assume it will be better than anytime Friday, but could be wrong.