We collected data from Bing Maps, tracking driving times from 11 different New York neighborhoods1 to the 3 major New York-area airports. Read on to learn how to avoid being stuck in traffic at the worst possible time:
Getting to JFK at rush hour is a nightmare
During the evening rush hour, travel times to JFK are nearly double what they would be without traffic. In particular, if you're leaving between the hours of 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., expect some gridlock (or perhaps consider the subway)?
While LGA and EWR are not as vulnerable to the whims of traffic
You're still liable to get caught up in traffic on your way to LaGuardia or Newark, but the spike in rush hour travel times is not nearly as severe as it is for JFK.
Evening rush hour is much worse than morning - but traffic picks up as early as 5 a.m.
You might think you can avoid it if you leave early enough, but these charts show how, for each airport, you're likely to hit some traffic as early as 5 or 6 a.m.
Weekends are much lighter, but rush hour still exists
Traffic is far worse during the week than on Saturdays and Sundays, but you should still build in some buffer time if heading to the airport on a weekend in the afternoon or evening.
The most nightmarish travel day we collected? February 14th, traveling from the Village
In general, taking a car from the West Village is a rough proposition if you're going to JFK or La Guardia, but this day was particularly dreadful. Those who left for JFK at around 4 p.m. would have arrived nearly 2 hours later.
Of the neighborhoods we tracked, Williamsburg has the most unpredictable travel times
A bit isolated geographically, travel times from Williamsburg had the highest variance of any neighborhood - mainly for JFK and EWR.
Here are the average travel times by neighborhood
For most of the neighborhoods, LaGuardia is the most convenient, except for FiDi, Hudson Yards, and the West Village.
See your neighborhood's travel times by time of day
The charts below show the average travel times by day from each neighborhood to each airport, plus the highest times we observed, so you can plan accordingly.
Want to get the data yourself?
Readypipe users can use the Github Gist below to collect this data themselves. Readypipe is an all-in-one platform to run your web scrapers: just write the logic and it handles everything else. Readypipe is used by everyone from 3-person companies to 3,000-person companies: you can request access here.
Footnotes1. The neighborhoods are: Downtown Brooklyn; Financial District (One World Trade); Harlem (125th & Malcolm X); Hudson Yards; Long Island City; Midtown (Bryant Park); Prospect Park (Grand Army); Upper East Side (The Met); Upper West Side (Natural History Museum); Williamsburg (Bedford & N 7th); West Village (Christopher & 7th Ave); ↩
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