Avoid Traffic George Washington Bridge

How to Avoid Traffic at the George Washington Bridge

The George Washington Bridge, or GW, was opened in 1931. It is part of the Interstate-95, it links New York and New Jersey, and it is located in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, crosses the Hudson River, over to Fort Lee in New Jersey. The GW is the most direct route between New York and New Jersey and can often be a source of frustration for commuters. If you have a discount car rental Manhattan vehicle, don’t let the irritation from everyday drivers seep into your vacation. Avoid travel delays with our helpful hints!

Let’s Start With the Basics

A large reason as to why the bridge is so congested is due to the toll booths, which can cause back-up while people wait to pay. If you want to stay in New York or New Jersey for an extended period of time and plan on using the George Washington Bridge on a regular basis, get an EZ Pass for your discount car rental Manhattan vehicle. You can purchase your EZ Pass from the New Jersey Customer Service Center. Just mount the EZ Pass on the windshield of your discount car rental Manhattan vehicle and you can use the EZ Pass lanes which automatically deducts the toll from your pass automatically.

The next piece of advice is to pick and choose your travel times. New York City traffic is always busy, but even more so around rush hour. If you choose to drive your discount car rental from Manhattan during rush hour times (between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday) then be prepared for traffic jams.

Finally, choose what level of the bridge you drive on carefully. General advice states that if you travel on the bridge’s lower level when heading southbound to New Jersey and driving on the upper level when heading north to Manhattan is the fastest way to go. Whatever you do, don’t get caught going the wrong way!

Map It

If the road ahead is jammed, forge a new one. Frequently a detour saves you time waiting in congested traffic and is often quicker than the most direct route. This is especially true in a big city like New York. Pick up the pace with your discount rental car Manhattan vehicle and investigate alternate routes, such as:

  • If you want to avoid NYC entirely: Travel over the Tappan Zee Bridge when driving southbound from upstate New York or New England. Located approximately 40 miles North of the GW, the Tappan Zee Bridge is part of Interstate-287. This route allows you to skip New York City altogether.
  • If you want to avoid the bridge: Take Interstate-287, if coming from the western bank of the Hudson River. Interstate-287 leads to the Garden State Parkway, which reconnects you with Interstate-95 in the Palisades Park area of New Jersey, directly outside NYC.
  • If you want to avoid truck delays: Travel the Garden State Parkway when going northbound into New York State, or New England. The Garden State Parkway is a truck-free road that brings you to Interstate-287 and the Tappan Zee Bridge.

However, do exercise caution when choosing alternate routes. Unless you know Manhattan very well, it can be risky to choose tunnel alternatives, like the Lincoln Tunnel or the Holland Tunnels. Manhattan traffic comes with its own host of issues, and these tunnels do not offer any real short cuts around the George Washington Bridge.

For more information about getting a discount rental car Manhattan vehicle, check out the Action Car Rental economy vehicle fleet!

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