Driving and Parking in new York City

An article as brief as this does not allow for an exhaustive treatise on the perils of New York City driving and parking, but rest assured driving in the five boroughs requires watchful eyes, sharp reflexes and an abundance of patience. And the parking situation is not only erratic but murderously expensive. In Manhattan, for instance, monthly parking arrangements for individuals often cost more than one thousand dollars.

Still, I do have one anecdotal but valuable parking tip for the traveler who insists on braving the traffic. This suggestion works best if one enters the city via the George Washington Bridge. Get on southbound 9A-a thoroughfare known at various points as Henry Hudson Parkway and the West Side Highway-and exit at first opportunity. As the ramp descends, Fort Washington Park, a long, banana-shaped expanse of grass and bicycle paths nestled along the Hudson River, comes into view. Motorists can park there free of charge until 9:00pm. From there, it is a relatively short walk to the 174th Street subway station, although one can also opt to take a stroll into nearby Harlem and pick up a taxi.

If one chooses this option, it may be wise to return to the car before sunset. The Bronx’s reputation as a violent, dangerous place is rather exaggerated-it’s probably not as bad as most visitors think-but it isn’t the most salubrious locale either and strangers in town might be unsettled by walking the streets after dark. But don’t let insecurity prevent you from having a good time. Go to the big city and enjoy yourself!