Dangerous Roads: New Survey Says Many NYC Highways Not Marked Properly

Drivers Especially Concerned About Disappearing Lines

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — On Thursday CBS 2 got a first look at a new survey that says many of our highways lack the most basic safety marks.

Reporter Lou Young took to the streets in a Mobile 2 Unit to see for himself.

Inbound on the Grand Central Parkway, we’re playing a dangerous game of find the traffic lane.  City motorists know it well.

“Especially at night when you can’t see the lines, you, you just don’t know where you are,” Roslyn resident Gary Simon said.

RELATED: NYC Councilman: Baghdad’s Roads Are Better Than Many In NYC

A new survey about to be released by the Automobile Club of America reveals major marking problems on city-maintained highways — spots where the lanes seem to fade and vanish.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane spoke with drivers in Midtown

“It’s hard to know why they’re letting it go. You’d think these painted markings would last for years and years and so with faded lane markings and missing lane markings that would mean there’s been years and years of neglect,” said Robert Sinclair of AAA New York.

Concrete sections are in the worst shape. You often have to concentrate to see out where the lanes are. AAA said it’s not a matter of rocket science. It said the city has its priorities in the wrong place.

“At a time when they’re paying so much attention to pedestrian malls that millions of dollars and time and attention are being spent on those sorts of things, that millions of dollars of time and attention need to be spent on these basics of road safety,” Sinclair told Young.

The survey was taken last month, but drivers Young spoke with said the problem is not new. They said they worry most about out-of-towners suddenly having to navigate without guidance.

“I’m pretty used to it myself, but, you know, a lot of people, they’re just all over the road because of that, and you got to watch out for them, you know?” limousine driver Glen Hazim said.

The Department of Transportation said the rough winter is to blame for the deterioration of the markings and said the roads will be painted again as we approach summer. AAA suggested the city use more durable materials next time.

One driver in Midtown told WCBS 880 that New Yorkers can handle almost anything on the road.

“There’s really no structure as far as lanes and all that,” the man said. “Everybody follows each other and the next thing you know, you’re converging and that’s when everybody bottlenecks.”

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Lou Young
  • Rumble Stripe

    Try durable pavememt markings formulated with Degaroute brand resin for long lasting lines.

  • sasosafetysigns

    Driving a vehicle is like a test in which we have to pass that test. If we will not able to pass that test certainly we have pay for that may be physical damage or any other loss will be there. We should drive the vehicle after getting all the information about Traffic rules and regulations.

  • Sam

    Too bad that we all pay Registration Fee for our Car, NOT the bicycle……..
    Yet, they put all the money to mark the bike lane all around NYC, but all mark are gone quicky, some peoiple making a good money with the bad quality paint, they such know someone in the City HALL to got the job, I278, Belt PKY, and most the highway without the mark of the lane, too bad to all New Yorker.
    somebody have to wake up.

  • http://zagwee.wordpress.com zagwee

    Yeah you would think they would spend a little more time and effort on the road signs around here wouldnt you? Kinda crazy at times.


  • Tom B

    When I fly into NYC, I don’t look forward to the drive from JFK to mid NJ – the lack of road markings as well as the physical state of the roads is not something I look forward to after 9 hours of flying!

    As for EWR, I avoid the 1 & 9 (the 9 is for the number of potholes each mile?) as much as I possible can and get on the turnpike or parkway ASAP!

  • Ralph on LI

    I cannot imagine why the POLICE aren’t demanding that these conditions be corrected. I have tried to contact officials in many LOCAL villages and towns in Nassau County where this problem is rampant also, The people answering the phone act as though YOU are are a criminal, and seem to have no idea how to correct the situation, and make no effort to correct it Other areas around the country have reflectors embedded in the roadway surface for excellent visibility at night and in rainy conditions. New York is literally in the dark ages when it comes to motorist safety. Shame on US for not demanding MORE from our so-called safety officials in the Highway Departments.

  • Dale Auburn

    We all see this all the time: New projects are “sexy” and get all the attention and funding, while routine maintenance gets short shrift. A basic rule of politics is that nobody gets their faces in the papers by changing light bulbs (or in this case, repainting pavement).

  • ksnjny

    why are the potholes not covered in this survey? anybody drive on Williamsburg Bridge into Manhattan would know how bad the holes are there.
    This is also not just in NY but in NJ too – anybody had experience on Route 1-9 by Newark Airport would know. I lost two tires and rims last month to a big hole – and despite filing an online complaint to NJ DOT, that hole is still there at the same spot!

  • QueensGirl

    This problem is not new, and has been getting WORSE. Try driving on the Grand Central on a rainy night. Good luck staying in your own lane while watching that others don’t swerve into yours.

    • QueensGirl

      Forgot to add that it’s not just city highways… it’s also heavily-traveled city streets like Queens, Woodhaven, and Crossbay Boulevards.

  • Ronny

    It’s very plain Bloomberg and his idiot traffic commisioner definately are ignoreing vehicular traffic in favor of bicycle lanes on roads to narrow fror then and worst those stupid sidewalk cafees in the village and midtown. Thank god they both will be gone soon. But if there should be an accident at on of these unmarked parts of the road, the city and Bloomberg will be responsible and another law suite our taxes will pay.

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