Summary & Quick Facts
- NYC’s recent Clear Intersections Initiative seeks to reduce traffic congestion by enforcing “blocking the box” regulations.
- 50 key, high-traffic intersections will have additional officers to regulate and cite drivers who block the box.
- Blocking the box can either result in a moving violation or parking ticket, this is up to the discretion of the traffic enforcement officer.
- The penalty for blocking the box can result in a fine of up to $150 and potentially 2 points added to your license.
The City Initiative To Stop Drivers From Blocking the Box
After a lull in enforcement, the city’s “Don’t Block the Box” initiative is back like it never left. Drivers in New York City can expect a steep traffic ticket if they do not adhere to the freshly enforced rules that regulate blocking the box. The increased aggressive move to enforce this traffic rule is part of an effort to reduce congestion around New York City. So what does this mean for city drivers out there?
Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg announced in a recent news conference that the city will closely regulate 50 high-traffic intersections across the five boroughs. This new city initiative is called “Clear Intersections.” According to Mayor de Blasio, the “Clear Intersections” effort is part of a multi-pronged city plan to reduce the ever-growing problem of traffic congestion. This plan includes other citywide tactics to address the problem such as the Clear Lanes, Clear Curbs, Clear Zones and Clear Highways initiatives.
The goal of this broad city initiative is to keep traffic moving, ensure intersections are kept clear of congestion, limit curbside access in crowded corridors, clear curbs during rush hour and bring coordinated attention to recurring traffic choke spots on local highways.
“Today, DOT and NYPD are bringing back ‘don’t block the box’ to 50 busy intersections around the City,” Trottenberg said during a recent news conference announcing the new NYC traffic initiatives. “We know traffic can be frustrating, but blocking the box just causes gridlock for everybody — bus riders, pedestrians, cyclists and your fellow motorists. Please be courteous and safe — and don’t block the box.”
But What Is Blocking The Box Exactly?
The City defines blocking the box in section 4-08 (e)12 of the NYC Traffic Rules and regulations:
(12) Obstructing traffic at intersection. When vehicular traffic is stopped on the opposite side of an intersection, no person shall drive a vehicle into such intersection, except when making a turn, unless there is adequate space on the opposite side of the intersection to accommodate the vehicle the person is driving, notwithstanding the indication of a traffic control signal which would permit the person to proceed.
Blocking the box, also known as gridlock, occurs when a car in a queue of traffic moves into a street’s intersection and stops. Often cars are stuck in the middle of the intersection due to traffic congestion ahead of them. This causes additional traffic congestion. Why? Well, cars that are moving perpendicular to your direction are blocked from passing through the intersection because your car is stuck right in the middle. Blocking the box is one of the more unique NYC traffic rules because a driver can either receive a parking ticket or moving violation. This is up to the discretion of the traffic agent enforcing the regulation.
Blocking The Box Will Land You A Ticket
The program will hire 50 additional NYPD traffic agents to “aggressively” cite drivers who fail to follow NYC traffic rules at 50 key crossings around the five boroughs. The city’s Department of Transportation also added updated traffic signs and freshly painted traffic markings to these 50 key intersections to clearly denote when drivers are in the prohibited space of the intersection. Blocking the box violates code 9 in the NYC Violation, Codes, Fines & Regulation:
|Code 09||Blocking an Intersection: Obstructing traffic at an intersection also known as “Blocking the Box”.||$115|
The parking ticket carries a fine of $115 while the moving violations carry a maximum fine of $150 as well as 2 points added to your license.
The best way to avoid these tickets is to just be patient and always wait for the intersection to clear before moving into it. If you have received a parking ticket for blocking the box, don’t let it sit there and rack up late fees! Learn the best and safest ways to pay your parking ticket.
This is a map of the 50 intersections, with a full list below:
- Broadway and West 57th Street
- Dyer Avenue and West 41th Street
- Fort Washington Avenue and West 165th Street
- Third Avenue and East 36th Street
- Broadway and Spring Street
- Broadway and Broome Street
- Delancey Street and Bowery
- Delancey and Allen streets
- Ninth Avenue and West 207th Street
- 10th Avenue and West 40th Street
- West Side Highway / 12th Avenue and West 51st Street
- Broadway and Canal Street
- Canal and Centre streets
- Delancey and Essex streets
- Hudson Street and Beach Street/Ericsson Place
- Third Avenue and East 57th Street
- Third Avenue and East 59th Street
- 10th Avenue and West 41th Street
- Third Avenue and East 58th Street
- Third Avenue and East 35th Street
- Broadway and Chambers Street
- Broadway and West 66th Street
- Amsterdam Avenue and West 181th Street
- Third Avenue and Watts Street
- Canal Street and West Broadway
- Hudson and Laight streets
- Hudson and Vestry streets
- Queens Boulevard and Skillman Avenue
- Northern and Queens boulevards
- Queens Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue
- Astoria Boulevard and 31st Street
- 21st Street and 49th Avenue
- Laurel Hill Boulevard and 65th Place
- Queens Midtown Expressway *N S/R and Grand Avenue
- Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue
- 71st Avenue and Austin Street
- 37st Avenue and 138rd Street
- Metropolitan Avenue and 60th Street
- Queens Plaza South (SR) and 28th Street
- 135 Street and Third Avenue
- Flatbush Avenue and Eighth Avenue
- Atlantic and Pennsylvania avenues
- 86th Street and Seventh Avenue
- Tillary and Jay streets
- Flatbush and Myrtle avenues
- Narrows Road South and Hylan Boulevard westbound at Steuben Street
- Narrows Road South and Hylan Boulevard
- College of Staten Island and Victory Boulevard
- Narrows Road South and Fingerboard Road
- Narrows Road North and Fingerboard Road