How Bad Is Bronx Traffic?

Drivers in the Bronx lose around 123 hours per year in traffic jams, and the New York City metro ranks number two for worst traffic congestion in the US.
Written by Kate Kirby
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
New York City, including the Bronx borough, is ranked number two for worst traffic jams in the country. According to a study on congestion in the NYC metro area, drivers lose around 123 hours per year sitting in traffic.
Home to the Yankee Stadium, the largest urban zoo, and the birthplace of rap and hip-hop, the Bronx, New York is an iconic and multifaceted city that draws in many visitors and new residents every year. As one of NYC’s five boroughs, this urban area stays busy—and so does the traffic. 
We'll run through everything you need to know about traffic in the Bronx, including what makes it so congested and how to best navigate the city. 
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How bad is Bronx traffic?

The annual
INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard
New York City
as the third most congested city in the world and the second-worst for traffic jams in the United States. With that many people on the road, drivers end up spending 123 hours per year in rush-hour traffic
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, that number is actually 20 hours less than what it was in 2019. However, the number of hours lost in traffic congestion did increase from 2020 to 2021, and as more people return to work at the office, traffic jams and delays will continue.
Hours lost to congestion
143 hours
96 hours
123 hours
MORE: New York Electric Vehicle Incentives

Why is Bronx traffic so bad?

Traffic jams can be caused by many factors, such as population size, the efficiency of the infrastructure, accident rates, and more. Below are some reasons for traffic congestion in the Bronx. 

Population size 

New York City is made up of five boroughs—the Bronx,
, Manhattan,
Staten Island
, and
. The Bronx alone has a population of nearly 1.5 million people, and New York City as a whole is home to about 8.8 million. With that many people moving about the city, delays are a common occurrence. 

Major chokepoints

A handful of roads and highways running through the Bronx are infamous for causing traffic delays. If you’re in the city during rush hour, you might want to consider avoiding Bronxdale Ave, Whiteplains Rd, Cruger Ave, and Muliner Ave if at all possible. 
The Cross Bronx Expressway (1-95) is another one where drivers spend hours waiting in traffic. It is a major freeway and is often used as the main route for shipping and transportation to New York City. In fact, the eastbound section of this expressway ranked in the top ten worst corridors in the country for the third year in a row. 

Driving habits

Although New York City has a widespread public transportation system to accommodate the high population density, many people still choose to drive. In fact, the Bronx has three neighborhoods that rank in the top five for longest commute times in New York City. The average commute was about 45 minutes, and longer commutes typically mean more traffic jams, accidents, and delays. 
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How to navigate Bronx traffic like a pro

Due to the large number of people moving in and around the Bronx, there’s a high risk of getting into an accident. In 2020, the Bronx made up 19.4% of total accidents in the New York City metropolitan area. And as we all know, accidents warrant delays, lane closures, and ultimately more time spent sitting in traffic. 
Between the high population density, packed highways, and many accidents, you might be thinking that driving through the Bronx sounds like a drag. While it can be tricky, we have some tips for navigating the city like a traffic pro: 
  • Avoid rush hour if possible. Rush hour in the Bronx is usually in the morning from 6 am to 10 am and in the evening from 1 pm to 7 pm. Friday from 4 pm to 5 pm has the highest volume of traffic, but avoid driving from 7 am to 8 am and 4 pm to 6 pm on any day if you prefer quicker trips around the Bronx. 
  • Opt to take a back road if possible. The Cross Bronx Expressway might seem like the path of least resistance for traveling throughout the Bronx, but you might be better off taking a back road with the number of drivers taking this route. Take a look at your navigation system or map to see if there is another way to get around. 
  • Use a traffic website to see trends before you leave.
    offers live updates of traffic trends in the Bronx, including accidents, construction, delays, and more. 
  • Stay alert. Drive safe and smart by staying focused on the road. Avoid using your cell phone, listening to loud music, eating food, or anything else that might lead to
    distracted driving

Prepare for Bronx traffic by updating your car insurance

Whether you’re making your daily commute on the Cross Bronx Expressway or coming to watch a game at the Yankee Stadium, you’ll want to be sure that your vehicle is protected with the right car insurance policy. With
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It’s this simple: download the Jerry app or go to In less than 45 seconds, Jerry collects all of your information from your existing insurer. Choose from competitive quotes from top insurance companies, and Jerry takes care of the rest—securing your new policy and helping you cancel your old one upon request. 
And drivers in the Big Apple get big savings! The average Jerry user saves $887 a year on car insurance.
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The fast-paced, busy highways in the Bronx can make driving a bit stressful if it’s something you’re not familiar with. Using a GPS navigation system and paying attention to road conditions can make it much easier to get around.
Rush hour traffic causes major delays in the Bronx. For that reason, traveling before 6 am, after 7 pm, or between 10 am and 1 pm is your best bet.
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