Ford Motor Company had a great idea to promote the new Escape Hybrid SUV. They set up a challenge in which commuters in Escape Hybrids could approach the City from some of its worst traffic clinch points. Here are the results:
The tri-state area's official "Longest Miles" are Route 78 leading up to and including the Holland Tunnel, which averaged a whoppingly poor 4.17 minutes to go one mile. The full results are below:
1) Route 78 leading to the Holland Tunnel (4.17 minutes per mile)
2) The New Jersey Turnpike and Route 80 – George Washington Bridge Approach (3.76 minutes per mile)
3) The Long Island Expressway (3.60 minutes per mile)
4) The Hutchinson River Parkway (1.47 minutes per mile)
5) The Connecticut Turnpike (1.03 minutes per mile)
Not surprisingly, the Holland Tunnel -- perhaps the Chinese, "Helan Tuone" sounds more approporiately exasperated -- fared worst.
What an event! It even made it into the New Yorker's Talk of the Town. In a wonderful bemoaning of the LIE, Nick Paumgarten offers, "It took forty-five minutes to drive the 13.8 miles to Exit 26, Francis Lewis Boulevard, the turnaround point. Kroswek, two hands unfailingly on the wheel, steered the Hybrid across an overpass and back onto the L.I.E. Now he was heading -- or at least pointing -- west. The flow of traffic, to everyone's relief, was more or less dead. 'We have a good shot at winning this,' Feuell said. 'I'm going to sneak in behind this gas-guzzling Escalade,' Kroswek said. 'We can draft off it,' Feuell said.' 'Never underestimate the power of drafting.' The Hybrid inched past Exit 25 -- Utopia Parkway! -- and the race was on.7:51 A.M. A display on the dash indicated that hte car was averaging 42.6 miles per gallon. The speed was about five miles per hour."
Wonderful to hear others wretch about cramps along the LIE's serpentine path!
I've long been fascinated by Hybrid technology, and I've spend a good number of hours sitting in that slow-moving, early-morning traffic. What better proof point can be found than an actual in-rush-hour performance!? I rather enjoyed driving the Ford Escape non-hybrid in the southwest, but was frankly quite disappointed by its paltry fuel economy. I wonder why there wasn't more press about this event. I'm more or less sold...