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Officials Announce New 'Don't Block The Box' Enforcement To Combat Congestion

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Officials announced new, stepped-up enforcement of "Don't Block The Box" to help combat traffic congestion.

The Department of Transportation and NYPD have identified 50 intersections where it will be aggressively enforced.

Officials made the announcement by painting a large box with an X through the center of the intersection at Broome Street & Broadway. Anybody in the box when the light changes is blocking the box.

"When motorists block the box, they cause unnecessary congestion and ultimately they cause delays for everyone," said NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan.


More than 50 new officers will be deployed to 50 intersections to provide aggressive enforcement, Chan said.

A block the box parking violation can result in $115 fine. A moving violation can result in two points against your license and a fine of up to $138, Chan said.

Officials say drivers need to know if they can make it across the intersection before they move into it.

"You have to be able to make sure that you can clear the intersection," Chan said. "If you can not clear the intersection, then you are in violation of that particular rule."

"We're not trying to do this to raise revenue. We are trying to do this to encourage drivers: Be courteous, be safe," said Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. "If you're looking across that intersection and there really isn't enough room for you to go through it and the light's about to turn red, stay put. Don't block the box."

CBS2's Marcia Kramer asked Trottenberg about concerns that blocking the box enforcement may actually result in more traffic congestion as vehicles get pulled over.

"I think that goes against the common sense that most of see walking and driving around the city. As a lot of you know, we have a very complex signal system. We have over 13,000 signalized  intersections. And we time them in order to try and keep traffic going in multiple directions. If cars stop and block the box, then the cars coming in the other direction get blocked and you start to have a cascading of gridlock," Trottenberg said.

Trottenberg said she would support camera enforcement of don't block the box.

"It would do away with those cases where police are potentially pulling people over," she said.

"Late last year, we announced a series of initiatives designed to address congestion issues around New York City, a symptom of the city's record population and economic vitality," said Mayor de Blasio.  "Blocking the box is one area where focused NYPD enforcement can and will make a big difference to keep traffic moving around hotspots in every borough."

The following intersections are being targeted for enforcement:


  • Broadway & West 57 Street
  • Dyer Avenue & West 41 Street
  • Fort Washington Avenue & West 165 Street
  • 3 Avenue & East 36 Street
  • Broadway & Spring Street
  • Delancey Street & Bowery
  • Delancey Street & Allen Street
  • 9 Avenue & West 207 Street
  • 10 Avenue & West 40 Street
  • West Side Highway (9A)/12 AV & West 51 Street
  • Broadway & Canal Street
  • Canal Street & Centre Street
  • Delancey Street & Essex Street
  • Hudson Street & Beach Street/Ericsson Place
  • 3 Avenue & East 57 Street
  • 3 Avenue & East 58 Street
  • 3 Avenue & East 59 Street
  • 3 Avenue & East 35 Street
  • 6 Avenue & Watts Street
  • 10 Avenue & West 41 Street
  • Broadway and Broome Street
  • Broadway and Chambers Street
  • Broadway & West 66 Street
  • Amsterdam Avenue & 181 Street
  • Canal Street & West Broadway
  • Hudson Street & Laight Street
  • Hudson Street & Vestry Street


  • Queens Boulevard & Skillman Avenue
  • Northern Boulevard & Queens Boulevard
  • Queens Boulevard & Roosevelt Avenue
  • Astoria Boulevard & 31 Street
  • 21 Street & 49 Avenue
  • Laurel Hill Boulevard & 65 Place
  • Queens Midtown Expressway *N S/R & Grand Avenue
  • Main Street & Roosevelt Avenue
  • 71 Avenue & Austin Street
  • 37 Avenue & 138 Street
  • Metropolitan Avenue & 60 Street
  • Queens Plaza South (SR) & 28 Street

The Bronx

  • 135 Street & Third Avenue


  • Flatbush Avenue & 8 Avenue
  • Atlantic Avenue & Pennsylvania Avenue
  • 86 Street & 7 Avenue
  • Tillary Street & Jay Street
  • Flatbush Avenue & Myrtle Avenue

Staten Island

  • College of Staten Island & Victory Boulevard
  • Narrows Road South & Hylan Boulevard w/b @ Steuben Street
  • Narrows Road South & Hylan Boulevard
  • Narrows Road South & Fingerboard Road
  • Narrows Road North & Fingerboard Road
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