According to historical documents, New York City’s history can be traced all the way back to 1524 with the arrival of Estevão Gomes, a European commander of a Spanish ship. Once he sailed to the Upper New York Bay, he came into contact with the natives of the area, who were called Lenape, also known as the Delaware Indians. Due to the age and quality of the documents of the time, it is uncertain how much of this story is true.
However, it is a known fact that New York City settlements began in September of 1609 with Henry Hudson, who was employed by the Dutch East India Company to sail the Upper New York Bay in order to find a west passage to act as a shortcut into Asia. However, he instead foud a large and valuable beaver population, whose fur was extremely fashionable in Europe at the time. This helped to catalyze the settlement of multiple Dutch trading colonies in the area; this is why the image of a beaver is seen in the city’s official seal. One of these colonies was named New Amsterdam, the site of modern-day New York City.
New immigrants from Europe arrived in the state during the mid-19th century, changing the composition of the city and serving as workers to the city’s industries. New York City as we know it today traces its development to the consolidation of the five boroughs in 1898, as well as to the economic boom after the Great Depression and Second World War.
New York City was made the first national capital in September 1788, and George Washington was inaugurated as the first president on Wall Street in 1789. The beautiful city continued to be the naitona’s capital until 1790.
As the century moved forward, the state’s economy continued to grow, and immigration resumed, particularly with those from Ireland, who were driven from their country by the Great Irish Famine. By 1835, New York City’s population grew past Philadelphia’s and was awarded the title of the largest city in the country. With so many people by the 1840s and 1850s, the population demanded local services, including public schools and a police department.
After the Civil War, which took place from 1861–1865, the rate of immigration from Europe grew even larger, and New York became the first stop for millions of immigrants.
Unsurprisingly, New York City became a world center for industry, commerce, and communication throughout the first part of the 20th century.
Transportation History of NYC
By the late 1820s, New York City already had a functioning public transportation system with city omnibuses, which were large stagecoaches that seated up to 15 passengers and ran along fixed routes. Also prevalent at the time were horse carts, street carts that were able to transport a significantly larger number of people than omnibuses were able to. Horse carts were set along tracks of iron or steel and were pulled, of course, by horses.
In 1883, York City opened its first cable car line on the newly built Brooklyn Bridge. Cable cars were extremely popular and transported people efficiently at the time, but with the advent of electricity, which made trolleys possible, the city’s cable cars were displaced by better technology by 1909.
Trolleys were operated across all five of New York City’s boroughs and remained dominant and relevent for a full 70 years because they could be built much more cheaply and operated much more efficiently than cable cars could. However, as with the modes of transportation before it, trolleys also eventually overshadowed by an even new technology, this time in the form of fuel-powered vehicles in the 1920s. This included motor buses, which gradually replaced the trolleys.
Motor buses had an extremely significant impact on the entire nation, and New York City was the first city within the nation to utilize them for public transportation. Within two years, all vehicles that operated with the use of horses were overthrown by larger buses that ran off of gasoline. Even today, New York City has almost 5,000 buses running through the city each day.
Elevated trains were an extremely popular mode of transportation, beginning in the mid-19th century. Considered rapid transit, these trains changed the way that the population lived by allowing people to travel to farther parts of the city in order to work and interact with others. By 1880, most Manhattan residents were within walking distance of one.
Construction of the first subway line began in 1900 to more quickly and efficiently move people in and out of crowded Manhattan. New York City’s subway system, one of the busiest and most extensive in the world, operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has 26 train lines operating on over 800 miles of track.
NYC Driving Statistics
According to the census, New York City has a population of almost 19.5 million.
Such a large number people means that many are also operating vehicles, which are indispensable resources in the modern urban hustle and bustle. However, so many vehicles being driven on the road also means car collisions. According to state statistics, New York City reports an average of almost 260,000 accidents per year. Of these accidents, 25% are considered serious.
Below are other important statistics related to motor vehicles in New York City that drivers shoud keep in mind:
- Reported Property Damage Accidents: 140,000
- Pedestrian/Motor Vehicle Accidents: 16,000
- Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Accidents: 6,000
- Persons killed: 1,000
- Drivers Killed: 650
- Passengers Killed: 200
- Pedestrians Killed: 300
- Bicyclists Killed: 50
The above numbers vary from year to year, and what is found in this article are average estimates, but the extent of the damage should be clear. With such high numbers, all drivers within the city should prepare themselves as best as possible, and this can be done with adequate New York city car insurance. In fact, the state requires that all drivers maintain a certain minimum coverage in order to guarantee that damages resulting from car collisions can be properly covered. If you want to check out cheap car insurance in New York City, enter your zip code into our form found at the top of the page.