One of the craziest things about New York's transportation patterns from my perspective as an Angelino is the fact that people are walking, taking transit, and even riding bikes in weather that is soul crushingly cold. For example, the weather forecast for NY today is 35/25 (degrees Farenheit). In LA it's 77/52 (man, why did I look that up?).
Have I even bothered to show you NY's commuting stats from the 2008 American Community Survey (which collects data year round, including winter)? Here it is: of workers 16 years and up in the city this is how they went most of the way to work (New York % / LA %):
Transit - 54.8% / 11.4% (damn!)
Driving Alone - 23.3% / 66.4%
Walking - 10.3% / 3.4% (noteworthy as well)
People can and do bundle up and brave the cold in New York. Nice weather can certainly help cleaner alternatives to driving alone, but clearly other factors are important as well, otherwise LA would be beating NY.
So far, we're just better at whining :)