Holiday Traffic Nightmare

Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas and happy New Year Lower Manhattan! Here’s the holiday forecast through the end of the year:

The busy holiday travel season continues with official NYC gridlock alert days Thursday, Dec. 22 and Friday, Dec. 23. For those heading into New Jersey via the George Washington Bridge, the westbound lower level will be closed 9 p.m. Thursday night to 5 a.m. Friday morning with additional closures possible the following week as well. With the Hudson St. entrance to the Holland Tunnel also closed, your best bet for getaways may be the Lincoln Tunnel. However, the Lincoln should be a no-no on Christmas Eve Saturday with a 1 p.m. football game at the Meadowlands between the Jets and Giants. It’ll be even worse after 4 p.m. as the game lets out and the fans head out to Christmas Eve dinner.

The week between Christmas and New Years is also jam packed with shopping (big for return and exchanges week) and New Years travel, especially Thursday, Dec. 29 and Friday, Dec. 30. Come New Years Day and Monday, Jan. 2, all major roads and crossings will fill up for return trips home and the shift back to reality on Tuesday, January 3. Allot extra time if you’re catching a flight and please consider transit. Safe travels and happy holidays everyone!

From the mailbag:

Dear Transit Sam,
I have a question regarding street cleaning rules during bad weather, especially with the snow season practically upon us. When the streets are covered with snow, the street cleaning machines don’t usually drive by. Are street cleaning rules still in effect when this happens?
Tom, Tribeca

Dear Tom,
When the city is hit with a snowstorm, the first parking rules to be suspended are sanitation rules (street cleaning/alternate side parking). Last winter also resulted in some meter suspensions as well. But, pay very close attention to radio announcements or visit because in most cases, only street cleaning rules are suspended. And when the weather is very severe, you may hear that a “Full Snow Emergency” has been declared. This means that standing and parking are prohibited on all snow emergency routes, which are designated with “snowflake on red” background signs. If there’s a sign conflict (say there are also ASP signs on the block), the snow emergency rule would take precedence. Let’s hope for less snow this go around.
Transit Sam

Confused about ever changing traffic regulations and transit operations? Need winter driving tips or help navigating around lower Manhattan? If so, please send me an e-mail at or write to Transit Sam, 611 Broadway, Suite 415, New York, NY 10012

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