Transit Sam, August 29, 2012


The Labor Day crunch is on! Starting at 2 p.m. Thursday and 2 p.m. Friday, there will be a variety of gridlock on all major roads and crossings, including the Brooklyn-Battery and Holland Tunnels and the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, as folks squeeze in one last getaway before the unofficial end of summer.

Expect every approach to the Holland Tunnel to be jammed, including Varick Street, Broome Street, Sixth Avenue and Canal Street. The Battery Tunnel will be a bit better, but once you hit the Gowanus Expressway, fuhgeddaboudit! The Canal Street route to the Manhattan Bridge will be better than the Bowery. The F.D.R. Drive to the Brooklyn Bridge should be avoided. The Park Row approach is the best alternative to both.

Remember, construction on all bridges will halt over the holiday weekend; there will be no overnight lane closures for the Manhattan-bound Brooklyn Bridge starting at 5 a.m. Friday to 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, when overnight closures resume according to regular schedule (10:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Thursday).

Prepare for airport gridlock ahead! Roads servicing J.F.K. International, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports will be snarled: Watch out for the L.I.E., the Belt Parkway, the B.Q.E., the Van Wyck Expressway and the G.C.P. Factor in an extra 90 minutes to get to your flight on time.

For the return trip home on Monday, remember that if the weather is good, the traffic jams will occur later — after 5 p.m. Cloudy and rainy days disperse the traffic. In any event, Lower Manhattanites should expect the Holland inbound lane to be the worst of the lot. If you’re coming from the Jersey Shore, take Route 440 to the Outerbridge Crossing to the West Shore Expressway to the Staten Island Expressway. From there, take the Gowanus Expressway to the Battery.

In Lincoln Tunnel news, there will be regular overnight closures from midnight to 8 a.m. Saturday, but no overnight lane closures for the Manhattan-bound approach to the Lincoln Tunnel starting at 8 a.m. Saturday and lasting through midnight on Tuesday.

The Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber Of Commerce’s Broadway Festival will block off Broadway between Waverly Place and 14th Street on Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Confused about ever-changing traffic and parking regulations? Need driving tips to navigate around Lower Manhattan? If so, e-mail Sam Schwartz at or write to Transit Sam, 611 Broadway, Suite 415, New York, N.Y. 10012. Follow me at


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