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BY SAM SCHWARTZ | Slowly things are returning to normal in Lower Manhattan. I know many of you are still suffering. but there has been some progress on the transportation front in the past week. The R train now goes as far as Whitehall Street but there’s still no service into Brooklyn. J/Z service has resumed in the Financial District including stops at both the Fulton and Broad Street stations. The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel is fully opened and trucks are allowed back meaning fewer trucks (but still plenty) on Canal St.
And the L.I.R.R., which took a severe hit to its signal system during Sandy, began full morning and evening rush hour service Monday.
Brooklyn Bridge’s overnight closures have resumed. All Manhattan-bound lanes are closed 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Wednesday and midnight to 6 a.m. Thursday and Friday.
Gridlock Alert days are coming up Thursday and Friday, and the city, as well as Transit Sam, urges you to use transit to reduce street congestion. Big shopping crowds and slow moving roadways is what you’ll face in major shopping areas in Lower Manhattan until New Years including on Park Row by J & R Music World by the Brooklyn Bridge, Century 21 on Cortlandt Street and shopping rows along Broadway (from Union Square down to Canal), Fifth Ave. in the Flatiron District and West Broadway in Soho will be extra jammed.
WEEKEND TRAFFIC FORECAST: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12TH TO TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18TH
ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING REGULATIONS ARE IN EFFECT ALL WEEK
And some good news for anyone who has ever lost a MetroCard or had one stolen. You can now file a claim directly on the MTA’s website at efixmetrocard.mtanyct.info and click on “Balance Protection Claim.” If your claim is successful, the MTA will refund the fare you paid to buy the card, proportionate to the amount of time you had left on the card.
From the mailbag:
Dear Transit Sam,
A friend of mine had her car towed yesterday for an outstanding ticket she didn’t know about and for penalties for paid tickets she also didn’t know about. Do you know why?
Rich via e-mail
Yes I do. Upon further review, turns out D.M.V. and Finance had a different address on file, which is why your “friend” didn’t know about that one outstanding ticket. As for the late penalties, records also show your friend failed to pay the tickets on time, most likely caused by the address mix-up. What she needs to do is change the address on file with D.M.V., then plead “not guilty” in person and explain to the judge what happened. I’d say at the very least, the late penalties will be taken off. A reduced fine or dismissal appears less likely.
Have a question about parking tickets, transit problems or to order my new 2013 parking calendar? Send me an e-mail at TransitSam@downtownexpress.com or go to www.gridlocksam.com for more info. Follow me @gridlocksam.