Transit Sam, Week of Dec. 18



Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy New Year, Lower Manhattanites!

Great news! For the first time since Hurricane Sandy, the R train will be up and running between Brooklyn and Manhattan starting 6 a.m. Friday.

And we’ll need our trains running, because the City of New York — and Transit Sam — has designated Thursday and Friday as official Gridlock Alert Days. Use mass transit if you can. Downtowners, be aware the Holland Tunnel will be jammed, going both ways, after 2 p.m. Friday. You’re better off taking the Lincoln Tunnel.

And if you opt for the Holland Tunnel Sunday afternoon, you may find yourself colliding with drivers either going to or returning from the 1 p.m. Jets game at Met Life Stadium. Also, keep in mind one New York-bound lane of the Holland will be closed overnight 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. both Wednesday and Thursday, and one Jersey-bound lane will be closed overnight 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. same days.

Last-minute Christmas shoppers are going to be out in full force this weekend. Shopping areas throughout Lower Manhattan will be completely jammed from now through the New Years including J & R Music World on Park Row by the Brooklyn Bridge, Century 21 on Church St. and the shopping rows along Broadway and West Broadway in Soho. Wednesday, the 26th, is the biggest return and exchange day of the year.

If you’re an early bird crossing the East River this week, take the Manhattan Bridge. Brooklyn Bridge’s Manhattan-bound lanes are closed overnight 12:01 a.m. to 6 a.m. both Wednesday and Thursday.

The good news is that there will be plenty of extra transit service to ease your traveling pain! Both Metro-North and the L.I.R.R. will operate extra, early-afternoon trains on Friday for New Yorkers looking to get out as well as extra inbound and outbound trains on Monday, Christmas Eve. All NYC subways and buses will operate on a Sunday schedule on Tues., December 25th.

Road closures: York Street between Sixth Avenue and St. Johns Lane is closed until midnight Sunday. Staple St. between Harrison and Jay Sts. and John St. between Broadway and Nassau St. are both closed until midnight December 31st. Also, Frankfort St. between Park Row and the Brooklyn Bridge entrance ramp is closed until midnight Dec. 31st.

Final words of advice:  Give yourself 90 minutes of extra time if you’re catching a flight — roads leading to our three airports are going to be completely snarled with traffic — and also consider transit. Safe travels and happy holidays everyone!

Have a question about parking tickets, transit problems or to order my new 2013 parking calendar? Send me an e-mail at or go to for more info about the calendar. Follow me @gridlocksam.

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One Response to Transit Sam, Week of Dec. 18

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