Transit Sam, week of Oct. 30, 2013


Monster mash in Lower Manhattan! The Village Halloween Parade returns Thursday night. This year’s will be bigger and better than ever, closing Sixth Ave. between Canal and 17th Sts., Dominick St. between Varick St. and Sixth Ave., Sullivan St. between Broome and Spring Sts., Broome and Spring Sts. between Sullivan and Varick Sts., and 16th and 17th Sts. between Fifth and Seventh Aves. 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The New York City Marathon is also back in full force this year, meaning lots of traffic for the five boroughs, but not so much Downtown. All day Sunday, streets and bridges will be closed, including First Ave. between 63rd and 135th Sts., Fifth Ave. between 120th and 90th Sts., the lower level of the Queensboro Bridge, the Willis and Madison Ave. bridges, the Verrazano Bridge, and Fourth Ave. in Brooklyn. Don’t even THINK of driving across the Brooklyn or Manhattan bridges and using local streets; the marathon runs just a few blocks east of the bridges.

Don’t think you’ll escape to New Jersey either: a 1 p.m. Jets Saints game on Sunday at MetLife Stadium means slowgoing across the Hudson in both the Lincoln and Holland tunnels.

All Manhattan-bound lanes of the Brooklyn Bridge will close 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Monday, and Tuesday nights, midnight to 7 a.m. Saturday, and midnight to 9 a.m. Sunday. That means inbound drivers will take the Battery Tunnel and Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges instead, causing slowdowns on West St., Canal St., and Delancey St., respectively.

In the Battery Park Underpass, one of two westbound lanes (from the F.D.R. to West St./Route 9A) will close 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and one of two eastbound lanes (from West St./Route 9A to the F.D.R.) will close 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.

John St. will close intermittently  between Broadway and Nassau St. 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

Rector St. will close intermittently between West and Greenwich Sts. through November 15th, and will occasionally close for 24-hour periods.


From the mailbag:

An exciting Transit Sam success story this week!

Dear Transit Sam,

I want to run an idea by you that I think would improve pedestrian safety at the intersection of Varick St. and Ericsson Pl.

There is a break in the southbound traffic flow on Varick St. that makes it appear safe for pedestrians to cross Varick St. before the pedestrian indicator changes in their favor. Approximately three seconds after this apparent break in traffic, the signal controlling traffic at Exit 4 of the Holland Tunnel turns green, allowing vehicles to make a right turn onto Varick St.; accelerating quickly will allow these cars to “make the light” at the intersection of Varick St. and Ericsson Pl. The result is a dangerous situation for the pedestrians who have ventured into the crosswalk against the light and are left to scurry out of the way of the vehicular traffic barreling down Varick St.

I propose that the timing of the traffic signal controlling southbound traffic at this intersection be changed so that it is set to red prior to vehicles at Exit 4 being given a green signal to make a right turn onto Varick St. Do you agree with this proposal? If so, could I ask for your help in bringing this change into effect?

Jeremy, New York

Dear Jeremy,

Great work bringing this to my attention! I spoke with the DOT, who investigated and changed the signal timing so that three seconds after the signal for the tunnel exit turns green, the signal facing southbound Varick St. at Ericsson Pl. turns red; thus no incentive for drivers to “make the light.”  The change went into effect last week.

Transit Sam

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One Response to Transit Sam, week of Oct. 30, 2013

  1. A number of years ago it was suggested to CB2 and to then-Council Member Gerson that there be a 4-way stop sign placed at the intersection of Crosby Street and Spring Street for pedestrian safety. CB2 approved and some time later Alan Gerson reported that the DOT had investigated and would actually be placing a traffic light there. Well, 5 years later traffic has gotten much worse, the number of pedestrians has increased considerably, the painted crosswalks have disappeared, and there is no traffic light in sight. Do you think this was an oversight, or was a decision made to move traffic at the expense of pedestrian safety?

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