Transit Sam, April 10, 2014

Thurs., April 10 – Wed., April 16

ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES ARE SUSPENDED TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY FOR PASSOVER
Passover-Easter parking break!  Get a good parking spot on Monday, April 14 and you won’t have to move your car for alternate side parking until Wednesday, April 23!  The only exception is where A.S.P. is in effect on Saturday.  In addition, New York City public schools go on spring break beginning Monday. That means no school buses and a respite for parents and commuters and yes, parking allowed adjacent to public schools.

POTUS gridlock alert! President Obama heads to New York on Friday to speak at the National Action Network’s 2014 Convention. While the event will take place in Midtown at the Sheraton Times Square, it’s likely that he’ll chopper from J.F.K. to Wall St., and motorcade up the F.D.R. The motorcade will cause freezes up the East Side from the Financial District to Midtown. Follow me on Twitter @gridlocksam for the latest updates, including the timing of POTUS movements.

Carpocalypse hits Jersey City: The northbound (New York-bound) Pulaski Skyway will close for two years beginning Saturday. For Lower Manhattanites, this will make getting Downtown by car from N.J. difficult. The brunt of the traffic will be felt on the New Jersey Turnpike Extension and Route 1 & 9. My advice, steer clear of the Holland inbound for the first two weeks; take the Lincoln Tunnel or head through Staten Island to the Verrazano Bridge to Gowanus to the Battery Tunnel.

The beginning of the closure will coincide with the onset of Passover, with the first Seder Monday night. You’ll have an easy answer to “Why is the traffic worse on this night than any other night?”

Mayor de Blasio’s 100 days speech will cause hubbub around Cooper Square / Astor Place 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday. Affected streets include Cooper Square between E 5th and Astor Pl., Fourth and Third Aves. between Astor Pl. and E 9th St., and E 7th St. between Cooper Sq. and Second Ave.

In the Holland Tunnel, one New York-bound lane will close 11 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday. Inbound gridlock won’t be nearly as bad as when the Pulaski closure starts, but beware of this overnight lane closure returning.

All the Manhattan-bound lanes of the Brooklyn Bridge will close 11 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday. As usual, the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges will see extra traffic, as will Canal and Delancey Sts.

The Broadway reconstruction project will close the east intersection of Broadway and Liberty St. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

From the mailbag:

Dear Transit Sam,
I have family members coming to town for a wedding. They will be traveling between New Jersey and New York a few times during their stay. Do you know if E-ZPass is sold for a certain number of trips like MetroCards? If so, can you tell me how to go about getting one?
Phyllis, New York

Dear Phyllis,
Yes, although it doesn’t work exactly like a MetroCard. With the “pay per trip” E-ZPass plan, instead of buying trips in advance, you link your E-ZPass account to your bank account. The cost of the trips is deducted from the account once per day on the days of toll usage. The account can be set up online (e-zpassny.com) and the tag can be picked up at any number of retailers.
Transit Sam

–  Email your transit, traffic, and parking questions to transitsam@downtownexpress.com.  

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