Transit Sam, Week of May 22, 2014

ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES ARE SUSPENDED MONDAY FOR MEMORIAL DAY
May the get-away games begin!  With Memorial Day weekend fast approaching, brace for heavier traffic than we’ve seen in the past few years. Traffic is up at all bridges and tunnels and at airports. No need to fear, Transit Sam is here! Lower Manhattan will see monster traffic jams at area bridges and tunnels on Thursday and Friday. Hardest hit will be the Holland Tunnel approaches from Canal, Varick, and Broome Sts. The Broome St. back-up, around 4 p.m. both days, may extend all the way to Lafayette St. The best time to travel will be after 9 p.m. Friday.

On Monday — Memorial Day — alternate side parking rules are suspended, as are meter parking rules. Signs that say “No parking” or “No standing” on certain weekdays, in this case Monday, are also suspended. Signs with the word “anytime” are still in effect.

In the Lincoln Tunnel, the New York-bound south tube will close 11 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday. In the Holland Tunnel, one New York-bound lane will close 11 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday.

In the Battery Park Underpass, the north tube from the F.D.R. to West St./Route 9A will close midnight Thursday night to 5 a.m. Friday morning.

On West St./Route 9A, one lane will close in each direction between West Thames and Vesey Sts. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Bleecker Street Festival will close Bleecker St. between Christopher St. and Eighth Ave. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. The Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit will close Washington Square East between Waverly Pl. and West 4th St., and the sidewalks on University Pl. between E 13th St. and Waverly Pl. and on Washington Pl. between Washington Square East and Mercer St. noon to 6 p.m. daily beginning this Saturday and running through Sunday, June 1.

The Little Italy Pedestrian mall kicks off its weekly Friday evening closures of Mulberry St. between Canal and Broome Sts. and Hester St. between Mott and Baxter Sts. 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday.

A Memorial Day fair on Sixth Ave. will close the stretch from 14th to 23rd Sts., sending northbound traffic to Eighth Ave. and Fourth Ave./Park Ave. South 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday. The Chabad of Wall Street Community Fair will close Liberty St. between Broadway and Trinity Pl. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday.

From the mailbag:

Dear Transit Sam,
If there are two cars, each traveling in opposite directions on a two-way street, and both cars wish to make left turns onto another two-way street, must the cars turn left in front of each other, or behind each other? When I learned to drive many years ago, I was taught to make the left turn behind the opposing car as this provides me with a clear line of sight of traffic behind the opposing car, and that makes perfect sense.  However, my observations tell me that most cars simply make left turns in front of each other.
Herbert, New York

Dear Herbert,
I couldn’t find any law governing this but I think it really depends upon the geometry of an intersection.  If there’s no center mall then I’d say you should turn in front of the other driver waiting to make a left.  If there is a center mall you may not have any choice but to turn behind the other car.

When the city puts down short “skips” in the road (white painted dashes) to indicate the path for making a left turn it is always (I believe) in front of the opposing traffic.  That should make it clear that turning in front is the preferred way.
Transit Sam

Send your parking and traffic questions to transitsam@downtownexpress.com. 

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