Transit Sam: Week of March 16, 2017

Dates: Thursday, March 16 – Wednesday, March 22


The NYC Half Marathon returns Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., bringing 20,000 runners to streets from midtown to the tip of Manhattan, and gridlock to match. This route will close the West Side Highway all the way from 42nd Street to the Battery Park Underpass; the underpass will also be closed to the FDR. The marathon will also take over major areas within Lower Manhattan, including Battery Place between West and State streets, State between Battery Place and Pearl Street, and Fulton between Gold and Water streets, as well as some other smaller streets in the area.  Altogether, this will make Lower Manhattan impassible by car.

With the West Side Highway out of commission southbound, expect drivers to switch to Seventh Avenue and Varick Street as well as Broadway.  The diversion to Varick may cause traffic turbulence for the Holland Tunnel.

Demo alert! On Friday, from noon to 7 p.m., a Protect Trans Rights rally will bring demonstrators to Washington Square Park. With the Manhattan St. Patrick’s Day Parade taking place simultaneously just uptown, and closing a large section of Fifth Avenue as well as crosstown streets, this demo could impact lower Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue.

At the Battery Park Underpass’s north-bound tube, between southbound FDR and northbound West Street, one lane will close from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday. One tube in each direction between the FDR and West Street will also close Monday through Friday from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily, and from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. Saturday, weekly through next summer.

On Sunday, the MTA’s 2017 fare and toll hike will go into effect. Although base fares will remain at $2.75, monthly and weekly pass costs will increase. For weeklies, they’ll rise from $31 to $32, and monthlies will go from $116.50 to $121. Toll rates for the Hugh Carey Tunnel will rise from $5.54 to $5.76 (E-ZPass), and from $8 to $8.50 (cash). Call or write your legislator, and visit to support Move NY for Fair Tolls and Fair Fares.

Due to popular demand, the submission deadline for the Mobilize New York Challenge will be extended to March 23! Transit Sam and Ford hope you’ll use this time to share your ideas for how to get New York moving better, faster, and smarter, and for a chance to win up to $30,000. Visit to join the conversation.

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