Transit Sam: Week of June 29, 2017

Thurs., June 29–Wed., June 5

ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES SUSPENDED TUESDAY FOR FOURTH OF JULY

Happy Independence Day! An estimated one-million people will assemble along the East River on Tuesday to watch fireworks. To accommodate the crowds, the city will be closing the FDR Drive. That means the West Side Highway will experience delays as drivers avoid the east side.

On Thursday, U2 will perform at MetLife Stadium at 7 p.m., Lincoln Tunnel jams will send traffic down to the Holland.

Tuesday, the Fourth, is a major legal holiday — not only are alternate side parking rules suspended, so are parking meter and stopping and standing regulations, except where there are signs like, “No Standing Anytime,” where regulations are in effect 24/7.

The 41st Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Celebration from 9:25 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday will close the FDR Drive from midtown to the Brooklyn Bridge from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m. Wednesday. Also avoid streets like East Houston, Grand, Pearl, and South, which have ramps reserved for pedestrians to access the FDR.

First Avenue will also close from Midtown to 20th Street. This means drivers below 20th will experience significant delays along First Avenue and on Avenues A, B, and C.

Once the fireworks start, drivers slow down and even stop on the bridges. So expect backups into Manhattan on the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges; best bet for drivers is the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. Better yet, take transit.

Also Tuesday, the 4th of July Block Party will close Cliff Street between John and Fulton streets from noon to 6 p.m.  Around the corner, CB1’s Great July 4th Fair will close Fulton Street between Water and Gold streets from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

From the mailbag:

Dear Transit Sam,

Why isn’t there a ramp connecting the Williamsburg Bridge, an extremely busy bridge, to the FDR just as there is on the Brooklyn side to the BQE?

Menachem Lefkowitz

Dear Menachim,

I asked the same thing when I worked at NYC DOT.  We conceptually designed a ramp connecting the Williamsburg Bridge and the FDR Drive around 1988. The problem is that the height between the bridge and the FDR Drive is quite substantial at that point — greater than at the Brooklyn Bridge. Consequently, the slope of the proposed ramp was steep and had a helix shape (not terribly safe) to avoid taking down any buildings. It didn’t meet highway standards and was very expensive. I don’t see the city reviving that plan anytime soon.

Transit Sam

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