Transit Sam: Week of Nov. 16, 2017

Dates: Thurs., Nov. 16–Wed., Nov. 22


Hopefully, you have lots to be thankful for this holiday season, but light traffic won’t be one of them. Friday is the first Gridlock Alert Day as some Thanksgiving travelers begin their long treks. But, the biggest get-away day of the year is Wednesday just before Thanksgiving.

Tuesday is no slouch either.  Expect huge jams at the Holland Tunnel both days starting in the afternoon through early evening.  Wednesday night, almost miraculously, traffic pretty much clears by 9 pm so if you can wait until then you can avoid lots of aggravation.

Thanksgiving Day is one of those quiets before the storm forecasts.  Morning traffic Downtown will be a breeze.  But after the Thanksgiving Day Parade, around noon, throngs look to escape NYC at once.  Hardest hit are the Lincoln, Midtown and Holland tunnels.

Last year, on Thanksgiving around 2–3 pm, my son David en route to my sister in NJ, spent more than an hour barely moving a couple of blocks trying to get to the Holland Tunnel and he had a newborn girl and my two grandsons in the car; to my dismay he eventually gave up.   This year he’s leaving an extra hour early and so should you!

The Giants play the Chiefs 1 pm Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Heavy traffic will hit Lower Manhattan as drivers avoid the Lincoln Tunnel in favor of the Holland Tunnel.

Demo Alert!  Hundreds of cyclists are biking to rally at City Hall Park Sunday from noon to 1:30 p.m.   This will likely affect Broadway and the Park Row approach to the Brooklyn Bridge.

From the mailbag

Dear Transit Sam,

I am a frequent user of Uber, Lyft, and Juno, commuting between Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan.  Juno charged me tax on the E-ZPass toll through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. Since when are tolls charged a sales tax? I have never come across this before.


Dear Deborah,

Wish I could Lyft your spirits on this one, but I checked with the Taxi & Limousine Commission, and it turns out the app services can charge a toll tax as long as the ride’s total cost is clear. Juno and the others are supposed to pay tax on the tolls, and it is up to them whether they pass the cost on to you directly. By the way, taxis don’t pay a sales tax on tolls, avoiding a 51 cent charge at the BBT.

Transit Sam

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