Transit Sam: Week of Feb. 22, 2018

Thurs., Feb. 22–Wed., Feb. 28


Lower Manhattan will be jam-packed all weekend with a labor rights rally in Foley Square and a Lunar New Year event Saturday, followed by the “Granddaddy of Them All,” Chinatown’s annual New Year’s parade Sunday celebrating the Year of the Dog.

Brooklyn Bridge Alert! Lafayette St. from Worth to Reade Streets is likely to close around 9 a.m. Saturday for DC 37, the ALF-CIO, and other unions to rally, reopening in the late afternoon. Broadway, Park Row and the area around the Brooklyn Bridge will also be affected until about 3 p.m.

Nearby, lion and dragon dancers will be out on Chinatown side streets like Mott and Bayard, prompting temporary closures from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Late that night, Mott St. will start to close again in preparation for the Sunday parade, from Worth to Kenmare Streets. By late morning Sunday, East Broadway from Chatham Sq. to Forsyth St. will close, as will parts of Elizabeth, Hester, Forsyth and Eldridge Streets. Dispersal will be on Broome and on Forsyth Streets.

Canal, Grand and Delancey Streets, Bowery and the Manhattan Bridge will all be affected as well. Streets should reopen by 6 p.m.

I’d avoid the Downtown bridges this weekend during the day, but if you have to take one, the Williamsburg is probably best on Saturday, and the Brooklyn on Sunday because Foley Square will be clear. The Manhattan Bridge is a must to avoid, particularly Sunday.


Dear Transit Sam,

I don’t agree with Gov. Cuomo. Congestive charging is not the way to go. Uber is the problem. It seems everyone is afraid to clamp down on Uber. More people should take public transportation again.


Dear Bob,

The problem is too many vehicles, too little street space.  So, what do you do when demand for a precious resource (in this case space) far exceeds supply?  My answer is price it appropriately.  I think all people entering Manhattan’s Central Business District (the area south of 60th St.) should have to pay.  That includes subway riders, Uber and Lyft passengers, taxi riders, truckers, drivers of private cars and others.  I agree app-based car services, that only appeared this decade, have contributed significantly to congestion.  You cite Uber in your letter; interestingly enough,, Uber is a supporter of congestion pricing even though they will be charged directly.  The money raised from congestion pricing will help repair and expand mass transit, which will get more people riding which is correctly your final point.

Transit Sam

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