GRIDLOCK SAM: Holiday traffic ramps up in and around NYC

Sunday, Nov. 27 – Saturday, Dec. 3

ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING RULES ARE IN EFFECT ALL WEEK

‘Tis the season for Gridlock with heavy traffic Sunday, on Tree Lighting Wednesday, and Gridlock Alerts Thursday and Friday and at least seven more in following weeks.

As I look into my crystal ball, I’m predicting the worst holiday traffic in decades. Here’s why: Car traffic is back at pre-pandemic levels while truck traffic is at 110%. Each truck added is the equivalent of 2-3 additional cars in terms of traffic impact. Truck traffic is likely to go even higher this holiday season as collectively we order gifts and other merchandise online. The only salient advice I can offer, besides taking transit when you can, is choose a parkway over an expressway since trucks are barred from parkways.

REMINDER: Sunday the roads will be overloaded as THE GREAT RETURN takes place. Thanksgiving is a unique holiday in that jams happen in both directions at the same time, with New Yorkers coming home and out of town visitors making their exits. Watch for slowdowns on the Cross-Bronx, Long Island Expressway, George Washington Bridge, Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, Verrazzano Bridge, NJ Turnpike, Goethals Bridge, and Outerbridge Crossing. The Grand Central Parkway, Van Wyck, and Belt will be snarled approaching JFK and LGA.

The return traffic will be compounded on the river crossings and in N.J. as the Bears face the Jets at 1 p.m.

Ped- and Gridlock on Wednesday in Midtown! The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be illuminated in a ceremony at 8 p.m. Avoid 5th and 6th Aves. in the 40s and 50s now through the end of the year.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Dec. 1, 2021.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Dec. 1, 2021. (DIMITRIOS.KAMBOURIS@GETTYIMAGES.COM/Getty Images)

It’ll be a spellbinding week at Barclays. Brooklyn hosts the Magic Monday at 7:30 p.m. and the Wizards on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

At Madison Square Garden, the Devils visit the Rangers at 7 p.m. Monday. The Knicks host the Bucks Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out Live takes the stage at 8 p.m.

MAILBAG

Dear Gridlock Sam,

Whatever happened to “Don’t Block the Box”? All over midtown I see traffic enforcement watching gridlocked intersections. Wouldn’t ticketing box blockers be low hanging fruit to get traffic moving safely and generating revenue?

Charles

Dear Charles,

I took a look at the data; there have been about 1100 intersection violations issued this year to date, which outpaces 2019 and just about matches 2018. But I agree the city could do more. When I was on the Fix NYC advisory panel several years ago, we recommended cameras be used to catch these violations.

Gridlock Sam

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