Transit Sam: Week of Nov. 23, 2017

Dates: Thursday, November 23 – Wednesday, November 29


Driving to Thanksgiving dinner? Your best bet is to leave before noon, when traffic in Lower Manhattan is surprisingly light. By noon, the Holland Tunnel and the Downtown bridges will see a surge in traffic and by 1 p.m. they will be jammed as parade visitors and others hit the roads. The major roadways outside of Lower Manhattan will also be slow-moving.  If you’re going out through the Holland expect it to take 45-60 minutes or more just for the queue in Manhattan and then getting through the tunnel at the Jersey end.  That’s because a lane is still out on NJ Route 139 just outside the tunnel as a result of last month’s fire.

Whether you’re driving or relaxing at home Black Friday, remember all parking rules are not only in effect, they’ll be enforced vigorously.  Make sure to move your car if you have to. It may feel like a holiday but traffic agents, unhappy that they don’t get the day off, write more tickets that day than any other day of the year.

Sunday is the day when many Thanksgiving travelers return to the city or depart, making it an Airport Gridlock Alert Day. Allow more time getting to and from the airports. Expect more delays near the Holland Tunnel and the local bridges, and remember the major roadways to and from the airports, Grand Central Parkway, Van Wyck and Belt will be extra heavy.  Also, expect big delays on the LIE, Major Deegan, Cross-Bronx, Henry Hudson Parkway and the Verrazano Bridge.

Adding to the traffic Sunday will be the Jets vs. Panthers game 1 p.m. at MetLife Stadium. Believe it or not the Jets still have a shot at a playoff berth so I’m expecting a big crowd. This of course will affect Lower Manhattan traffic before and after the game in the vicinity of the Holland Tunnel.

‘Tis the season for more special events and traffic tieups. Lower Manhattan has quite a few on tap over the next week. The 15th Autumn Moon Festival will shut Mott St. between Canal and Bayard streets from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Police will begin setting up at 2 p.m. Monday outside Cipriani Wall Street for the Gotham Awards, an indy film event where Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman and Sofia Coppola are all expected, so look for heavier traffic on Wall St. between William and Hanover streets, from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m., with the heaviest probably around 7 p.m. The extra traffic will be back the next night, Tuesday, as Harry Connick Jr., will headline a UNICEF fundraiser at Cipriani at 6:30 p.m.

Spring Studios, on St. John’s Lane right near the Holland Tunnel, is hosting several red-carpet events from Sunday morning through Thursday night, which will likely cause slowdowns on Canal, Varick, Beach and Laight streets, as well as into the tunnel. The busiest night may be Wednesday for the Coalition for the Homeless event featuring Debbie Harry.

NBC will begin setting up for an English Premier League soccer party in the wee hours Friday morning, which could slow things on the FDR and the Brooklyn Bridge approaches. The viewing party begins Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at the Fulton Market Building, 11 Fulton St., and goes on all day. The city plans to close off one curb lane of Beekman St. between Front and South streets and South St. between Beekman and Fulton streets.

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