Transit Sam


Dear Transit Sam,  

On Sunday, October 10, I was driving along Hudson Street and I came across something very interesting. The Hudson Street entrance to the Holland Tunnel was completely wide open. There were no cones in place blocking the entrance, and cars were driving right in. I snapped a photo on my blackberry as I was driving past the entrance in broad daylight. Why was the entrance opened? I thought it was closed for five years. Signs along West Street indicated the entrance was closed when it was in fact opened. I thought I’d have to go Spring Street to Varick to enter the tunnel. Instead, I “snuck in” at Hudson Street and saved 10 to 20 minutes!  Tell me the detour is over!    

Dave W., Tribeca  

Dear Dave,  

We’ve gone from the mysterious endless loop at West Street and Murray Street (see last two Transit Sam articles in the September 29th and October 13th issues) to the mysterious re-opening of the Hudson Street entrance! Apparently, the closure is not a full around-the-clock closure as originally reported. The entrance is closed 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends over the course of the next five years and open at other periods.  

The NYC Department of Design and Construction, which is doing the water main work to bring fresh drinking water to millions of New Yorkers, closed two lanes of Hudson Street just south of the tunnel. So in order to reduce traffic demand on Hudson Street, they’ve taken Holland Tunnel traffic out of the equation. But unfortunately in doing so, it’s caused an even bigger mess at all the other approaches. Even when the entrance is open during off-peak hours, the city still wants drivers to think the entrance is closed and avoid Hudson Street, thus why you still saw (and will continue to see) signs telling you the entrance is closed.    

But Dave, you saw the entrance open during broad daylight on Sunday, October 10 and working hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends. Why was it open, you may ask? Crews took Columbus weekend off. I’ve asked N.Y.C. D.C.C. to provide weekly updates on when the entrance will be opened in case there’s any further deviation from normal working hours.  Now you know the secret of Hudson Street!  

Transit Sam  

Dear readers,  

The NYC Marathon is a week from this Sunday, November 7 and that means marathon madness. While lower Manhattan is spared of any closures, getting out of the city will be difficult. The day’s biggest closures will be the Verrazano Bridge from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., the lower level of the Queensboro Bridge, the Madison and Willis Avenue Bridges, Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn and huge chunks of First and Fifth Avenues in upper Manhattan. Avoid the FDR Drive and stay to the west side if you’re daring enough to take the car out on Marathon Sunday.   Transit Sam  

Keep me posted on your transportation queries. E-mail me at TransitSam@downtownexpress.com or write Transit Sam, 611 Broadway, Suite 415, New York, NY 10012.