Transit Sam: Week of Aug. 25, 2016

Dates: Thurs., Aug. 25-Wed., Aug. 31


Students take Manhattan by storm this week, with college move-ins all over the city. But the biggest of all will take place Downtown at NYU with Welcome Day, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Though students will gather there throughout the day to pick up their ID’s, move-in will take place at residence halls throughout the East and West Village and at Union Square. Have you seen the size of some of the trucks accommodating students? They belong at the Convention Center more than a dorm! In any event, they will stopping traffic whether moving or parked.

Note that although Sunday is first-year students’ move-in day, upper-class students will have one full week to move into their housing, so there might be residual traffic, but the most severe will be this weekend. Since NYU’s dorms are scattered, look for hold-ups below Union Square on Fourth Ave. and Broadway, as well as surrounding Washington Square Park and on Third Ave. just below 14th St., where students are sure to be claiming their space. There will be no road closures for NYU move-in day.

Showdown in the Meadowlands! The Jets face the Giants at MetLife, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. It may be preseason, but bragging rights in the Big Apple typically bring out more than 75,000 fans, and since they can’t all use the Lincoln Tunnel or George Washington Bridge, the Holland Tunnel gets the spillover. The traffic impact will be felt in Lower Manhattan as early as 1:30 p.m., with stadium lots open for tailgating at 2:30 p.m. So traffic jams at the Holland Tunnel could last all afternoon and into the late evening. Canal and Broome Sts. will be hit the hardest.

It’s also time to get ready for one of the city’s favorite traditions: New York Fashion Week. Beginning Saturday, the preparations for this iconic, week-long event will cause intermittent Downtown road closures in the area from the West Side Highway to Greenwich St. and from Spring St. to Clarkson St. This will begin Saturday and continue the rest of the week.

There will also be service changes for some major trains. Pay special attention to the 2 train, which won’t run between Manhattan and Brooklyn from 11:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday through Monday. During those times, the 3 train will not run between 14th St. and New Lots Ave. in Brooklyn, but the 4, N, Q, and R trains can serve as an alternative.

From the Mailbag:

Dear Transit Sam,

Could you please elaborate on the rules of yielding to pedestrians at the different cycles of the Walk/Don’t Walk signals?


Dear Tia,

Transit Sam’s rule is to always yield to pedestrians (and bike riders and other “vulnerable” users of our streets) whether they are in the right or wrong. The obvious rule is that if a pedestrian is facing the walking man (person?) she has the absolute right-of-way. If a pedestrian faces the solid (not flashing) red hand he is to stop and wait for the walking man. So what does a flashing hand mean? According to traffic engineers (who haven’t shared this much with the general public) it means “Don’t Start” to cross. But with countdown signals it seems the NYC pedestrian knows, with Olympic precision, how long it takes to cross the street and land on the sidewalk just as the traffic gets the green.

Transit Sam