Transit Sam Week of Dec. 24, 2015

Thursday, December 24 – Wednesday, December 30


 Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Lower Manhattanites!

Just because there aren’t any official “Gridlock Alert Days” left this year doesn’t mean you’ll be off the holiday traffic hook! Christmas Eve Thursday roads will be a flurry of activity as people finish up last-minute shopping. With most roads and crossings filling up after 1 p.m. Thursday, consider driving off-peak hours or taking transit instead. For those catching a flight, take AirTrain Newark via NJ Transit or AirTrain JFK via LIRR, E, J or Z trains to Sutphin Blvd.

On Christmas Day — and ONLY Christmas Day — alternate side parking rules, meter rules, and rules like “No Parking Monday through Friday” are suspended. But all rules that include “anytime” are still in effect.

Christmas morning means light traffic, but it’s the early afternoon when drivers should prepare for slowdowns. Friends and families head out to exchange gifts, hitting the roads around noon and again around 7 p.m. for return trips home.

If you opt for the Holland Tunnel Sunday afternoon, you may find yourself colliding with drivers either going to or returning from the 1 p.m. Jets vs. Patriots game at MetLife Stadium.

The good news is that there will be plenty of extra transit service to ease your traveling pain! Both Metro-North and the LIRR will operate extra extra inbound and outbound trains on Christmas Eve. All NYC subways and buses will operate on a Sunday schedule on Christmas Day.

Public schools are on recess until Monday, January 4. The morning commute should lighten up a bit, but will be offset in the afternoon by extra holiday traffic.

Make it your New Year’s resolution to avoid gridlock in 2016! Prepare to beat the traffic with Gridlock Sam’s 2016 Parking Calendar. Twitter followers and e-Newsletter subscribers get access to a free download link.

Follow me on Twitter @GridlockSam and visit www.GridlockSam.com to sign up for my e-Newsletter.

Final words of advice:  Give yourself 90 minutes of extra time if you’re catching a flight. Roads leading to all three airports are going to be completely snarled with traffic. Consider transit whenever possible! And count your lucky stars that the unusually warm winter so far means your chances of getting snowed out of a flight here are slimmer than usual. Safe travels and happy holidays everyone!