Transit Sam: Week of Nov. 17, 2016

Dates: Fri., Nov. 19 – Sun., Nov. 23


This year, nearly 50 million Americans will take off to feast to their hearts’ content for Turkey Day, which means the most cars on the road for Thanksgiving in nearly a decade. Of these 50 million, 90 percent will travel by car, which means big jams for Downtown.  The Holland Tunnel is usually the most affected, followed by the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges, as well as the Battery Tunnel.

The worst day to travel is Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.  It’s a designated Gridlock Alert Day. Expect Canal, Broome, and Varick Sts. to be at near a standstill from 3 p.m. until about 7 p.m.  Traveling after 9 p.m. or on Thursday morning are the best times to get through the tunnel.

But before Wednesday we start to see a buildup of traffic.  Many people take the week of Thanksgiving off so this Friday will be their get-away day.  Some don’t wait till Wednesday and will cause heavy traffic Tuesday afternoon.

The Giants, coming off an exciting Monday night squeaker against the Bengals, will play the Bears at 1 p.m. on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.  A sellout crowd is expected, and Sunday is also a top-ten airport day, so many people will be heading to Newark Airport — and you know what that means: more traffic at the Holland Tunnel starting at about 10:30 a.m.

The Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation will host its annual “A Magical Evening” gala at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Cipriani Wall St. on Wall St. between William and Hanover Sts. Though this bash causes no closures, Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Glenn Close, and others have attended in the past. VIPs like that mean media vehicles — and that means rush hour delays.

The First Precinct Block Party will close Maiden Ln. between South and Water Sts. from noon to 6 p.m. on Friday.

From the mailbag:

Dear Transit Sam,

I see way too many bike delivery workers biking the wrong way and not wearing a helmet.  It’s like they’re playing with fire.


Dear Jake,

It’s a fire Transit Sam is always trying to put out, and I’ll let this column be a reminder.  City and state laws are quite clear: Cyclists are required to follow the rules of the road, including biking with traffic, using the bike lane on streets that have them, yielding to pedestrians, etc.  Wearing a helmet is not required.  Some courier businesses are beginning to require helmet use, though, and I just learned of a company that monitors wrong-way cycling. Homer Logistics, which streamlines and handles deliveries for restaurants, has a mandatory helmet policy. They also use GPS in each of their bikes to ensure employees are biking the right way.  That’s the right direction!

Transit Sam