Transit Sam, Week of Nov. 20, 2013

Let the Gridlock Games begin!  Lower Manhattan, particularly the approaches to the bridges and tunnels, will see traffic surges over the next two weeks starting this Friday.  The lines at the Holland Tunnel will start to form at around 3 p.m. on Varick St., followed by Canal St., then Hudson St. and finally Spring St. grind to gridlock.  The cause: those lucky stiffs who take the whole Thanksgiving week off.  But, they’ll pay on the return home on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  This Sunday at the Holland will be a mess as the fight for the NFC East takes place at the New Meadowlands Stadium as the high-flyin’ Giants play the Cowboys at 4:30 p.m.

One tube of the Hugh L. Carey (Brooklyn Battery) Tunnel will close 9 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday. The remaining tube will carry one lane of traffic in each direction. Expect slowdowns on West St. and on the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.

On the Brooklyn Bridge, all Manhattan-bound lanes will close for 32 consecutive hours, 10 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Monday. That means inbound traffic will be diverted to the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges and the Battery Tunnel, which will already be slow because of the above closure. There will also be loads of extra traffic on Canal and Delancey Sts.

PATH Alert! A weekend-long service suspension is coming up for PATH trains between the World Trade Center and Exchange Place. The last departure from W.T.C. to Newark is 11:55 p.m. Friday, and to Hoboken 10:56 p.m. Friday. The last departure from Newark to W.T.C. is 11:20 p.m. Friday and from Hoboken 11:11 p.m. Friday. Service will resume Monday morning at 4:30 a.m.

Closures ahead for West St./Route 9A: All but one southbound lane and two northbound lanes will close between Murray and Liberty Sts. 8 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday. One lane will close in each direction between West Thames and Vesey Sts. 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday. One lane will close in each direction between Liberty and Barclay Sts. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Vestry St. will close between Hudson and Varick Sts. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

From the mailbag:

Dear Transit Sam,
I parked on the wrong side of the street during alternate side parking – my mistake, I have no problem paying the ticket. Problem is, I received two tickets, the second one issued ten minutes after the first. Each was issued by a different traffic enforcement officer. Isn’t this double jeopardy? What should I do?
Jacob, New York

Dear Jacob,
There is no double jeopardy for parking regulations – the law says as long as a vehicle is in violation, it can be cited. That means the second ticket is valid. I recommend you mail in both tickets, with a check enclosed for the fine of the first ticket. With the second ticket, write a letter explaining that you admit fault for the first ticket, but would like the second to be dismissed. Since the tickets were only issued ten minutes apart, you may get some leniency. You can present all this information in person too. Write back if the second ticket isn’t dismissed.
Transit Sam

Readers, send me your traffic and parking questions at transitsam@downtownexpress.com and follow me on Twitter @gridlocksam.