Transit Sam, Week of Nov. 20, 2014

Thurs., Nov. 20 – Wed., Nov. 26

Turkey Gridlock is here again! Lower Manhattan will see traffic surges over the next two weeks starting this Friday, with the approaches to the bridges and tunnels taking the hardest hit. The lines at the Holland Tunnel will start to form around 3 p.m. on Varick, followed by Canal, then Hudson and finally Spring will grind to gridlock.

Why? Those lucky stiffs who take the whole Thanksgiving week off! But, they’ll bear the brunt of it when it comes time to return home on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Wed. Nov. 26th, the day before Thanksgiving, is the busiest travel day of the year with delays on all major roads and crossings. If you’re catching a flight, please allow for an extra 60 to 90 minutes. The best time to travel is Thanksgiving morning with lighter traffic and cheap flights before the afternoon surge for Thanksgiving dinner.

The Giants play the Cowboys 8:30 p.m. Sunday at Metlife Stadium. Fan traffic to and from the game will hit Lower Manhattan as drivers avoid the Lincoln Tunnel and head south for the Holland Tunnel.

Closures ahead for West St./Route 9A: One southbound lane will close from Vesey St. to W. Thames St. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The left, southbound lane will close from West Houston St. 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday.

From the mailbag:

Dear Transit Sam,
Over the past few months, commercial vehicles and buses have been parking overnight on the local streets where I live. The area of concern is the block that that is bounded by South St., Rutgers Slip, Cherry St., and Pike Slip. We’ve filed numerous 311 complaints but have been told by the 7th Precinct that commercial vehicles are allowed to park in a commercial area (on local streets) and that any tickets they write are dismissed in court. The police have also said that buses do not have commercial plates and are technically allowed to park also.

I found this hard to believe so I followed up with D.O.T., which said that commercial vehicles are not allowed to park anywhere overnight in N.Y.C.

I’ve been going back and forth with officials on this relatively simple issue with no clear consensus. Can you help clear this up?
Trever, Manhattan

Dear Trever,
What you heard from D.O.T. is correct: Commercial vehicles are not allowed to park overnight on any street in N.Y.C. The N.Y.C. Traffic Rules, section 4-08, states, “Street storage of commercial vehicles prohibited. When parking is not otherwise restricted, no person shall park a commercial vehicle in any area, including a residential area, in excess of three hours.” 

As for buses, it also says in section 4-08, “Bus parking on streets prohibited. No person shall park a bus at any time on any street within the City of New York, unless authorized by signs.” The only time a bus would be able to park on the street is if it was a school bus, and even then it must be parked on the same block as the school. Because there isn’t a school on your block, there should not be any buses parked on the street overnight whatsoever.

Please send this column along when you file a complaint and let’s see if we can get this taken care of.
Transit Sam

Have a question about a parking ticket, traffic rules, public transportation, or street cleaning rules? If so, send me an e-mail at TransitSam@downtownexpress.com or write to Transit Sam, 322 Eighth Avenue, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10001.