Transit Sam: Week of Nov. 24, 2016

Dates: Thursday, November 24 – Wednesday, November 30


Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s the day-by-day rundown and how it affects Downtown:

Thursday morning will be an easy time to drive or taxi as long as one stays south of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from 9 a.m. to noon between 86th and 34th Sts. Subways will be running on Sunday schedules, so allow a little more time.

One warning for those who venture north of 34th St. — there will be no way to get across town south of 86th St.  After July’s Bastille Day attack in Nice, France the NYPD is taking no chances with terrorists driving into crowds so traffic will be banned a block away from the parade route in both directions.

In the south, use 23rd St. crosstown, and to the north, use 96th St.  Downtowners driving should make use of the Battery Underpass to get east-west for northern destinations.

By 1 p.m. on Thursday afternoon the Holland Tunnel will see the heaviest traffic. Varick, Broome and Canal Sts.will see backups that only build until about 4 p.m. The other Downtown bridges and tunnels will not be quite that bad.

A Transit Sam tip:  get to your dinner early and then leave by 7 p.m. when everyone else is having dinner — best time to drive home!

Most parking rules are suspended for Thanksgiving, but some will remain in effect. Any parking sign that reads “Mon–Fri” or “Except Sundays” will be suspended. For signs that restrict parking “Anytime,” Thanksgiving is no exception and the rule remains in effect. Remember, this only applies to parking signs.  There is no suspension of signs governing the movement of traffic.

Friday is a Summons Alert Day! More tickets are written and more cars towed on Black Friday than any other day of the year. This is because many people think Thanksgiving is a four-day holiday and that parking rules are suspended — at least alternate-side parking.  Wrong! All rules go back into effect right after Thanksgiving. Park smart: park legally.

Sunday drivers should expect delays, because this is one of the biggest travel days of the year, so whether you’re driving in from out of town, or just from the airport, big backups into Manhattan will begin by 5 p.m.

Add Sunday’s Jets-Pats showdown to the equation and we’re in for bigger jams yet! Yes, I know the Jets stink and the Pats are having a great year.  Nonetheless, the enmity between the teams is so strong that a big crowd is expected. Fans will flock to MetLife Stadium for this 4:30 p.m. rivalry battle. Traffic at the Holland Tunnel will begin as early as noon with 2:30–3:30 p.m. being the heaviest time. Post-game traffic will begin around 8–8:30 p.m., adding to the last wave of Thanksgiving returnees.

Next week, one westbound lane in the Holland Tunnel will close during overnight hours from Monday through Thursday, from 11:59 p.m. each night through 5:30 a.m. the next morning.