Transit Sam: Week of Sept. 1, 2016

Dates: Thurs., Sept. 1 – Wed., Sept. 7


As I’ve always said, Thursday is the new Friday when it comes to getaway weekends. And this Thursday, not only is it the big exodus for Labor Day weekend but we’ve got a Giants game that’s sure to mess things up for traffic at the Holland Tunnel. Add to that a 3–5 percent increase in general traffic due to low gas prices and higher employment (last year, according to AAA we saw an 8 percent increase over 2014) and you’ve got all the ingredients for memorable traffic jams on Thursday.

The Giants vs. Patriots game at 7 p.m. Thursday at MetLife will not only cause delays along the Lincoln Tunnel, but add even more gridlock to the Holland. If you’re leaving the city just for this evening’s game, avoid the roads at all costs and take mass transit: New Jersey Transit will take you to Secaucus Junction, where you can transfer to the Meadowlands Rail Line to the stadium.

Those both coming and going for Labor Day weekend will begin that great migration as early as 2 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, so there will be delays along West St., the FDR, and at the Holland and Battery tunnels, as well as streets feeding those major routes. Look out especially at the Holland Tunnel approaches at Varick, Broome, and Canal Sts. and Sixth Ave., and the Bowery approach to the Manhattan Bridge. Regardless, all travelers should budget extra time heading both into and out of the city.

Also, be it known that Port Authority Police will have DWI checkpoints at its Hudson River crossings from 10 p.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. Sunday.

Given the holiday, closures on the Brooklyn Bridge could cause extra delays for Lower Manhattan, with the Brooklyn-bound lane closed from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the Manhattan-bound lane closed from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

The return to town will begin Monday afternoon at about 3 p.m. (later if the weather is good) and be mostly over by 9–10 p.m.

Music won’t be taking a break post-VMA awards. Beyoncé, who won eight this year alone, will bring her Formation World Tour to MetLife Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, drawing fans out to the Meadowlands for a post-Labor Day rush. So look out for rush hour jams as fans make their way to hail the Queen Bey as she performs her landmark album live. There are sure to be delays along the Lincoln Tunnel, but not all of Beyoncé’s fans—sure to pack MetLife’s 80,000 seats, to the rafters—will fit, so look out for backup along the Holland, too.

Broadway Autumn Fair will close Broadway between Waverly Pl. and 14th St. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday with arts & crafts, food, and more. Labor Day Live at the Seaport will take over the area Monday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., offering food from Seaport Smorgasburg and musical entertainment including headliners from The National Reserve. Fashion Week shows beginning Friday are also sure to cause some jams near the Holland Tunnel along Varick St. between Beach and Laight Sts. from midnight to 11:59 p.m., Saturday through Monday.