One of the busiest traffic days in New York City this holiday season figures to be even messier than usual, thanks to an expected snowfall.
The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the five boroughs from 3 to 11 a.m. Wednesday morning, Dec. 11. The rain currently hitting the area will give way early tomorrow morning to a wintry mix of rain and snow, then will change completely over to snow.
The changeover will happen just in time for the Wednesday morning rush hour; up to two inches of the white stuff is expected to fall citywide.
Just two weeks ahead of Christmas, the city Department of Transportation (DOT) had already declared a “gridlock alert” for Wednesday in anticipation of the heavy volume of vehicles traveling through Manhattan.
With the latest winter storm approaching, the city’s Emergency Management — which issued a travel advisory for Dec. 11 — is doubling down on the message to drivers: Leave your cars at home tomorrow, and take public transit instead.
“As the rain transitions to snow Wednesday morning, you could face messy road conditions during your morning commute. Public transportation is the best way to get around, as it helps to alleviate any potential gridlock,” NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell said. “I encourage New Yorkers to allow for extra travel time and exercise caution during their commutes.”
Meanwhile, the city’s Emergency Management office is coordinating a full-scale response to the snowfall. The Sanitation Department is mobilizing 705 salt spreaders across the city; the DOT is pre-salting the East River crossings, walkways at the Staten Island Ferry terminal, and municipal parking lots.
Snow plows will be dispatched if two inches or snow has accumulated.