2007-11-23 / Community

City Sets Holiday Traffic Plan For Manhattan

In anticipation of the busy holiday traffic season, New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and NYC Transit President Howard Roberts today announced the 2007 Holiday Traffic Mitigation Plan. Revised and refined each year, the Holiday Traffic Plan is developed in coordination with NYPD and other agencies to address the increased vehicle traffic that often comes with the holiday season, starting the week before Thanksgiving until after New Year's Day. To help make holiday travel as smooth as possible, City officials, in coordination with regional transportation partners, have developed a series of initiatives designed to encourage mass transit use and facilitate vehicular travel in and around the City.

"Each year around this time, the population on New York City's streets swells with even more people doing their holiday shopping, and checking out the sights," said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. "Our holiday plan aims to promote transit while keeping our streets safe and traffic moving. Just last month, we opened the first HOV/bus lane corridor into Lower Manhattan over the Manhattan Bridge, and we're always looking for new ways to ease the traffic burden."

"It's no surprise that every year at this time, visitors are drawn to the city in huge numbers to take advantage of its many special holiday attractions, making it that much more difficult to get around town. But tourists and New Yorkers alike can ease the stress of traveling by using MetroCard and taking advantage of NYC Transit's network of subways and buses," said Howard H. Roberts, Jr, President of MTA NYC Transit. "We have the finest mass transit system in the world right here in New York City and this is the time of year we get the opportunity to remind our regular customers and introduce the City's visitors to that fact."

Highlights from the 2007 Mayoral Holiday Mitigation Plan include:

Gridlock Alert Days

The City designates a number of days during the holiday season as Gridlock Alert Days which are days when significant vehicle traffic is expected. Residents, commuters and visitors are strongly advised to use mass transit on the following days:
• Friday, November 16
• Wednesday, November 21
• Wednesday, November 28
• Friday, December 7
• Thursday, December 13
• Friday, December 14
• Wednesday, December 19
• Thursday, December 20
• Friday, December 21

HOV Lane On The

Manhattan Bridge

A new feature in this year's plan includes the DOT's new HOV lane on the Manhattan Bridge. Buses, vans and vehicles with two or more passengers can use the left lane on the upper Manhattan-bound roadway between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., Monday to Friday. They may access the lane from the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE), eastbound Exit 29A, from Flatbush Avenue (follow signs) or from the BQE westbound Exit 29, then turn right onto Gold Street and proceed straight onto Flatbush Avenue. There are other HOV facilties on the Queensboro Bridge, The Gowanus Expressway, and on the Long Island Expressway approach to the Queens-Midtown Tunnel.

Painted Bus Lanes

We are also testing the use of red tinted pavement on our bus lanes on 57th Street in Manhattan and Fordham Road in The Bronx. As part of this test, we will be evaluating the effectiveness of these lanes in reducing unauthorized use, as well as looking at the durability of the materials and the cost of installation and maintenance. This is part of the implementation of an innovative Bus Rapid Transit service that will improve the speed, reliability, and attractiveness of bus service.

Construction Embargo

A special construction embargo is in effect Friday, November 16 from 6 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. and from Tuesday, November 20 from 6 a.m. through Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 11:59 p.m., for the 2007 Holiday Construction Embargo. There will be strict enforcement of this embargo and violators risk being issued a summons. The locations and conditions of this embargo are available on our Web site at www.nyc.gov/dot.

Operation Safe Streets

The NYPD will focus on making this the safest holiday season ever, with the goal of reducing accidents, injuries and fatalities. Enforcement will be increased in midtown and in other key areas of the City and will focus on hazardous violations, such as: driving while intoxicated, speeding, disobeying traffic signals, improper turns, seatbelt violations etc. In addition, special focus will be given to the taxi population as well as delivery trucks to ensure that they are complying with all traffic laws. Increased activity will take place at tourist attractions, hotels, and other places where taxis frequently stop.

MTA/NYC Transit

Service Changes

Added subway on the weekends of December 8-9, 15-16 and 22-23 to facilitate Holiday shopping on the following lines: E, F, Q, 1, 3, 4, and 6.

Weekend construction and system upgrade work will be scaled back during the holiday season to reduce the impact on service in Manhattan.

Vintage trains will run on some lines on Sundays in December; details will be released soon.

MetroCard Deals

Holiday Train Show at The New York Botanical Garden: Present your MetroCard Tuesdays through Fridays and get one child's ticket free with every paid adult admission - a $7 savings.* Holiday magic transforms the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the NY Botanical Garden into an enchanting world of replicas of over 140 New York landmarks, from the Statue of Liberty to Yankee Stadium, made entirely from plant parts like berries, leaves, and seeds. New this year, Holiday Nights at the Garden! On November 23, 24, December 1, 8, 15, 22, and 26- 31 you can enjoy the exhibition at night from 6 - 9 p.m., hear carolers, and indulge in holiday treats. To order tickets in advance, use code MTA07 at www.nybg.org. Visit www.mta.info and click on the MetroCard on the homepage to connect to travel information and other great MetroCard deals. *Promotional Period: Offer good Tue. - Fri. from November 27, 2007 through January 4, 2008, excluding December 26-28. Closing at 3 p.m. on December 7 and 24; closed December 25.

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