DOT Announces Holiday Traffic Mitigation Plan to Go into Effect Friday, November 17th, 2006
Release # 06-69
Thursday November 16, 2006
New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall today announced the 2006 Holiday Traffic Mitigation Plan. The Holiday Traffic Plan is put into effect each year to address the unusually heavy vehicular traffic associated with the holiday season (beginning the Friday before Thanksgiving and ending the Sunday after New Year's Day). To 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.
"There is nothing better than New York City during the holidays and each year we take steps to help make room for the many people that want to enjoy our City's attractions," said Department of Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall. "This plan is put into place to handle the additional traffic that the holiday season brings."
Highlights from the 2006 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 17th, 2006
- Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006
- Wednesday, November 29th, 2006
- Friday, December 8th, 2006
- Thursday, December 14th, 2006
- Friday, December 15th, 2006
- Wednesday, December 20th, 2006
- Thursday, December 21st, 2006
- Friday, December 22nd, 2006
"Times Square Shuffle" - Pedestrian Traffic Mitigation
DOT, in association with the Times Square Alliance, changed traffic operations in Times Square on November 4, 2006. This change provides expanded space for pedestrians in the vicinity of Times Square. By eliminating the crossover option at 45th Street in Times Square, vehicles traveling south on 7th Avenue must now continue on Broadway. The change in vehicle lanes has allowed the sidewalks to be expanded on both sides of Broadway and 7th Avenue in Times Square, and also on the center islands. The Times Square Shuffle is in place now as a pilot program, which will last for at least 6 months. Throughout the holiday season, pedestrians in Times Square will have 50% more new sidewalk space to ease their movement.
Central and Prospect Park Drive Changes
On June 5th, 2006, portions of the Park Drives in both Central Park and Prospect Park were closed to vehicular traffic as part of a six-month pilot program to enhance opportunities for recreational users and to promote pedestrian safety. During the holiday season Central Park Drives will be open to traffic from 7 am - 7 pm weekdays beginning Monday November 20th, 2006. In Prospect Park the West Drive will remain closed in the AM peak period (7-9 am).
Community Based Muni-Meters
The community based muni meter project was initiated in the spring of 2005 in order to provide additional local communities in all boroughs with the benefits that muni meters bring to neighborhoods. These include an additional fifteen to twenty percent space gain (since the set spacing required by single space meters is no longer necessary); improved streetscape by the elimination of single space meters and pipe; the convenience of the use of parking cards instead of coin change; and greater operability due to reduced vandalism. Prior to the inception of this project, the Department had previously installed muni meters in a number of local neighborhoods throughout the City. The current project is an extension of these prior initiatives.
New Locations for 2006:
Queens: Forest Hills; North and South side of Queens Boulevard
Brooklyn: Atlantic Avenue from Fourth Avenue to Hicks Street
(to be completed by 12/31/06)
Manhattan: Canal Street (from Bowery to West Broadway)
Past Locations Include:
||Third Avenue (143rd Street to 153rd Street)
||Fordham Road (Grand Concourse to Webster Avenue)
||Morris Park Avenue (Colden Avenue to Paulding Avenue)
||Steinway Street (Northern Blvd to Astoria Blvd)
||Bell Boulevard (Northern Boulevard to 34th Avenue)
||Brighton Beach Avenue (Ocean Parkway to Coney Island Avenue)
||125th Street (Fifth Avenue to Saint Nicholas Avenue)
Holiday Construction Embargo
Street and sidewalk construction will be restricted from 6 am to midnight between November 17, 2006 and January 2, 2007 on many roadways in New York City, primarily in Manhattan. The goal of the embargo is to reduce unnecessary construction activity that may impede the flow of traffic during the highly trafficked holiday season. Work may only occur from 12:01 am to 6 am following a complete review of the proposed work by DOT and issuance of the necessary permits. Only emergency work and ongoing building construction activity may be performed during this period. All permittees must comply with this embargo unless a special waiver is granted by DOT.
For more information about the holiday plan, including mass transit links and special holiday schedules provided by various agencies such as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority, visit www.nyc.gov/dot
Contact: Kay Sarlin (212) 442-7033