The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced the 2010 Holiday Traffic Mitigation Plan to encourage mass transit use and address the increased congestion and gridlock that historically occurs from the week before Thanksgiving until after New Year's Day. The Holiday Traffic Plan was developed in coordination with other agencies and includes nine Gridlock Alert Days and an embargo on non-emergency construction through the holiday season. The plan also details incentives from transit agencies to encourage the public to travel by mass transit.
"New York City is at its best during the holidays with people enjoying the shopping, the shows and the sights, but it's hard to appreciate if you're stuck in traffic," said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. "There's never a better time to leave the car at home and use mass transit to get around quickly and safely."
Highlights from the 2010 Holiday Traffic Mitigation Plan
Gridlock Alert Days
The City designates several days around the holidays when there is a significant increase vehicular traffic as Gridlock Alert Days. Residents, commuters and visitors are strongly advised to use mass transit on the following days:
- Friday, November 19
- Wednesday, November 24
- Tuesday, November 30
- Friday, December 10
- Wednesday, December 15
- Thursday, December 16
- Friday, December 17
- Wednesday, December 22
- Thursday, December 23
Turns will be prohibited during the day at selected locations to both improve traffic flow and minimize pedestrian/vehicular conflicts during the holiday season. Temporary restrictions will be posted on 5th Avenue at 55th, 53rd, 51st and 47th streets to ease congestion around Rockefeller Center.
A special construction embargo is in effect Friday, November 19 from 6 am to 11:59 pm and from 6 am on Monday, November 22 through 11:59 pm on Sunday, January 2, 2011 for the 2010 Holiday Construction Embargo. There will be strict enforcement of this embargo and violators are subject to be summonsed. The locations and conditions of this embargo are available on the DOT web site.
Staten Island Ferry Holiday Service
Holiday service will be in effect on the Staten Island Ferry on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Holiday service is the same as Saturday service but with additional ferries from St. George Terminal on the half-hour from 7:30 pm through 10:30 pm and from Whitehall Terminal on the hour from 8:00 pm through 11:00 pm
MTA/New York City Transit Service Changes and Special Promotions
MTA/NYC Transit is implementing a series of bus stop changes and route diversions near Rockefeller Center during the holiday season to keep commuters moving. The MTA will also have special promotions available throughout the holiday season, including discounts when you present your MetroCard when purchasing tickets for Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. For further information on MTA/NYC Transit service and promotions, go to www.mta.info.
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.
511 New York is a free telephone and Web service from the New York State Department of Transportation where New Yorkers can find traffic information and use a transit trip planner to organize trips to and from New York City spanning multiple service providers in the region. The service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and New Yorkers can start using it by calling 511 or visiting www.511NY.org.
To view the full Holiday Traffic Mitigation Plan visit www.nyc.gov/dot.