Archives of the Mayor's Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: Wednesday, November 15, 2000
||Sunny Mindel/Curt Ritter 212-788-2958
Tom Antenen (DCPI) 212-374-6700
Tom Cocola (DOT) 212-442-7033
the Press Conference
MAYOR GIULIANI ANNOUNCES HOLIDAY TRAFFIC CONTROL PLAN
For Drivers Who Block the Box and Double Park
Citywide Crackdown To Begin November 17th
"Park and Ride Wednesdays" Campaign At Shea Stadium
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, New York City Police Department (NYPD)
Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik and Department of Transportation (DOT)
Commissioner Iris Weinshall today unveiled the City's Holiday Traffic Control
Plan aimed at easing traffic congestion throughout the City during the upcoming
This year's comprehensive strategy will include: zero tolerance enforcement
against blocking gridlock boxes at intersections and double parking; an enhanced
Park and Ride program at Shea Stadium; an increase in traffic agents, Police
Officers and highway tow truck operators; an embargo on new, non-emergency street
and sidewalk construction in selected areas; enhanced enforcement of commercial
vehicle regulations; and a toll-free hotline set up to report gridlock congestion.
"With a record number of holiday travelers expected to visit New York
City this holiday season, the City will again implement a Holiday Traffic Control
Plan that will help alleviate the traffic congestion on our City's streets,"
said Mayor Giuliani. "Holiday traffic can often impede emergency vehicles
and dramatically affect public safety. This year the City will have zero tolerance
for individuals who block the box or double park. If you think you can get away
with it, think again. This Holiday Traffic Control Plan builds on our previous
and ongoing successful initiatives and incorporates many new ideas.
"I ask all New Yorkers and visitors to cooperate with these regulations
to keep this holiday season a safe and joyous one. I would also encourage visitors
and New Yorkers alike to take advantage of the 'One City - One Fare' program,
utilize the City's mass transit system through the holiday season and consider
the new Park and Ride program at Shea Stadium."
The Holiday Traffic Control Plan will focus on the following areas:
DON'T BLOCK THE BOX
- As part of the Don't Block the Box initiative, there will be a continued
zero tolerance enforcement effort aimed at vehicles that block intersections,
with a special emphasis on the Midtown Manhattan area. Vehicles caught in
the intersection after the light has turned red will be issued a summons.
The initial fine is $40.00 plus a $25.00 surcharge, with additional fines
allowable for subsequent offenses up to $200, plus two points against the
- Approximately 180 Probationary Police Officers and 1,000 Auxiliary Police
Officers will provide additional coverage at heavily congested intersections.
- The City's toll-free hotline for pedestrians and motorists to report vehicles
seen blocking the box is 877-GRIDLOCK or (877-474-3562).
- To keep traffic flowing and improve vehicular and pedestrian safety, the
NYPD will continue Operation Move-Along, which targets double parking, as
well as the unauthorized use of bus lanes, no standing zones, and construction
permits. All violators will be subject to ticketing, booting and towing. Operation
Move-Along summonses range from $55 to $280, depending on whether the vehicle
is tire booted, towed, or both.
- There were a total of 47 Move-Along operations as of November 14, 2000 -
11 during 1999 and 36 so far this year. A total of 224,671 summonses have
been issued through October 3rd of this year. Of these, 79,056 have been issued
to cars/trucks for double parking violations. In addition there have been
13,936 vehicles towed or booted during this period.
- In addition, from January 1, 2000 through September 30, 2000 the NYPD issued
a total of 517,678 double parking summonses.
SHEA STADIUM PARK AND RIDE
- Increased the utilization of the existing park and ride facility located
in the Shea Stadium parking lot. Drivers can park their cars Monday through
Friday for $3.00 and then take the #7 Train to Manhattan.
- In conjunction with NYC & Company, the City's Convention and Visitors
Bureau, drivers who park at Shea Stadium on Wednesdays - historically grid-lock
alert days in Manhattan due to the Broadway Matinees - will be offered a
MetroCard Fun Pass valued at $4.00 for each individual in the car. This pilot
program will take place on Wednesdays beginning November 22nd through January
MIDTOWN MANHATTAN COMMERCIAL VEHICLE PAID PARKING PILOT PROGRAM
- The Commercial Meter pilot is an 18-month project which will charge a parking
fee for all commercial vehicles parked on specific blocks in Midtown Manhattan
- 43rd through 48th Streets (excluding 47th Street) 5th to 6th Avenues. This
project also introduces a congestion pricing concept, under which commercial
vehicles, while still being subject to the standard three hour time limit,
will be charged an increasing graduated rate for each hour parked. This initiative
relies on muni-meters - new electronic meters that can be used for multiple
parking spaces. Use of these meters allows for more vehicles to be parked
on each block than do traditional meters.
STREET AND SIDEWALK CONSTRUCTION EMBARGO
- With the exception of emergencies and buildings already under construction,
DOT has imposed a street and sidewalk construction embargo for the issuance
of new permits in numerous locations throughout the City. Each NYPD precinct
will be strictly enforcing compliance with existing permits for all construction.
The NYPD, together with DOT's Highway Inspection Quality Assurance Unit (HIQA),
has issued 16,214 summonses this year for failure to comply with permit regulations.
HIQA units investigate existing and new permits to make sure they are for
genuine emergencies. Permit violators will face significant fines ranging
from $150 to $4,000 per occurrence. Complaints may be reported to (212) CALLDOT.
- Operation on-Board, in which traffic agents travel on buses and write summonses
as they come across vehicles parked in bus zones and bus lanes, will continue.
From January 1 through September 30, 2000 7,619 Operation On-Board summonses
have been issued. From January 1 through October 18, 2000, 25,457 bus lane
enforcement summonses have been issued and 281 vehicles have been towed.
- To provide more off-street parking for charter buses, particularly in the
Theater District, the City has secured the use of a 60,000 square-foot commercial
parking lot on 11th Avenue, between 44th and 45th Streets, as well as some
available space at the Passenger Ship Terminal. Charter buses will be charged
a rate of $15 per six hours. This measure will remove nearly 60 buses from
the midtown streets immediately. For further information, call DOT at (212)
TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT CENTER
- DOT operates a centralized command center for Citywide traffic operations.
NYPD's Traffic Operation Center is also based at the Traffic Management Center
(TMC), where closed-circuit TV screens facilitate rapid deployment of appropriate
resources to incident areas. The TMC monitors traffic conditions, remotely
controls a traffic signalization system, and operates 29 variable message
signs to broadcast warnings to motorists. During the holiday season, TMC will
utilize its capabilities to mitigate traffic conditions.
- Currently images are received from more than 65 cameras located on the Queensboro
and Williamsburg Bridges, the Van Wyck Expressway and major Manhattan intersections.
In addition, with federal funding, an additional 50 cameras will be installed
throughout Manhattan. DOT expects to have 14 additional cameras operational
by Thanksgiving and plans to install two additional cameras each week thereafter,
with a total of 87 cameras in place by January 1, 2001.
- Beginning December 1, 2000 real-time traffic video images will be available
on DOT's website located at www.nyc.gov/calldot
- The installation of pedestrian separators at highly congested locations
enhances the safety of pedestrians, while increasing road capacity. Additional
pedestrian separators have been installed along Fifth Avenue at East 50th
Street and between West 23rd and West 24th Streets. Fences have also been
installed on both sides of Herald Square between 33rd and 34th Streets, and
on Park Avenue at East 33rd Street. Currently 5,700 feet of fencing exists.
SIGNAL TIME MODIFICATIONS
- In a number of locations including the Church Street corridor between the
Brooklyn Battery Tunnel exit and Canal Street, DOT will change the timing
of traffic signals during specific time periods, from a "progressive"
to a "simultaneous" pattern. Under heavy traffic conditions, this
pattern will better facilitate the movement of traffic. In addition, in four
midtown locations, DOT will implement split phasing of signals to ensure that
pedestrians cross intersections prior to turning vehicles.
SELECTED TURN - PARKING RESTRICTIONS
- Selected turning movements will be prohibited during the day to both facilitate
traffic flow and minimize pedestrian/vehicular accidents. Initial restrictions
will be posted on Fifth Avenue, between 47th and 55th Streets, to ease congestion
in the vicinity of Rockefeller Center. Similarly, parking regulations on several
Midtown cross streets will be upgraded to prohibit standing during the peak
periods to provide additional capacity on selected westbound streets providing,
access to Route 9A.
- To mitigate traffic and provide enhanced security for shoppers, additional
NYPD personnel will be deployed at major shopping locations throughout the
City, including: Bay Plaza, the Bronx; Kings Plaza Mall, Brooklyn; Queens
Center Mall; and Staten Island Mall.
OTHER TRAFFIC CONTROL STRATEGIES
- CENTRAL PARK: Central Park Drive will be open for extended hours
- 7 PM through 10 PM to further facilitate traffic flow north of Central Park
South during the holiday season.
- DOT'S TRAFFIC INFORMATION HOTLINE: (877) DOT-MOVE provides updates
every 15 minutes regarding traffic conditions at key locations in Midtown.
The hotline operates Monday through Friday during rush hours - 7 AM to 10
AM and 4 PM to 7 PM. Callers also have the option to report traffic conditions
as observed. All DOT MOVE information will also be available at DOT's TTY
- BRIDGE AND TUNNEL APPROACHES: The Police Department will position
approximately 150 traffic enforcement agents at key gateways into and out
of Manhattan during peak rush hours to direct traffic and facilitate vehicle
- COMMERCIAL VEHICLE COMPLIANCE: Commercial vehicles are regulated
with respect to the routes they may travel, the size and weight of their vehicles,
and the condition of their equipment. The Police Department issued 19,369
summonses Citywide from January 1 through September 30, 2000 for various violations
of these regulations. On Canal and Broome Streets alone, the Police Department
issued 8,713 summonses for non-compliance.
- TOWING: As part of the Highway Emergency Local Patrol (HELP) program,
franchised towing operations will deploy additional tow trucks at selected
areas, including the FDR Drive and the West Side Highway, to move stalled
cars immediately out of traffic lanes.
- BOOTING: Vehicles illegally parked at the curb will be booted and,
if appropriate, towed. To have the boot removed, the vehicle owner will be
required to go to the tow pound and pay a $75.00 fee. In some cases, vehicles
that remain illegally parked may be towed and the vehicle's owner will be
required to pay an additional $150.00 fee.
- OTHER AGENCIES: Other agencies/groups that will be involved in the
enforcement of traffic laws will be: the Taxi & Limousine Commission,
which will provide personnel to issue sanctions for violations committed by
taxis and limousines, in addition to continuing Operation Refusal with the
NYPD to ensure that no person is improperly denied access to taxis; Metro-North
Railroad Police will assist in enforcement around Grand Central Station; the
Port Authority Police will assist in enforcement around the Port Authority
Bus Terminal, the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, and the George Washington Bridge;
and the Long Island Railroad Police will assist in enforcement around Penn
Station/Madison Square Garden.
Police Commissioner Kerik said, "With plunging crime rates, a booming
economy, and holiday attractions that are unmatched anywhere in the world, we
expect this holiday season to be one of New York City's busiest and brightest.
This added excitement is certain to bring added pedestrian and vehicular traffic,
and the NYPD has put a comprehensive plan into place that will keep the traffic
flowing and keep our streets and sidewalks safe. Mass transit is by far the
best ride in town, but if you have to drive make sure you do so in accordance
with the law. You can bet that the NYPD will be out there to make sure that
Transportation Commissioner Weinshall said, "The holiday season will mean
more tourists, pedestrians and motorists in our City. Our goal is to ensure
safe travel for everyone. We advise everyone to use mass transit whenever possible,
particularly during gridlock alert days."
NYC & Company President & CEO Cristyne Lategano-Nicholas said, "On
behalf of New York City's tourism industry, which grew to a record 37 million
visitors last year, we are pleased to play a roll in launching Park and Ride
Wednesdays as part of our ongoing effort to make it easier to get around in
New York City. This pilot program demonstrates how public and private cooperation
and partnership will allow New York City to continue to grow tourism to everyone's
|$40.00 plus a $25.00 surcharge and two points on the driver's
Additional fines of up to $200.00 can be levied for subsequent offenses.
|$55.00 plus towing fees.
|$150.00 plus the fine for the violation cited.
|$75.00 plus the fine for the violation cited.
Additional information can be found at DOT'S website at www.nyc.gov/calldot
by calling the DOT hotline at 212/718-CALLDOT (225-5368). DOT will also be working
with the Shadow Traffic communications network, which serves 87 radio stations
in the tri-state area, to share information on traffic conditions.
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