Transit Sam: Week of March 23, 2017

Dates: Thurs., March 23 – Wed., March 29


Now that Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel tolls have gone up, we’re seeing more traffic divert to the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, affecting Lower Manhattan. If you use the tunnel, you’ll see longer lines for cash payment. That’s because the transaction time for the new $8.50 toll is a lot longer than for the old $8 toll. Giving change, as opposed to bills, takes more time. Longer lines mean more people shift to untolled bridges.

Even worse, tolls for trucks going from Brooklyn to NJ via the Verrazano Bridge are now $70 for a 4-axle truck and $92 for a 5 axle-truck, but still zero via the Manhattan Bridge (and Chinatown, Little Italy, Soho) Holland Tunnel or further up out the Lincoln Tunnel. This is crazy! Tell your legislators it’s time to end the one-way tolls at the Verrazano Bridge and to implement MOVE NY. To learn more, go to iheartmoveny.org.

On Thursday, the tolled Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel will close one tube Brooklyn-bound, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. There will be one lane in either direction in the remaining tube, causing slowdowns along West Street.

On Friday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Commemoration will shut down a segment of the West Village, on Greene Street between W. 4th Street and Waverly Place, as well as Washington Place between Washington Square East and Green Street.

The Gift of Life Walk, on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, will form at Foley Square taking over Lafayette Street. Participants will walk on Reade Street to Broadway, Broadway to Whitehall, and end up on Stone Street. With Broadway and Lafayette shut down, expect impacts to and from the Brooklyn Bridge and the Civic Center area.

From the mailbag:

Dear Transit Sam,

If you are stopped at a red light and an emergency vehicle is behind you, has its siren on, and is flashing its lights, is it legal for you to go through the red light to allow the emergency vehicle to pass?


Robert Fernandez, Brooklyn

Dear Robert,

In most situations, you must pull to the side to allow the emergency vehicle to pass, but if you’re at a red light, and there’s no room to pull aside, common sense says move into the crosswalk, or even intersection, to allow the emergency vehicle to pass; remain stopped until it is safe to proceed. A police officer will also use common sense and not issue a ticket under such circumstances. But what if you’re caught by a red-light camera? You may not get a summons, but if you do, you will also get two pictures of your car about to enter the intersection, then proceeding through. If you see the emergency vehicle in the photos you’ve got a great defense. If not, see if the second photo shows you pulled to the side and use that in your defense.

Transit Sam

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