'TIS THE SEASON…FOR GRIDLOCK! Here are NYC's 14 Gridlock Alert days during the holidays

Heavy traffic near Macy's in Midtown Manhattan in December
Heavy traffic near Macy's in Midtown Manhattan in December. Photo credit NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images/File photo

NEW YORK (1010 WINS/WCBS 880) – Cue the sleigh bells—and the car horns! The unofficial start of the holiday season in New York City arrived Wednesday with the first of 14 Gridlock Alert days, when traffic will be especially bad.

Gridlock Sam Schwartz, the former traffic commissioner and transportation expert, spoke on WCBS 880's Newsline With Brigitte Quinn about changing traffic trends in the city and how they may impact holiday travelers.
Among the changes is an “enormous number of trucks.”

“When I look at the traffic counts around the city, car traffic is about where it was in 2019,” Schwartz said. “Truck traffic is 15% higher. And during this holiday season, everybody’s getting packages delivered, whether they’re going to the stores or going to your homes. And that means the expressways—not the parkways—the expressways are much heavier than normal, and that’s a clue for drivers. If you have a choice of taking a parkway, say the Grand Central Parkway over the L.I.E., do it. No trucks.”

There are 14 Gridlock Alert days in November and December, following five Gridlock days in September for the U.N. General Assembly.

The city Department of Transportation releases the days each year to give drivers a heads-up about the "slowest and most congested" traffic days of the year. Midtown Manhattan will be especially busy as tourists flock to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and holiday shoppers fill stores like Macy's.

• Wednesday, November 15, 2023

• Thursday, November 16, 2023

• Tuesday, November 21, 2023

• Wednesday, November 29, 2023

• Thursday, November 30, 2023

• Friday, December 1, 2023

• Tuesday, December 5, 2023

• Wednesday, December 6, 2023

• Thursday, December 7, 2023

• Friday, December 8, 2023

• Tuesday, December 12, 2023

• Wednesday, December 13, 2023

• Thursday, December 14, 2023

• Friday, December 15, 2023

Featured Image Photo Credit: NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images/File photo