Coined in New York City, the term gridlock means traffic congestion that blocks a city’s network of intersections and has been used to describe the Manhattan core’s overwhelming traffic volume in general. Despite the number of vehicles on our streets, New Yorkers most often choose from a variety of available transportation options including regional rail lines, the 24/7 metropolitan subway and bus system, ferries, cycling, and walking.
DOT designates the busiest traffic days of the year as Gridlock Alert Days. Whether traveling for work, errands or recreation, please consider walking, biking or taking public transportation whenever possible.
Holiday Gridlock Alert DaysSelect days in November and December are designated Gridlock Alert Days, as traffic volumes increase with holiday shopping and travel, as well as special event street closures. Drivers can expect that travel through Midtown will take twice as long as a typical day of week.
|2019 Gridlock Alert Days|
|Monday, September 23, 2019||Friday, November 22, 2019|
|Tuesday, September 24, 2019||Wednesday, November 27, 2019|
|Wednesday, September 25, 2019||Friday, December 6, 2019|
|Thursday, September 26, 2019||Wednesday, December 11, 2019|
|Friday, September 27, 2019||Thursday, December 12, 2019|
|Monday, September 30, 2019||Friday, December 13, 2019|
|Wednesday, December 18, 2019|
|Thursday, December 19, 2019|
|Friday, December 20, 2019|
Alternatives and Incentives
Public transportation is widely available and an ideal way to travel on Gridlock Alert Days – and every day. Visit mta.info to check the service status of subways, buses, Metro North Railroad and Long Island Railroad. The new MYmta app and website is a great resource for personalized trip planning and real-time service information.
New Gridlock Alert Days
Increased traffic volume and UN Assembly related street closures have a profound effect on the movement of vehicles in Midtown. As a result, weekdays from September 23-30, 2019 were newly designated Gridlock Alert Days. DOT’s Traffic Operations Division conducted analysis using GPS data from medallion taxis and NYCT buses in the Manhattan Central Business District. The analysis revealed that the week of the UN General Debate includes the most significant driving delays. Drivers can expect Midtown travel times up to three times longer than what is typical for that day of week.
Bike Lane Access During UN General Assembly 2019
Protected bike lanes along First and Second Avenue in Midtown are used by about 6,000 cyclists daily and are among New York City’s busiest bike lanes, completed in 2011 and 2017 respectively. During the UN General Assembly in September 2019, bike lane access was maintained through the security zone along First and Second Avenues. Details available in our Press Release.