No Non-Essential Lane Closures During Busiest Travel Times on State Highways
Thanksgiving Impaired Driving Enforcement Campaign begins Wednesday, November 21
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that temporary lane closures for road and bridge construction projects on New York State highways will be suspended beginning Wednesday, November 21 at 6 a.m. through Monday, November 26 at 6 a.m., to accommodate travelers during the busiest Thanksgiving travel days. Some work may continue behind permanent concrete barriers or for emergency repairs. The construction suspension supports Governor Cuomo's Drivers First initiative, which prioritizes the convenience of motorists to minimize traffic congestion and travel delays due to road and bridge work.
New Yorkers are also reminded that state and local law enforcement will be participating in an impaired driving enforcement campaign from Wednesday, November 21 through Sunday, November 25. The enforcement and education campaign is designed to prevent intoxicated and drugged driving on state and local roads. Motorists can expect to see law enforcement stopping and arresting impaired drivers to keep New York's roads safe this holiday week.
"With this year's Thanksgiving holiday expected to be one of the busiest in recent years, it is our top priority to ensure all travelers reach their destination safely and without delay," Governor Cuomo said. "I urge all drivers to be responsible on the roads so that New Yorkers and visitors can enjoy the holiday with family and friends."
Governor Cuomo is also urging motorists to follow the state's Move Over Law which requires motorists to drive with care, slow down, and safely move over when approaching law enforcement vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, tow trucks, and construction or maintenance vehicles that are stopped along roads across the state. The law was enacted in 2011 to protect New Yorkers working along the roadway and has since been expanded to include a wider range of emergency and hazard vehicles.
New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, "Thanksgiving is a holiday best spent celebrating with family and friends, not sitting in traffic. As part of Governor Cuomo's Drivers First program, motorists will be able to get to and from their destinations quicker and easier this Thanksgiving weekend. Our crews will be back out there in force when the weekend has ended. I urge motorists to drive cautiously, have patience in work zones, and please treat our workers with the respect they deserve."
Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "With construction on hold for the holiday weekend, motorists will have fewer delays as they travel to their Thanksgiving destination. We urge motorists to stay alert and drive safely, to ensure that they, along with workers and emergency responders who are out on the roads, are able to spend the holidays with loved ones."
DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner and Acting Chair of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Terri Egan said, "Thanksgiving is a busy travel time, and we know motorists appreciate Governor Cuomo's policy of suspending road work during heavy holiday traffic to ease congestion. Still, give yourself plenty of time, make sure your car is in good working order before you leave home, and be sure to bring water, food, blankets, a fully charged cell phone and other necessities in the event of a breakdown or inclement weather. Most of all, please drive sober or, if you know you will be drinking, appoint a designated driver, order a taxi or ride share, or stay over with your hosts."
Motorists are encouraged to utilize 64 text stops, as well as Service Areas, Rest Areas and Welcome Centers located statewide as needed for texting, making phone calls, and other non-driving tasks.
There will be slight variations for certain Thruway projects based on previous traffic volume. A detailed schedule of Thruway lane closures throughout the holiday weekend is available here.
The Thruway Authority encourages motorists to download its mobile app which is available to download for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists direct access to real-time traffic and navigation assistance while on the go. Motorists can also sign up for TRANSalert e-mails which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway here.
Travelers are reminded to check 511NY by calling 511 or by accessing www.511.org before departing. The free service allows users to check road conditions or link to air and transit information.
Mobile users can download the free 511NY mobile app from the iTunes or Google Play stores. The app now features Drive mode, which provides audible alerts along a chosen route while a user is driving, warning them about incidents and construction. Users can set a destination prior to departing and receive information on up to three routes.
DMV urges drivers to use the Have a Plan app to help find a safe way home from a celebration where they may be drinking. The free app from the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee and the NYS STOP-DWI Foundation allows you to designate a driver, call a cab or ride share, and to review the consequences of impaired driving. You can even use the app to report a drunk or drugged driver. The app is available for Apple, Android, and Windows smart phones.