Holiday Weekend Suspension Supports Governor Cuomo's Drivers First Initiative to Ease Traffic on State Highways
No Non-Essential Lane Closures During Busiest Travel Times
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 27 at 6 a.m. through Monday, December 2 at 6 a.m. to accommodate travelers during the busy Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. 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 27 through Sunday, December 1. The enforcement and education campaign is designed to prevent unsafe driving behaviors 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.
"The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year and we want to do all we can to ease congestion and help New Yorkers get where they need to go safely and quickly," Governor Cuomo said. "I urge all motorists to drive safely, stay alert and don't drive distracted - and if you need to answer a phone call or text, use one of the many rest areas or text stops. I wish all New Yorkers a safe and happy Thanksgiving."
Governor Cuomo is also urging motorists to follow the state's Move Over Law, which requires motorists to slow down and move over if safe to do so, for 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 Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "Governor Cuomo understands the need to keep traffic moving during the Thanksgiving holiday, and thanks to his efforts motorists will be able to get to and from their destinations quicker and easier this weekend. We wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving and urge motorists to drive cautiously, refrain from impaired driving and enjoy the holiday weekend safely."
New York State Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "Suspending roadwork this busy holiday weekend allows motorists to spend less time on the road, and more time with friends and family. While traveling, remember to stay alert for emergency responders and other workers who may be helping motorists on the roadway or clearing snow and ice during inclement weather. Staying alert, slowing down and moving over can save lives."
Mark J.F. Schroeder, Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles and Chair of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, said, "My hope is for everyone to have a safe and happy holiday, and one way we can all help make that happen is to drive responsibly. This is the busiest travel time of the year, so drivers should give themselves extra time to get to their destinations, abide by the speed limit and be patient. We are grateful that construction is again being lifted to ease the congestion on the roads, but I want to remind drivers that they are still required to move over if it is safe to do so when there is an emergency vehicle, tow truck or construction vehicles on the side of the road."
New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said, "The suspension of construction during the busy Thanksgiving travel period will help keep traffic moving and also improve safety for motorists along our highways. State Troopers will be highly visible throughout the weekend, and we urge drivers to do their part by obeying posted speed limits, putting away their smart phones, and planning for a safe ride home if holiday plans include alcohol."
Motorists are encouraged to utilize the 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.
Motorists should be aware some work may continue behind permanent concrete barriers or for emergency repairs. 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 can check NYSDOT's 511NY before traveling, by calling 5-1-1, visiting the 511 website here, or downloading the free 511NY mobile app on iTunes or Google Play. The free service allows users to check road conditions, view traffic cameras and link to air and transit information. The app features Drive mode, which provides audible alerts along a chosen route while a user is driving, warning them about incidents and construction.
The Department of Motor Vehicles 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 users to designate a driver, call a cab or ride share, and to review the consequences of impaired driving. Users can even use the app to report a drunk or drugged driver. The app is available for Apple, Android, and Windows smart phones.