Construction-Related Lane Closures Limited to Ease Travel During Holiday Weekend
Governor Urges Motorists to Slow Down and Move Over for Roadside Emergency and Maintenance Vehicles
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that temporary lane closures for road and bridge construction projects on New York State highways will be suspended from 6 a.m. on Friday, May 24 to 6 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28 to accommodate increased travel throughout Memorial Day weekend. The suspension of construction 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. Drivers should keep in mind that in some cases, road work may continue behind permanent concrete barriers or for emergency repairs. The Governor is also urging motorists to abide by New York's Move Over Law and to utilize the 64 text stops located statewide as needed for texting, making phone calls, and other non-driving tasks.
"Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year and we want to do all we can to help New Yorkers get to their holiday destinations safely and with minimum delays," Governor Cuomo said. "I urge everyone on the roads this weekend to drive safely, to remember to move over for roadside emergency and maintenance vehicles and to utilize text stops to avoid distracted driving."
New York's Move Over Law 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 2010 to protect first responders and expanded in 2011 to include tow operators and those working along the roadway. It has since been expanded to include a wider range of emergency and hazard vehicles.
Text stops, including park-and-ride facilities, rest stops, service areas and parking areas along state highways and the New York State Thruway support the state's efforts to reduce distracted driving. All text stops will remain open, providing a location where drivers can safely and conveniently use their phones and other mobile devices for calling, texting, navigating and accessing mobile apps. Texting while driving is especially dangerous, as it requires motorists to take their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel and mind off driving.
New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "The safety of the traveling public is always a priority of the New York State Department of Transportation and we want all motorists to get to their destinations this weekend with minimal disruptions and delays. I urge travelers to utilize the 511NY website to help plan their trip and to refrain from engaging in any form of distracted driving."
New York State Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "This Memorial Day weekend, we want to ensure all motorists experience safe and enjoyable travel on the Thruway to reach their destinations. While construction work is on hold for the long holiday weekend, we encourage motorists to remain alert, slow down, travel safely through work zones, and move over when emergency vehicles are on the side of the road, and don't engage in distracted driving. The Thruway mobile app can also help motorists plan a safe journey."
AAA predicts that almost 43 million people will be traveling this Memorial Day weekend - the second-highest traffic volume since AAA began tracking in 2000 - and an estimated 37.6 million of them will be traveling by automobile.
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.
For real-time travel information, motorists should check New York State's official traffic and travel information source, 511NY, before traveling. Call 5-1-1, visit the 511 website here, or download 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.