NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Across the Tri-State area, people are getting ready to celebrate the final weekend of summer.
More than a third of New Yorkers are packing their bags and headed out-of-town this Labor Day weekend.
TripAdvisor reports 37 percent of New Yorkers are traveling this weekend, up from 24 percent last year. Sixty-six percent of those traveling by car while 31 percent are flying the friendly skies.
AAA Mid-Atlantic projects more than 1 million New Jerseyans plan to travel 50 miles or more from home this weekend. That’s up 1 percent from last year.
The Port Authority also projects more than 2.5 million travelers will cross its bridges and tunnels throughout the weekend. Construction is suspended along the George Washington and Bayonne bridges.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also directed state agencies to suspend any non-emergency road work that could cause traffic delays over the holiday weekend.
The MTA is providing extra service Friday for those looking to ride the rails to their destination.
There will be 27 extra early afternoon Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North trains Friday. On Monday, Metro-North will operate on a Sunday schedule and the LIRR will operate on a Sunday/holiday schedule.
NJ TRANSIT is also offering extra trains out of New York City on the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast, Raritan Valley, Morris & Essex and Port Jervis lines starting at 1 p.m. Friday.
Extra buses will leave the Port Authority Bus Terminal on more than a dozen routes starting at noon.
For the return on Monday, NJ TRANSIT trains will operate on a weekend, major holiday schedule.
Risk Of Rip Currents
The National Weather Service says there’s a moderate risk for rip currents on Friday as the Labor Day holiday weekend gets underway. But swimmers should still be cautious.
“I want to ride the waves but I don’t want to go too far out,” 12-year-old Bayonne resident Brendan Hahn told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.
Lifeguards along the Jersey shore have been busy with rescues all week as Cristobal whipped up waves.
On Long Island, swimming was prohibited Thursday at Jones Beach, Robert Moses and Hither Hills state parks because of dangerous rip currents. Authorities decided to lift the ban Friday.
As CBS 2’s Elise Finch reported, the National Weather Service still has the south shore of Long Island under a moderate or high risk for rip currents.
Officials at Jones Beach said wave heights were 5—7 feet high Thursday with sporadic, monster waves nearly 10 feet high.
Even with the threat of rip currents this week, spokesman George Gorman said it’s been a good summer season for Long Island’s state parks and beaches.
“We had 300,000 more park visitors this year compared to last year,” Gorman told WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs. “We’re going to be about 1.5 to 2 million more visitors overall.”
Officials say they’re also stepping up enforcement to increase boater safety around Suffolk County during the long holiday weekend.
“We want to make sure that it’s going to be a safe boating weekend,” Islip Councilwoman Trish Bergin told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola.
“Be aware of other boaters, do not drink, be aware that there are scuba divers in the water, there are people in the water,” said Brookhaven Councilman Dan Panico.
Asst. Chief Stuart Cameron said Suffolk County police will be out on the water this weekend looking for boaters who have had too much to drink.
“When you’re out partying on your boat and you’re drinking and you’re eating and you can, I think, very easily lose track of how much you’ve had to drink,” Cameron told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern.
Besides staying sober, officials are warning boaters to make sure everyone on board is wearing a life-preserver.
The crackdown will target areas off the coasts of Long Island and Fire Island. The initiative is a joint effort with Suffolk County and the towns of Babylon, Brookhaven and Islip.
Summer Shore Business
Good weather and a wider awareness that the Jersey shore has made great strides in recovering from Superstorm Sandy helped make the second summer after the storm better than the first one.
Many business owners say their profits were up 20 to 30 percent this summer compared with 2013, when the shore was still in the early stages of recovering from the devastating 2012 storm.
“I think everything’s post-Sandy but certainly if you compare it to last year, I don’t know about historically over all the years, but certainly compared to last year significantly better,” Gov. Chris Christie said.
Joe who runs Vinny’s Amusements on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights said he thinks next year will be even better.
“We’ll have our rides back down on the other end and all that good stuff,” he told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.
Most shore towns also sold more beach badges this summer than they did last year.
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