NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Complaints have been mounting for weeks about traffic issues at LaGuardia Airport, and it turns out it is more than just an inconvenience.
As CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported Friday night, some drivers picking up passengers said it is downright dangerous.
Times have been desperate at times at LaGuardia, as people waiting to pick up passengers have made dangerous – such as parking along the side of the Grand Central Parkway where an “emergency stopping only” sign is seen in plain sight.
“The traffic is bad,” said driver Nick Nikifordis when asked why he was waiting on the expressway shoulder.
“Circling around this airport is nuts,” added driver Steve Weinstein, who was also waiting on the side of the expressway.
Weinstein pointed out that there is no convenient airport pickup waiting area. Pulling over on the Grand Central Parkway, drivers said, is better than slowly circling the airport and being bombarded by beeping horns and bumper-to-bumper traffic during construction.
Those who don’t feel safe on the side of the road are packing this gas station parking lot a couple minutes from the airport. Waiting for their customer or loved to call and say they’ve landed.
“This is illegal to be here, but what are we going to do?” said driver Silberith Deleon.
“I think it’s very dangerous,” said Gulf gas station clerk Kevin Mary.
Mary said it is a major hazard, and it is giving him a huge headache. He has to tell people to move on.
“Some are nice enough to leave,” he said. “But some of them, you know, they refuse.”
As the lot filled up — police showed up, telling drivers to move along. But they say they don’t know where else to go.
People who are picking up travelers at the airport are asked to park in Lot P 10. The lot was virtually empty Friday night, and it is also more than a mile and a half from Terminal B.
Drivers who don’t want to deal with the hassle said they will take their chances along the Grand Central Parkway.
When asked about his stress level, Nikifordis said: “Ugh, forget it!”
Developers told CBS2 a new temporary road system to help alleviate some of the traffic should be available by the end of the summer.