NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Holiday travel is typically a major headache and Thursday could end up being the worst travel day of the year across the Tri-State.
A gridlock alert was in force for the city Thursday, meaning officials were asking people to use mass transit in the hopes that it will help clear up congestion on the roads.
AAA expected the city to have the worst congestion in the nation with drivers seeing travel times triple between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Thursday as evening commuters mixed with holiday traffic.
Chopper 2 was above LaGuardia Airport traffic Thursday afternoon, where more than 20 planes full of passengers were lined up and ready for takeoff, and that’s when things were going well.
“No one ever misses their Christmas flight, so I am worried about getting bumped off,” Meredith Johnston said.
On Wednesday evening, some travelers ditched their vehicles and walked along the shoulder of the Grand Central Parkway with their luggage up to LaGuardia Airport.
“Took us two and a half hours to get here,” traveler Jewel Adams said. “We sat in front of Terminal B for about an hour, so we decided to walk so we won’t miss out flight.”
“We thought the traffic was going to be bad but it was fine,”one traveler told CBS2’s Magdalena Doris on Thursday.
Rapper Jim Jones isn’t immune from having to travel travel through busy LGA or from getting last-minute gifts. He was spotted at the airport and told Doris he hadn’t even gotten a tree yet.
Elsewhere, security has also been tightened at spots around the city. Cars were randomly stopped and searched at the RFK Bridge heading into Manhattan.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says it’s pro-active response after two terror attacks on the city in the last six weeks.
“I want to make sure that when the public sees this activity, that they’re not alarmed. We don’t have any information that has caused us to increase security. This is just out of an abundance of caution,” Cuomo said Tuesday.
AAA says 107.3 million Americans will travel between Saturday and New Year’s Day, the highest on record and a 3.1 percent increase from last year.
Of those travelers, AAA predicts 94 million people will hit the roads and 6 million will take to the skies.