NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — With construction underway on Route 495, the dreaded gridlock of cars navigating through the Lincoln Tunnel was not as bad Monday morning as originally forecast.
“(It was) about a five minute delay at most, coming from Route 3, and the turnpike onto 495, but traffic is moving,” said NJDOT spokesperson Steve Shapiro.
“My train was late this morning, so it got crowded because of that,” said commuter Mike LeFante.
With children yet to go back to school and families still taking end-of-summer vacations, it was not yet a test of morning commutes to come.
“I think the real test is going come after Labor Day when people return from vacation and head back to work,” said CBS2 traffic reporter Alex Denis.
Officials are urging people to use mass transit as an alternative, reports CBS2’s Janelle Burrell.
New Jersey transit trains and buses were being promoted as options, but additional trains and buses were not being added.
When traffic picks back up again, what you can do? Consider taking the light rail to the New York Waterway ferry.
If you do prefer to go by car, carpooling may be a good option.
Think of Goethals Bridge to Staten Island Expressway,” said Sam Schwartz. “If you have friends, HOV at 3 in the morning rides 12 miles right into Manhattan unimpeded.”
In addtion to using the Goethals as an alternate, drivers should also consider the George Washington Bridge and the Holland Tunnel.
Experts warn drivers not to always follow their driving smart apps. It’s usually quicker to stay on the highway than snake through local towns.
There were already delays on Sunday night due to two lanes being closed, one in each direction, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported.
“A nightmare and what normally used to take me 10 minutes to get home is 20,” Secaucus resident Lizabeth Canzano said.
The nightmare’s only just begun.
On Sunday evening, around six cars sat almost at a standstill getting from Route 3 on to 495 toward the Lincoln Tunnel. Driver Dwight Gayle told CBS2’s Rozner he was in similar traffic coming out of the city on Saturday at around 3 a.m. He said drivers were confused by the cones taking up one lane, as they had to decide whether to divert to the Turnpike or Route 3.
“It was just slow. It was very bad because people were undecided. They didn’t know what to do,” Gayle said.