Long Islanders are hitting the road for the Independence Day weekend to party like it’s 1776, but traffic—as usual—is likely to put the brakes on the celebrations before they begin.
To avoid watching the fireworks from a traffic jam, drivers are urged to arrive well before sundown, avoid predetermined road closures and check the latest traffic reports.
“This weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “I encourage all motorists to use caution and observe the rules of the road this Fourth of July weekend.”
The American Automobile Association estimates that more than 41.9 million people will travel more than 50 miles from home over Fourth of July weekend, which is expected to have the highest travel volume since 2007.
Drivers can expect Ocean Parkway as well as Wantagh and Meadowbook state parkways south of Merrick Road to be jammed as the sun sets Saturday before the Jones Beach Spectacular Fireworks Show returns for the first time in seven years. Bicyclists can bypass the gridlock by biking to the beach from Cedar Creek County Park.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation expects traffic to be the heaviest between 8 a.m and 6 p.m near Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park. Historically, Northern State Parkway, Sagtikos Parkway, Southern State Parkway and Sunken Meadow Parkway have been affected by road disruptions.
Sunken Meadow and Sagtikos Parkways will possibly be closed or delayed due to predictions of overflowing traffic in these locations. Those wishing to steer clear of delays should avoid the Sunken Meadow Parkway interchanges from mid-morning through late-afternoon.
In general, Sunken Meadow State Park gets overcrowded quickly. Heckscher State Park in East Islip is one alternative that remedies potential concerns. Near Bald Hill, County Road 83 in North Ocean Avenue will also be closed in both directions between Granny Road and Route 25 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Suffolk County police said.
In the city of Glen Cove, there will be no parking on Germaine Street, Landing Road or McLoughlin Street west of Carpenter Street starting at 9 a.m. Drivers should check their local listings for additional closures in their communities.
To help ease the congestion, the governor temporarily suspended road and bridge construction projects—except for emergency repairs—from 6 a.m. Friday, July 3 to 10 p.m. to Sunday, July 5.
“The public should be focused on sharing this great holiday with their friends and family without worrying about traffic delays,” said Joan Mcdonald, commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation.