New traffic pattern approaching Lincoln Tunnel creates confusion

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- A new traffic pattern went in effect Tuesday that is supposed to help ease congestion into the Lincoln Tunnel, but it may be creating even more headaches for drivers.

11th Avenue is being converted to be southbound-only from West 57th Street to West 42nd Street to better facilitate traffic flow into the Lincoln Tunnel during the afternoon commute.

But the NYPD says drivers got summonsed early this morning for turning northbound onto 11th Avenue from West 56th Street, even though all the signage hasn't been posted yet.

The drivers were given the summonses for disobeying a traffic sign, but it unknown how many summonses were issued.

It was believed there were already signs up indicating one-way only, but the Department of Transportation says the sign and signal conversion has only made it up to 52nd Street.

On parts of 11th Avenue, drivers found the yellow lines had been blacked out, and suddenly "No Turn" signs had sprouted up on side streets, keeping people from turning north. Some drivers went anyway, undeterred.

Moving forward, it appears the NYPD will allow for a five-day grace period.

A DOT spokesperson says lane markings to 52nd Street are expected to be completed next week, while the conversion from 52nd Street to 57th Street will start in two weeks and will take about a week.

The bike lane from 57th Street to 42nd Street and the bus boarding islands on West Side will be finished by the end of summer.

The DOT said it had been in constant communication and worked closely with Community Board 4 on the plan, and they will be posting the new directional information on variable message highway signs placed in the area and near critical thoroughfares entering Manhattan for better communication with drivers.

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