NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City is increasing its number of 'Gridlock Alert' days.
The city Department of Transportation says it is expanding the number from 10 days last year to 16 this year.
For the first time, the days will include the week of the United Nations General Assembly, scheduled for September 24th to October 1st.
In the past, the Gridlock Alert designation was reserved mainly for days around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but research shows traffic is actually the worst during the UN's big meeting.
"The U.N. General Assembly creates some of Manhattan's most congested days of the entire year, so we are asking drivers who can to leave their cars at home - and to walk, bike or take the train," said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. "These brand-new Gridlock Alert days include creative new approaches that will help us reduce traffic, frustration and stress for all New Yorkers. And with us getting the word out a week early and giving them alternatives, drivers will be better able to plan and be part of the solution."
During last year's UN General Assembly weekday in Midtown's Central Business District, city officials say average speeds slowed to about 3 MPH, which means that it took up to 20 minutes to travel a mile. Last year, the slowest day for traffic within the CBD for the entire year was September 18, 2017, the Monday of UN General Assembly week.
The six weekdays when the U.N. General Assembly is in session (September 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and October 1) will be added to the list of Gridlock Alert days.
Citi Bike Discounts and Special Gridlock Plans - To encourage cycling during the General Assembly, Citi Bike is offering a 50% discount on its 3-day pass from September 24 to October 1. For the same price as a 1-day pass, individuals will be able to take unlimited 30-minute rides over a 3 day period for only $12. Additionally, Citi Bike will adding additional support for valet stations in Midtown and Bike Angel bonuses to be announced over social media in the coming days.
Discounts on Ride-Sharing with Via - To have more New Yorkers consider sharing rides to cut down on single-occupant trips, Via matches multiple passengers headed in the same direction, and provides an inexpensive and convenient transportation alternative. During General Assembly week, Via will offer 50% off each additional passenger for rides within Manhattan. To receive the discount, riders should use the promo code GRIDLOCK from September 24th through October 1st.
Parking Discounts - Between September 24 and October 1st, Citi Field in Flushing, Queens will offer $5 parking in lots adjacent to the 7 Train, including game days, for those parked before noon.
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New York City expanding number of 'Gridlock Alert' days