MANHATTAN — When you’ve been taking a certain commuter route for so long that it’s ingrained in your driving muscle memory, change doesn’t come easy.
For years, drivers have enjoyed two-way traffic along 11th Avenue between West 57th Street and West 42nd Street. However, it’s been changed to a southbound only traffic pattern along the same 15-block stretch. But NYPD officers were reportedly handing out tickets to drivers taken by surprise by the new rule.
“It affects us in a big way,” said a UPS driver who spoke to PIX11. “Very big way. But we’ll be okay. We’ll adjust to changing conditions.”
Officials say the change is meant to lighten traffic flow en route to the Lincoln Tunnel.
“You can’t just surprise people by putting up a sign and as busy as it is, you’re not busy looking at signs,” said Sandra from Queens. “It’s just habit and I think what they need to do is put it on the local news for a few months. Six months at least!”
There have been reports that the NYPD is extending a five-day grace period to let drivers get accustomed to the change. They have not yet returned PIX11’s request for comment.