MTA: If you don't need to drive on Monday, then don't

City braces for first snowstorm of season


Anyone who ventured outside Sunday without a good pair of boots got a quick reminder of what happens when snow mixes with ice.

Those kind of weather conditions are expected to continue into Monday — just when the city is about to return to work and school after a rather peaceful Thanksgiving holiday.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is urging caution — not just on trains and buses — but also on roads and especially bridges. In fact, the MTA says if someone doesn't necessarily need to drive through a tunnel or over a bridge on Monday, they probably shouldn't.

In the meantime, MTA workers are dropping salt and clearing platforms of snow, according to a release, part of a comprehensive plan MTA chair Patrick Foye says should keep the system running.

The MTA already has started fitting articulated buses — primarily in the Bronx and Manhattan — with wheel chains. The efforts, which began on Saturday, required work on nearly 700 such buses, which locally includes the Bx1, Bx2 and Bx9.

Subways — especially those with outdoor tracks, like the elevated 1 line through Marble Hill and Kingsbridge — will have the third-rail heaters switched on systemwide. Crews also will sand and de-ice platforms and stairs where necessary.

The MTA is prepared with 500 snow-melting devices at switches, 1,600 third-rail heaters, 10 snowthrowers, four jetblowers and seven de-icer train cars.

Metro-North is expected to run normal service on Monday, but the system is preparing for the worst with 220 snowblowers, 70 pickup truck plows and more than 1,800 ice scrapers on standby.

Even those in cars will have some changes to contend with on Monday. The city's transportation department announced alternate-side parking regulations have been suspended on Dec. 2 to help clear paths for snow removal. However, all parking meters will still be active.

Rain and snow is expected to continue throughout Monday, with  lows in the 30s, before clearing up on Tuesday.