After the disastrous travel rush following last week's snowstorm, LaGuardia Airport is bracing for the holiday weekend with a new traffic management plan.
With 300,000 passengers expected to pass through LaGuardia Airport over President's Day Weekend, the Port Authority is hoping to avoid a repeat of last week's traffic gridlock surrounding the airport.
To mitigate anticipated holiday traffic, the Port Authority says the Q70 bus connecting the airport to the subway and Long Island Rail Road will be free from just after midnight Wednesday through next Tuesday. Parking in the longterm lot will be offered at a discounted rate of $18. The cellphone lot will be free for passenger pickup. And at Terminal B, the taxi stand will be relocated to the west end.
For-hire cars such as Uber and Lyft will continue to be able to pick up in front of terminals; NYC Airporter buses will drop off and pick up passengers from outer roadways instead of the west end of the terminal.
A massive parking lot sprung up on the Grand Central Parkway and roadways into the airport both before and after Thursday's storm, and passengers fearful of missing their flights bailed from taxis and cars to hoof it to the terminals.
The congestion came from flight backups from the storm on top of the chronic traffic squeeze due to ongoing construction.
Passengers who frequently use LaGuardia Airport say they could use a little relief.
"It's nightmarish," one traveler said Wednesay. "It's going to be back to Newark or JFK when I can, just to avoid this."
A taxi driver recalled of Friday, "Everybody was stuck, carrying their bags. People panic. Can't even get in. Last four or five months now."
Flyers have regularly been encountering long delays at LaGuardia Airport, and it hasn't been uncommon for people to ditch their taxis on the highway to rush to the airport on foot.