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Travel Ban Now In Effect For Parts Of Buffalo

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As Buffalo gets pummeled by a second snowstorm this week, a travel ban has gone into effect for parts of the city. Officials just sent out a message to warn some residents not to drive.

UPDATE: As of Thursday, January 18, 2024, the travel ban has been lifted. However, a travel advisory still remains in effect.

The Travel Ban south of Broadway will be lifted at 8am this morning. A travel advisory will remain in place. A reminder that City Hall is closed today. ~ Mayor Byron Brown

During the first snowstorm Governor Hochul said that 300 tickets were issued to people who were caught driving on the I-90 during the travel ban.

The Skyway has been closed in both directions as of a message sent out by the City around 7:30 this morning. There is a travel advisory still in effect for parts of the city that are not subject to the travel ban. The city warns residents to avoid any unnecessary travel. If you do have to travel, as an essential employee or for an emergency, please use caution.

Travel Ban Issued For South Buffalo

Travel in South Buffalo is not permitted at the current time. A travel ban message was issued at approximately 8:23 am. Driving is prohibited south of Broadway, including Kaisertown, Lovejoy, and Old First Ward due to heavy snowfall and lack of visibility. Mayor Byron Brown also tweeted about the driving ban,

A Driving Ban is now in effect in the City of Buffalo ONLY in areas South of Broadway which includes South Buffalo, Kaisertown, Lovejoy & Old First Ward. The snowband is expected to move north through the City as the day goes on.

The National Weather Service in Buffalo warns a lake effect snow band is behind the heavy snowfall today,

A heavy lake effect snow band will be across the Buffalo metro area today. The band will meander northward to southern Niagara County this afternoon, then will shift back southward late this afternoon and evening. Expect near whiteout conditions within the heavy snow band.

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Buffalo, orchard park lift driving bans, leaving all of erie county under travel advisory.

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  • Jan 18, 2024

A single car, bus and person traverse Porter Avenue as lake-effect snow descends on Buffalo's West Side Wednesday, when driving bans and advisories covered the vast majority of Erie County and parts of Niagara County.

All travel bans will have been lifted in Erie County as of 8 a.m. though the county will remain under a travel advisory, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said.

The City of Buffalo lifted its partial ban for the area south of Broadway and the Town of Orchard Park also lifted its ban at 8 a.m.

Lackawanna and the Town of Hamburg lifted their bans at 7 a.m., while West Seneca, Cheektowaga, Depew, Sloan and the Town and Village of Lancaster lifted their bans at 6 a.m.

What to expect in the next 36 hours: 'One more day' of heavy lake-effect snow

The lake-effect snow warning issued by the National Weather Service will continue until 7 p.m. for Erie, Genesee and Wyoming counties.

The travel advisory, urging no unnecessary travel, is set to expire at 7 p.m.

The commercial vehicle ban has been lifted around 8 a.m. Thursday for the Thruway from the Pennsylvania line to Exit 46/I-390 near Rochester and Interstate-190.

Buffalo Public Schools are closed Thursday. The University at Buffalo also is closed Thursday. 

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Visiting hours are canceled for the Erie County Holding Center in downtown Buffalo and the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden for the rest of the week due to the forecast, the Sheriff's Office announced.

Federal court in downtown Buffalo is closed.

All state and city courthouses in Buffalo and Lackawanna are closed and will be conducting operations virtually, except for criminal arraignments and emergency criminal matters, which will be conducted in person.

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UPDATE: All travel bans lifted across Erie County

Cheektowaga, N.Y. (WBEN) - The last remaining travel ban in Erie Couny was lifted when the City of Lackawanna reopened to traffic in full at 1 p.m. following a nightmarish weekend of lake effect snow and blizzad-lie conditions.

Additionally, all major roadways that were closed due to the weather conditions have been reopened, including the NYS Thruway, Route 400, Route 219 and the Skyway/Lakeshore complex

UPDATE: All travel bans lifted across Erie County

Travel ban lifted in Erie County as road conditions improve, warmer weather settles in

A travel ban has been lifted in New York’s Erie County, days after it was put into place as a deadly blizzard swept across the region, at times reducing visibility to zero.

The ban, which was implemented Friday, expired at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, officials said.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown told reporters Wednesday night that the roads were in good enough condition to lift the ban.

“It has been 6 days,” Brown said. “Some people have not been able to restock groceries, to restock medications, to get to medical appointments, and being able to lift the travel ban safely now will allow people to do those important things.”

Most streets in the city are passable, Brown said, and he expected crews to have made a pass down the center of every residential street by the end of the night.

Though the ban has been lifted, a travel advisory was in place for Erie County as cleanup continues and a county-wide state of emergency remained. Brown asked people to be cautious and avoid driving unless necessary.

More than 450 pieces of equipment were on Buffalo streets plowing and hauling snow, and many traffic signals were still not working, he said.

The storm dumped upwards of 20 inches of snow in parts of New York — including nearly 52 inches at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, according to the National Weather Service.

The powerful storm plunged much of the United States into a deep freeze, creating life-threatening conditions as more than 1 million homes and businesses were left in the dark, and wreaking havoc on flight schedules during the busy holiday travel week.

At least 76 people died in the storm, according to an NBC News tally. Erie County accounted for 37 of the deaths, 29 of which were in Buffalo.

Weather-related deaths were also reported in Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, Michigan, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Illinois and Vermont.

In Buffalo, officials said it was possible the number could rise.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Wednesday night that police have cleared the backlog of calls relating to welfare checks, stranded motorists and reports of bodies.

The monster storm that killed dozens in the US over the Christmas weekend continued to inflict misery on New York state and air travellers nationwide, as stories emerged of families trapped for days during the "blizzard of the century."

Search and rescue teams were returning Thursday to check locations where bodies had been reported but could not be confirmed — either because of the amount of snow or the vagueness of location, Gramaglia said.

"We believe there were some credible 911 calls that contained more information ... low single digit numbers, that's again why we're going to concentrate our efforts on hitting those areas," he told reporters.

In Erie County, 17 of the people who died in the blizzard were found outside and four were in a vehicle , according to County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

Several people died because of a delay receiving emergency services or from cardiac events related to shoveling or blowing snow. Of the deaths, nine were people who died because they had no heat in their homes, he said.

Poloncarz said in a tweet Wednesday night that 500 National Guard members have conducted nearly 850 welfare checks on residents who had longterm power outages.

Power was being restored to New York, and by early Thursday, about 400 customers in the state were without electricity, according to PowerOutage.us .

In Buffalo, where more than 20,000 customers were without power at one point during the storm, only three had no electricity Wednesday night, according to Brown, the mayor.

On Wednesday, city offices, facilities and roadways opened, as temperatures rose into the 40s across parts of New York.

Buffalo Niagara International Airport, which has been closed since Friday , reopened Wednesday.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday night that all major state highways in western New York, including the Erie County portion of Interstate 190 and several state routes, would reopen at midnight.

“I am extremely grateful to all the highway maintenance workers, first responders and emergency service staff who continue to work tirelessly to help their fellow New Yorkers," Hochul said in a statement .   

The temperature is expected to continue climbing to the low-50s in the Buffalo region by Friday, and will help melt the accumulated snow, according to the National Weather Service .

Claire Cardona is a breaking news editor for NBC News Digital.

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Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz » ERIE COUNTY, CITY OF BUFFALO UPDATE TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS AS OF SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19

ERIE COUNTY, CITY OF BUFFALO UPDATE TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS AS OF SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19

Modified: November 19, 2022 10:50am

Latest News

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ERIE COUNTY, NY—Effective immediately (Saturday, November 19 at 6:30 a.m.), the city of Buffalo and Erie County are implementing a Travel Ban for the entire city of Buffalo based on current and expected weather and road conditions.

This updated map shows the current travel restrictions for Erie County, with red-shaded areas having a Travel Ban and yellow-shaded areas having a Travel Advisory.

County and city officials are urging residents to follow these travel restrictions to prevent additional blocked roads from vehicle accidents or stranded vehicles, and to allow snow removal crews, tow trucks and first responders to do their work.

Link to updated map .

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If you drive under a travel ban, you will be ticketed, Erie County Executive says

Travel bans are in place for Erie, Niagara, Orleans and Genesee counties.

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — A travel ban is in place for all of Erie, Niagara, Orleans and Genesee counties. There's also travel advisories for Wyoming and Chautauqua counties. 

The New York State traffic cameras showed just how bad conditions have been throughout the day. 

At times, they're completely covered by snow blowing in the wind.

The NFTA made the decision on Thursday night to suspend the Metrorail and bus routes until further notice.

They then decided to close the airfield at the airport because conditions are too dangerous on Thursday night. Wind gusts were as high as 72 mph, and that meant all flights were canceled.

The view outside the station @WGRZ pic.twitter.com/CgG2SYDUBE — Danielle Church (@daniellejchurch) December 23, 2022

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is sending an important reminder that if you drive in the blizzard, you will be ticketed.

"If law enforcement can even get to you, which is a good question, because it is very dangerous, it's very difficult for them to get out there. They will be written up a ticket for a class 'B' misdemeanor. They will at best remove you from your vehicle - this is first responders and law enforcement," Poloncarz said.

"If they can get to you, they will not tow you out. they will not push you out. It is too dangerous for that. if they can reach you, they will get you and leave your car where it is."

The DOT has also closed the 219, 400, 290, route 5, and 190.

As of Sunday night, the Peace Bridge was closed for travel into the U.S.

Poloncarz says the county has been dealing with a lot of people calling law enforcement because they shouldn't have been driving and got stuck in the snow. It's causing issues for emergency responders trying to get to people who need immediate medical assistance.

Can’t even see the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Street lights already out around here too. @WGRZ pic.twitter.com/hUcPLYnogA — Danielle Church (@daniellejchurch) December 23, 2022

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Erie County under travel ban due to severe weather

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WCAX) - Part of Erie county is still under a travel ban this morning as severe winter weather batters the western part of the state.

In a press conference yesterday, Governor Kathy Hochul told residents to stay off the roads as the area undergoes what she called a ‘triple threat of cold temps and high winds on top of the snow.’

She said that the forecast has underestimated the storms strength, and what was expected to be only 1 to three inches an hour is now closer to 5 or 6. According to Governor Hochul, Jefferson County also got lake effect snow, anticipating another foot of accumulation last night.

“We’re trying to be targeted in our approach opening up some of the communities that are not as affected, but being very conscientious about the fact that there are still many high impact towns that are being affected at this very moment, and it is too dangerous to lift the bans at those times, or on the New York State Thruway overall,” she said.

Hochul urged people to respect the travel bans where they are in place, saying the state is only implementing them where absolutely necessary.

Copyright 2024 WCAX. All rights reserved.

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Near whiteout conditions in Buffalo force travel ban, NFL playoff game postponement

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NEW YORK (WABC) -- A travel ban remains in effect for Erie County, as near whiteout conditions pound Buffalo and western New York this weekend.

Severe lake effect snow is impacting the region, which prompted New York Governor Kathy Hochul to announce the Buffalo Bills-Pittsburgh Steelers NFL playoff game to be rescheduled from Sunday to Monday at 4:30 p.m.

Hochul took to X , formerly Twitter, on Saturday and noted that the decision was made after speaking with emergency response teams, Bills leadership and the NFL.

Residents of the county that includes Buffalo were told to stay off the roads starting at 9 p.m. Saturday, with the forecast calling for 1 to 2 feet or more of snow and winds gusting as high as 65 mph.

"It will not be safe to be out on the roads tonight," Hochul said Saturday, adding that the travel ban will allow crews to try stay on top of snow removal.

Hochul said the "bullseye" of the storm is expected to hit Orchard Park, where the Bills was scheduled to play Sunday.

A state of emergency was issued Friday by the governor ahead of the potentially life-threatening conditions in the region.

The intense lake-effect snow during this storm is expected to amount to 1-3 feet.

RELATED: Winter storm to bring more rain, flooding, and then a freeze to NYC, Tri-State

The same winter storm dumped heavy snow across the Plains and Midwest, ushering in some of the coldest air of the season.

The cold was the biggest concern in the Dakotas. It was 11 degrees below zero F (minus 24 C) in Bismarck, North Dakota, on Friday morning, and forecasters warned the weekend would get even worse. It could reach 20 below F (minus 29 C) by early Sunday.

Near-record cold in Kansas City made for a frigid NFL playoff game Saturday night between the Chiefs and Miami. The game time temperature was 7 below zero with a wind chill of 27 below.

The University of Kansas Health System set up a clinic and several first aid stations at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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The ONLY People Allowed On The Roads During A Travel Ban

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As the Western New York area braces for its first major winter weather event of the year, residents are urged to start preparing. 

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The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Erie, Genesee, and Wyoming counties beginning Saturday at 10am through 7am Monday, with blizzard conditions throughout the weekend. Forecasts are currently calling for snow accumulations of 1 to 3 feet in the most persistent bands, along with wind gusts as high as 65mph.

This snow storm couldn’t come at a worse time, considering the thousands of residents that were planning to attend the massive Buffalo Bills playoff game at Highmark Stadium. It’s not necessarily the snow total that’s a concern (we’ve seen worse), it’s the wind. The predicted massive gusts will cause blowing snow and severely reduce visibility on the roads, and the NWS is saying travel throughout Western New York will be “ very difficult to impossible” at times. 

The severe weather led to the highly anticipated home game to be pushed to Monday at 4:30pm, and Erie County enforcing a travel ban beginning at 9pm on Saturday night.

Only Essential Workers Allowed On The Roads During A Travel Ban

Unless you are deemed “essential,” it is against the law to be on the roads during a travel ban in Erie County, no matter the circumstance. Yes, this includes having tickets to the Buffalo Bills game. Drivers who are found on the roads during a travel ban that aren’t regarded as essential could be charged wi th a Class B misdemeanor and a $500 fine.

The goal of a travel ban is to keep the roads clear to prevent blockages for emergency and utility vehicles .

As explained by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, 

“The problem is magnified when you have vehicles on the roads that shouldn’t be there and then block the ability of public works and utility trucks to get down and try to fix what is down.”

Erie County Clarifies Who Are Essential Workers

Recently, Erie Country created the Essential Employee Exemption Portal to determine who and who isn’t allowed to be on the road during a travel ban. The portal divides workers into a 3-tiered system, and only certain types of businesses are considered to be essential.

In order to qualify for the travel exemption, organizations need to fill out a form and submit it to Erie County. 

According to the portal, here are the types of jobs that Erie County considers “essential workers,” and will be the ONLY ones allowed on the roads if there’s a travel ban in place. 

LIST: Workers Considered Essential In Erie County, New York

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All Erie County travel bans lifted

travel bans near buffalo ny

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The travel bans that were put in place in Erie County on Wednesday due to the heavy lake effect snow were all lifted as of 8 a.m. Thursday.

READ MORE: All Erie County travel bans have been lifted, travel advisory remains in place for entire county

The travel ban that was in place for the City of North Tonawanda was lifted at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

Governor Hochul released the following guidelines for traveling in winter weather:

  • Do not drive unless necessary.
  • If you must travel, make sure your car is stocked with survival gear like blankets, a shovel, a flashlight, extra batteries, extra warm clothing, a set of tire chains, battery booster cables, quick energy foods, and brightly colored cloth to use as a distress flag.
  • If you have a cell phone or other communications device such as a two-way radio available for your use, keep the battery charged and keep it with you whenever traveling. If you should become stranded, you will be able to call for help, advising rescuers of your location.
  • The leading cause of death and injuries during winter storms is transportation accidents. Before getting behind the wheel, make sure that your vehicle is clear of ice and snow; good vision is key to good driving. Plan your stops and keep more distance between cars. Be extra alert and remember that snowdrifts can hide smaller children. Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.
  • It is important for motorists on all roads to note that snowplows travel at speeds up to 35 mph, which in many cases is lower than the posted speed limit, to ensure that salt being dispersed stays in the driving lanes and does not scatter off the roadways. Oftentimes on interstate highways, snowplows will operate side by side, as this is the most efficient and safe way to clear several lanes at one time.
  • Motorists and pedestrians should also keep in mind that snowplow drivers have limited lines of sight, and the size and weight of snowplows can make it very difficult to maneuver and stop quickly. Snow blowing from behind the plow can severely reduce visibility or cause whiteout conditions. Motorists should not attempt to pass snowplows or follow too closely. The safest place for motorists to drive is well behind the snowplows where the roadway is clear and salted. Never attempt to pass a snowplow while it is operating.

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NYC shuttered 80% of its Airbnbs in an attempt to make housing more affordable. All that's done so far is make hotels more expensive.

  • Last year, New York City began enforcing its near-ban on short-term rentals, including Airbnbs.
  • As of June 24, there were just 2,276 legal short-term rentals, according to the city government.
  • City officials say the law aims to ease the housing-affordability crisis and boost the hotel industry.

Insider Today

Last September, New York City began enforcing its strict new regulations on short-term rentals . Since then, the number of legal short-term rentals listed on Airbnb and other platforms has plummeted.

Less than a year into the city's policy, known as Local Law 18 , it's not clear whether the near-ban is achieving one of its central goals: relieving pressure on the city's severe housing shortage. But as summer tourism heats up, the dearth of rentals and rising hotel-room prices mean visitors to the city are in for an even pricier trip than they probably bargained for.

Under LL18, someone can rent out their home for less than 30 days only if their unit is in an approved building, they rent to a maximum of two guests at a time, and they stay in the home with their guests, among other restrictions. Potential hosts have to apply for approval from the Office of Special Enforcement under the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice.

The city opened its application portal in March last year, and as of June 24, it had received 6,395 total applications for short-term rentals, according to OSE. The city has approved 2,276 of these, denied 1,746, and asked 2,269 applicants to submit additional information, the office said.

That small number of approvals has led to a dramatic decline in short-term listings since last year, according to AirDNA, a collector of industry data. From August to September of last year, when the city began enforcing LL18, Airbnb listings for stays of less than 30 days plummeted from 22,246 to 8,039. They fell again to a low of 2,646 in October but have slowly climbed since then to nearly 4,000 in May, about 82% below the level last August.

We want to hear from you: Are you an Airbnb host in NYC who's been impacted by the new regulations? Have you been affected by a loss of income? Have you converted a short-term rental to a long-term one? Are you still finding ways to rent unlisted? Tell us about how the new rules are affecting you in this form.

At the same time, the number of Airbnb listings for stays longer than 30 days rose rapidly. Many of these new medium-term rentals were simply converted from short-term, AirDNA's chief economist, Jamie Lane, told Business Insider.

"When we actually looked at the total number of listings on Airbnb, from October, once the dust had settled, to pre-law going into effect, it was only about a 14% decline," Lane said.

Lane said the vast majority of New York City's short-term rental inventory was listed on Airbnb, while a small portion of it was on Vrbo and Booking.com.

The city hasn't begun fining hosts for violating LL18. It's working with Airbnb and other short-term rental companies to ensure they're in compliance before it begins cracking down.

"That's resulted in a massive reduction in illegal listings across the major platforms," Christian Klossner, the executive director of OSE, told BI. "This law was not about new fines for people. This law was about preventing it at the source, and that's what we've done."

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The city won't say how many short-term rentals it's found that violate LL18, but it says it'll publish that number in its annual report in September. But Klossner said the city was continuing to conduct inspections based on complaints and issue fines for violations of long-standing rental regulations.

The city has long barred homeowners from renting out entire units for less than 30 days, but it didn't have the power to enforce these regulations until LL18 was passed.

Impacts of the near-ban

LL18 was motivated by the city's housing-affordability crisis, caused in large part by a severe housing shortage. Pro-housing supporters of LL18 argue New York City needs to prioritize homes over hotel rooms.

"Illegal short-term rental operators hurt our hospitality industry and make it harder for New Yorkers to find affordable housing, and we must ensure we are holding them accountable," New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement this past March.

Short-term rentals, including Airbnbs, can take homes that would otherwise be lived in full time off the market, potentially exacerbating the housing shortage. The city's home-vacancy rate is 1.4%, the lowest in more than 50 years, according to a recent city report . It can also help inflate home prices and rents.

The former city comptroller Scott Stringer found in a 2018 report that for every 1% of all homes in a New York City neighborhood listed on Airbnb, rent in that neighborhood went up by 1.58%. "Between 2009 and 2016, approximately 9.2 percent of the citywide increase in rental rates can be attributed to Airbnb," the report said.

But Airbnb and other critics say the near-ban won't do much to address the housing crisis and will hurt homeowners who relied on the rental income and visitors who couldn't afford sky-high hotel costs. There is a slew of factors — including new housing construction and migration patterns — that impact housing costs and vacancy rates. But there's some evidence, including from Irvine, California , that restricting short-term rentals can reduce rents. It's not clear how much of a role LL18 has played so far in changing these conditions.

The hotel industry has seen its revenue soar recently. Occupancy rates hit 82% last year, while the national average sits at 63% after falling to 47% in 2020. The average room price reached a record $301 a night, up 8.5% since 2022. The vacancy decline and price surge are probably both a result of the disappearance of so many short-term rentals and the fact that about 20% of city hotels are being used to shelter migrants, among other factors.

"It's not surprising to me that you remove 20,000 short-term rentals, and all of a sudden, hotel rates are going up by 10%," Lane said.

Airbnb sued the city to prevent LL18 from going into effect but lost in court last August. "New York City's short-term rental rules have significantly reduced accommodation options for visitors and contributed to higher hotel prices that are making it more expensive to visit the Big Apple," Nathan Rotman, Airbnb's Northeast policy lead, said in a statement to BI. "More importantly, the rules haven't improved housing affordability in the city— rents continue to rise and housing stock has reached historic lows."

Some Airbnb hosts say the measures go too far, choking small-time hosts who rely on the extra income, even though the original target was much bigger empires.

One New York City host told BI that they considered the ban a " slap in the face " and were continuing to rent illegally even with the threat of the new fines.

"I see these buildings on Central Park with penthouses that are empty because nobody can pay millions for apartments like that," the owner, who remained anonymous for privacy reasons, told BI. "But here I am fighting to stay in New York in my pre-war walk-up building."

Correction — June 26, 2024: An earlier version of this story misstated a statistic on New York City hotel rooms being used to shelter migrants. Twenty percent of New York City hotels are being used to shelter migrants, not 20% of New York City hotel rooms.

Axel Springer, Insider Inc.'s parent company, is an investor in Airbnb.

Watch: Marriott International's Tina Edmundson tells Insider that the travel mindset has changed since the pandemic

travel bans near buffalo ny

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News 4 Buffalo

Fourth of July travel planning? How to beat the rush

by: The Associated Press

Posted: Jun 28, 2024 / 01:54 PM EDT

Updated: Jun 28, 2024 / 01:54 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — The Fourth of July is right around the corner, and the travel rush is already heating up.

Millions of Americans are preparing to get out of town sometime in the coming holiday week. That will likely mean busy roads, as well as packed airports and train stations.

Motor club AAA projects that some 70.9 million travelers will head 50 miles or more from their homes over a nine-day Independence Day travel period — surpassing pre-pandemic numbers for the U.S. holiday. And the Transportation Security Administration expects to screen over 32 million individuals in airports from this Thursday through July 8, up 5.4% from last year’s numbers.

Are you traveling for the Fourth? Here’s a rundown of what you need to know.

When is the best time to hit the road for July Fourth?

Smooth sailing for travel around any holiday is never a given. But avoiding the most hectic times, when others are rushing out of town, is a good way to start.

If you’re traveling by car for the Fourth of July, it’s best to hit the road in the morning, according to transportation data and insights provider INRIX. Peak traffic congestion varies by location, INRIX data published by AAA shows, but the worst times to drive on, or leading up to, the holiday are generally between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Either way, be prepared for the roads to be jammed.

“Road trips over the holiday week could take up to 67% longer than normal,” Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX, said in a prepared statement.

July Fourth falls on a Thursday this year, and many travelers will likely take Friday, July 5th, off to extend their trip into a four-day weekend. Drivers in large metro areas can expect the biggest delays on Wednesday, July 3, and Sunday, July 7 — as travelers leave and return to town, Pishue added.

And if you’re renting a car ahead of July Fourth, the busiest pickup days will be Friday, Saturday and Wednesday before the holiday, AAA notes.

When will airports be busiest?

Airports will also likely be packed all week long — but the TSA expects most people will take to the skies on Friday.

It anticipates that it will screen more than 3 million individuals Friday. That would surpass the agency’s current record for most people screened on a single day,  which reached just under 3 million  last Sunday.

“We expect this summer to be our busiest ever,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said, adding that travel typical peaks around Independence Day.

Last year, the busiest day for Fourth of July air travel was also the Friday ahead of the holiday, TSA data shows. If past trends hold, travel will likely be higher on the days before and after the Fourth — particularly closer to the weekend. In 2023, for example, more than 2 million people were screened on the Fourth, which landed on a Tuesday last year, down from 2.88 million the Friday before.

What should I do if my flight is delayed or canceled?

Flights can be delayed or canceled for an array of reasons — from plane-specific mechanical problems to major storms impacting popular travel paths.

If your flight is canceled, airlines are required to provide refunds for customers, even if the cancellation is due to weather. Delays are trickier because they typically have to meet certain criteria for relief, such as refunds or compensation — but carriers will often give customers to chance to switch to alternative flights, if available, at no cost.

In April, the Biden administration issued final rules that include requiring airlines to provide automatic cash refunds within a few days for canceled flights and “significant” delays. Those rules are set to take effect over the next two years, but the Department of Transportation has a site that lets consumers see the  commitments each airline has made  for refunds and covering other expenses when flights are canceled or significantly delayed.

Always check your itinerary before leaving home

It’s better to be stuck at home than locked in hours-long traffic or stranded in an airport terminal. Before heading out the door this holiday week, do yourself a favor and check the status of your travel plans.

Was your flight, train or bus ride delayed? Are there are traffic incidents set to disrupt your drive? And what about the weather? A quick look through your itinerary — such as trip updates on a carrier’s website — checking weather forecasts and monitoring traffic safety through services like the 511 hotline or your phone’s navigation apps can go a long way toward avoiding travel misery.

Here are a few more tips to keep in mind:

— Leave early: There are more people everywhere during a holiday week, so lines will be longer and roads will be busier. Give yourself more time to get to your destination or to make your way through airport security.

— Keep an eye on the weather — and not just for your destination: Look at the weather for your entire travel path. Even if it’s sunny skies both at home and the place you’re headed, it’s important to keep an eye out for any storms in between. You may need to do some rerouting.

— Be kind: A trip delay or cancellation can be really frustrating — but if you’re running into disruptions, chances are others are too. Customer service agents have a lot on their plate at this time of year, and it’s important to be patient and respectful as they try to help you.

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IMAGES

  1. Travel banned in Buffalo as city digs out from historic 66-inch

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  2. Travel bans in effect as Buffalo snowstorm brings treacherous travel

    travel bans near buffalo ny

  3. Travel ban in city lifted as of 6 a.m.

    travel bans near buffalo ny

  4. Exploring The Latest Travel Restrictions In Buffalo, New York

    travel bans near buffalo ny

  5. Latest info on travel bans in Buffalo, WNY

    travel bans near buffalo ny

  6. Travel ban in place for Buffalo, New York

    travel bans near buffalo ny

COMMENTS

  1. Governor Hochul and Local Authorities Announce Full Travel Ban in Erie

    Governor Hochul and local authorities announced that a full travel ban for passenger ... A widespread 1-2 feet of heavy lake effect snow is forecast to impact areas near Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, including the cities of Buffalo and Watertown, with isolated, higher amounts possible and snowfall rates reaching three inches per hour at times ...

  2. Travel Ban Now In Effect For Parts Of Buffalo

    Getty Images. As Buffalo gets pummeled by a second snowstorm this week, a travel ban has gone into effect for parts of the city. Officials just sent out a message to warn some residents not to drive. Getty Images. UPDATE: As of Thursday, January 18, 2024, the travel ban has been lifted. However, a travel advisory still remains in effect.

  3. All Erie County travel bans have been lifted, travel advisory ...

    Posted at 8:07 AM, Jan 18, 2024. BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The travel bans that were put in place in Erie County on Wednesday due to the heavy lake effect snow were all lifted as of 8 a.m. Thursday ...

  4. Travel ban lifted for all of Erie County

    Updated: Jan 15, 2024 / 02:52 PM EST. BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The travel ban has been lifted for all of Erie County and downgraded to a travel advisory, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz ...

  5. Gov. Hochul announces travel ban for Erie County

    Posted at 1:11 PM, Jan 13, 2024. BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A travel ban is in place for most of Erie County and the I-90 due to the blizzard-like conditions impacting Western New York. Update: As ...

  6. Travel bans lifted Thursday, travel advisory in effect

    The travel bans went into effect Wednesday as heavy lake-effect snow impacted Western New York. The travel ban issued for Hamburg was lifted at 5:30 a.m. and the ban for Lackawanna was lifted as ...

  7. Lake Effect Snow Warning: The latest travel bans and advisories

    Updated: 9:40 PM EST January 18, 2024. BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Lake Effect Snow that brought whiteout conditions making travel on some Western New York roadways nearly impossible is ending. And so ...

  8. Final travel ban in Erie County to be lifted this afternoon

    Posted at 10:42 PM, Jan 14, 2024. BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The final travel ban in Erie County - for the city of Lackawanna - will be lifted at 1 p.m. this afternoon. Erie County Executive Mark ...

  9. Travel bans end in Buffalo, Erie County; advisory in effect

    The commercial vehicle ban has been lifted around 8 a.m. Thursday for the Thruway from the Pennsylvania line to Exit 46/I-390 near Rochester and Interstate-190. Closures Buffalo Public Schools are ...

  10. Travel ban lifted in some Erie County towns

    Updated:2:12 PM EST January 15, 2024. BUFFALO, N.Y. — Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced SMonday that the travel ban has been lifted for all communities in the county. Lackawanna was ...

  11. UPDATE: All travel bans lifted across Erie County

    New York Gov. Kathy Hochul was joined on Saturday by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and other officials to announce a travel ban for in Erie County starting at 9 p ...

  12. Travel ban lifted in Erie County as road conditions improve

    Dec. 29, 2022, 9:04 AM UTC. By Claire Cardona. A travel ban has been lifted in New York's Erie County, days after it was put into place as a deadly blizzard swept across the region, at times ...

  13. Erie County, City of Buffalo Update Travel Restrictions As of Saturday

    ERIE COUNTY, NY—Effective immediately (Saturday, November 19 at 6:30 a.m.), the city of Buffalo and Erie County are implementing a Travel Ban for the entire city of Buffalo based on current and expected weather and road conditions.

  14. Erie County: If you drive under travel ban, you will be ticketed

    BUFFALO, N.Y. — A travel ban is in placefor all of Erie, Niagara, Orleans and Genesee counties. There's also travel advisories for Wyoming and Chautauqua counties. The New York State traffic ...

  15. Travel Advisories

    Rainbow Bdg Deck toward CA. 0 - 29 minutes. 30 - 59 minutes. 60+ minutes. NO DELAY = 0 to 10 minutes. Last updated: 6/26/2024 1:30pm. View real-time travel advisories for Western New York and Southern Ontario, including Buffalo, Niagara Falls (USA and Canada), and St. Catharines.

  16. Erie County under travel ban due to severe weather

    BUFFALO, N.Y. (WCAX) - Part of Erie county is still under a travel ban this morning as severe winter weather batters the western part of the state. In a press conference yesterday, Governor Kathy ...

  17. Travel ban still in effect for parts of Erie County

    Posted at 9:49 PM, Nov 18, 2022. BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A travel ban remains in effect for a number of towns in Erie County, as the lake-effect snow event rages on. UPDATE: As of Sunday, the ...

  18. Highways reopen as driving bans end in Erie County

    Updated: Dec 29, 2022 / 07:02 AM EST. BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Driving bans in all of Erie County have been lifted. A driving advisory remains in effect in areas where the ban has been lifted. To ...

  19. Near whiteout conditions in Buffalo force travel ban ...

    NEW YORK (WABC) -- A travel ban remains in effect for Erie County, as near whiteout conditions pound Buffalo and western New York this weekend. Severe lake effect snow is impacting the region ...

  20. Governor Hochul Updates New Yorkers on Extreme Weather and Western New

    Governor Hochul Updates New Yorkers on Extreme Weather and Western New York Travel Bans ... Lake-Effect Weather Systems to Continue Creating Near Impossible and Dangerous Travel with Whiteout Conditions Throughout Sunday ... Erie Community College (South Campus), 4041 Southwestern Blvd, Buffalo, NY 14203; Windom Elementary School, 3870 Sheldon ...

  21. Travel Ban: The Only People Allowed To Drive In Buffalo, New York

    Unless you are deemed "essential," it is against the law to be on the roads during a travel ban in Erie County, no matter the circumstance. Yes, this includes having tickets to the Buffalo Bills game. Drivers who are found on the roads during a travel ban that aren't regarded as essential could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor and a ...

  22. All Erie County travel bans lifted

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The travel bans that were put in place in Erie County on Wednesday due to the heavy lake effect snow were all lifted as of 8 a.m. Thursday. READ MORE: All Erie County travel ...

  23. List of travel advisories and bans currently in effect in WNY

    List of travel advisories and bans currently in effect in WNY. by: News 4 Staff. Posted: Jan 29, 2019 / 11:08 PM EST. Updated: Feb 1, 2019 / 06:48 AM EST. SHARE. The following travel advisories ...

  24. Impacts of the near-ban

    Last year, New York City began enforcing its near-ban on short-term rentals, including Airbnbs. As of June 24, there were just 2,276 legal short-term rentals, according to the city government ...

  25. Fourth of July travel planning? How to beat the rush

    July Fourth falls on a Thursday this year, and many travelers will likely take Friday, July 5th, off to extend their trip into a four-day weekend. Drivers in large metro areas can expect the ...