HOW TO AVOID THE SUMMER TRAVEL TRAFFIC BLUES

Here is a press release I received via email from the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission:

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HOW TO AVOID THE SUMMER TRAVEL TRAFFIC BLUES

Niagara Falls Bridge Commission offers tips on how to avoid traffic when crossing one of the three international bridges over the Niagara River

LEWISTON, NEW YORK – Summer is fast approaching and travelers will be utilizing the international bridges along the Niagara River in much greater numbers.  Whether it is to shop, visit tourism destinations, vacation, go to the beach, catch a Bernard Shaw play or take a Sunday drive in a neighboring country, to name just a few, travelers that cross one of the bridges between the US and Canada will want to avoid long delays. If prepared, traffic delays can be minimized using the tools provided by the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission.

For some time now, the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission has provided information on traffic conditions at the Whirlpool, Lewiston-Queenston and Rainbow Bridges.  Before departing for a trip to either side of the border travelers can visit the organization’s website or call its toll free number to find out traffic patterns at all three bridges.

  • Niagarafallsbridges.com provides hourly updates on traffic conditions on the Lewiston-Queenston, Whirlpool and Rainbow Bridges, as well as real time photos of the traffic conditions on the Lewiston-Queenston and Rainbow Bridges.
  • Travelers planning to travel over one of the three Niagara Falls Bridge Commission’s bridges are encouraged to call its toll free number that provides hourly updates of traffic conditions on the three bridges.  The number to call is 1-800-715-6722, press 2 for car traffic info.

The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission also provides exclusive use of the Whirlpool Bridge to travelers with a NEXUS pass.  With travel times over the Whirlpool Bridge averaging less than a minute, NEXUS Pass travelers do not have to worry about traffic when crossing the Niagara River.  In addition, NEXUS travelers using the Whirlpool Bridge currently receive a 28% discount on tolls.  For more information about the NEXUS program please visit niagarafallsbridges.com and click on the NEXUS link on the upper right hand corner.

Representatives from the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission also recommend drivers who are traveling on I-190 in the United States who are on route to cross one of the three bridges to view the electronic traffic overhead message signs for current traffic conditions on the various bridges.  The signs operated by NITTEC receive all traffic information from the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission and the signs are updated very regularly.  Drivers can also tune into 1610 AM, Highway Advisory Radio, on their car radio, which gives traffic conditions on the three bridges operated by the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission.

Travelers who cross the border should also be aware that the U.S. and Canada each have different laws dictating what travelers are allowed to cross the border with and what items need to be declared, such as fruits, plants and duty free items.  For a complete list of what is allowed into each county, travelers should visit either www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca (Canada) or www.cbp.gov (U.S) when crossing into the respective countries.  Each site provides a comprehensive list of what is allowed in each country and what items need to be declared at the customs booth.  Knowing this important information will make traveling across the border quicker and will ensure compliance with the laws.

It is also very important for all travelers to know that as of June 1, 2009 travelers entering the U.S. by land, must provide either a passport, passport card, enhanced driving license, Trusted Traveler Cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST), State Issued Enhanced Driver’s License (when available) Enhanced Tribal Cards (when available), U.S. Military Identification with Military Travel Orders, U.S. Merchant Mariner Document when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business, Native American Tribal Photo Identification Card or a Form I-872 American Indian Card.  Those that don’t have one of these forms of identification may be denied entrance to the U.S.  US Customs recently reported that 90% of travelers already have the required identification documents so long delays are not anticipated. However, using the available tools and taking advantage of the benefits of the NEXUS program will provide benefits to all travelers.

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About the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission

A Joint Resolution of the 1938 U.S. Congressional Third Session created the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission. The Extra Provincial Corporations Act of the Province of Ontario, Canada licenses the NFBC. Canada and the U.S. are equally represented on the NFBC by an eight-member Board of Commissioners.  Initially established to finance, construct and operate the Rainbow Bridge, the Commission proved sufficiently efficient and effective to assume responsibilities for the Whirlpool Rapids (Lower) and Lewiston-Queenston Bridges.  The NFBC builds and maintains all facilities for Customs and Immigration functions on both sides of the international border. The NFBC is self supportive, largely through user fees (tolls) and private-sector tenant leases. NFBC is federally chartered to conduct international commercial financial transactions and issue federal (U.S.) tax-exempt bonds.

3 thoughts on “HOW TO AVOID THE SUMMER TRAVEL TRAFFIC BLUES

    1. Vivian, since the entire press release is about bridge and border traffic, I hardly think the Via train from Toronto to Niagara Falls is a way of ‘bypassing all that’. You’ll have to read a little more carefully in the future before plugging.

  1. I’ll never take the Via Train to NF again. The way thier we were on an Amtrax train leaving Union, everything was great….

    Coming home, “The Train went missing”. THat what Via said. They did have buses convently booked for us at the time we were to leave. Took about 3 hours to get home.

    When we took the train. THe hours were really bad. I don’t know what the are like now.

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