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GRIDLOCK SAM: We love a parade — but not the traffic tie-ups


Bagpipers march up Fifth Ave. during the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2018. (Kevin C Downs / For New York Daily News)

Friday, March 15-Sunday, March 17


Beware the Ides of March especially if you're driving Friday…or the rest of the weekend. St. Patrick's Day parades take over Midtown Saturday and Park Slope, Brooklyn, on Sunday, the same day the New York City Half Marathon runs on Flatbush, over the Manhattan Bridge and on the northbound FDR.

The Manhattan parade will close Fifth Ave. from 42nd to 86th streets from 8 a.m. to about 7 p.m. Saturday. There'll be no crosstown traffic, and crowds will make driving in the area almost impossible. Take the subway but check weekend service changes carefully before leaving. Here are just some of them:

Parade masses will likely close some subway entrances and exits at 59th (N, R) and 77th streets (6) between 11 a.m. and the early evening Saturday. Bus routes near the parade will be rerouted. This weekend there is special M service in Manhattan on the F track from Brooklyn to 47-50th St. and on the Q to 96th St. Manhattan-bound 7 trains will skip many Queens stops Saturday and Sunday. Uptown 1 local stations are closed from 50th to 86th Sts. The F is not running between Church Ave. and Coney Island, and the L is not running to or from Manhattan.

The half marathon between Prospect and Central parks Sunday will run in waves closing Flatbush Ave. to the Manhattan Bridge 5:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. The bridge's Manhattan-bound upper level will be closed from 7 a.m. to noon. The northbound FDR Drive will be closed to 34th St. until about 1:30 p.m. The race turns on 42nd St. to Seventh Ave., to 59th St., which will be closed between Fifth Ave. to Columbus Circle until about 2 p.m.

The traffic "March Madness" will also have basketball tourneys nearby with the Atlantic 10 at Barclays Center at noon and 6 p.m. Friday, and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Madison Square Garden has the Big East at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (parade day), and the Knicks vs. Lakers noon Sunday.

Park Slope's St. Patrick's Parade Sunday will close Brooklyn's Seventh Ave. between 15th St. and Garfield Place from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Prospect Park West between Ninth and 15th streets from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

NYC Football Club plays L.A. at 3 p.m. Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

There will be a "Rally for Ruth" Bader Ginsburg (not appearing) at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Joralemon St. near the Brooklyn Bridge at 8 a.m. Friday.