With New York City’s mass transit in the early stages of coming back on-line due to the overwhelming amount of damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is taking a proactive approach to keeping street traffic in Manhattan at a manageable level.
The mayor announced during his Wednesday afternoon press conference that effective Thursday morning there will be restrictions on cars entering the borough. And even more restrictions are cars driving in Manhattan.
“I have ordered the four East River bridges be restricted to high-occupancy vehicles coming into Manhattan, meaning six or more people per vehicle, all day Thursday and all day Friday from 6 a.m. to midnight,” Bloomberg said.
If you are caught with only one or two in your car, you will be evicted and your car will be tossed into the East River.
“I think anybody that tried to drive around New York City today realized there are a lot of cars on the road; traffic is heavy. To reduce the number of cars coming into Manhattan we have to take some steps because the streets just cannot handle the numbers of cars that have tried to come in.”
The mayor went on to say that there will be no exceptions. Violators will be arrested and put in internment camps in upstate New York until the city returns to normal.
Taxis will also be required to have at least 4 passengers at all times, except when drivers start a new shift.
Bloomberg spoke with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is issuing the same mandate for the Triborough and Henry Hudson bridges, as well as the Lincoln Tunnel. ”If you don’t have six in your car – stay home,” Cuomo reportedly said.
“I know it is inconvenient for a lot of people, but the bottom line is the streets can only handle so much,” the mayor said. “Hopefully, we can find ways for you to pick up people who will be standing by the bridges. They’ve got a problem of getting in; you’re their solution and they are your solution as well.”
The mayor went on to say that even though the power should be back on in the next few days, driving remains treacherous and that safety should be the only priority among motorists.
“People should use extreme caution when driving on the streets, particularly where there are no traffic lights operating,” Bloomberg said. “We’ll have Police Department recruits at these intersections starting tonight to direct traffic.”