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Drivers hoping to reach Manhattan via the Ed Koch Queensborough or Robert F. Kennedy Triborough bridges will need at least three people in the vehicle beginning at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning, according to the city Department of Transportation.
The announcement was first made by Mayor Michael Bloomberg Wednesday afternoon when he said that NYPD officers will be stationed at the entrances to all East River crossings, which includes the two Queens spans, and that they will prevent motorists with empty passenger seats from proceeding any further. Bloomberg stated the the HOV policy would go into effect Wednesday evening, though DOT said it would not begin until Thursday morning. The policy will continue from 6 a.m. to midnight Thursday and Friday, the mayor said.
In order to meet the requirements, Bloomberg suggested motorists pick up other residents who might be near the entrance to the bridge in need of a lift.
“It’s the ultimate symbiotic relationship,” he said.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority expected to have limited subway service in Queens by Thursday.
According to a map released by the agency, the N train will run from its terminus in Astoria to Herald Square station in Manhattan. The F train will run from Jamaica to the same location, while the A and J trains will run from their terminuses in Queens into Brooklyn only, according to the MTA.
City schools will be closed Thursday and Friday for students, although Bloomberg instructed teachers and other school staff to report to work Friday.
Consolidated Edison hopes to have most of the power restored to the city by Monday, though in areas with an abundance of downed trees and severed aboveground lines, which includes areas in Queens, restoration will take longer, the mayor said.
Bloomberg also urged the city’s residents to stay out of city parks until inspectors determine trees and equipment do not pose a hazard for residents, though he expected most of the green spaces would be open to the public by the weekend.
As far as street trees, the city has received reports of about 10,500 trees that have fallen over, with about half that number coming from Queens, he said.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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