All East River Bridges Will Be HOV Starting Tonight, Vehicles Will Need 3 or More Passengers to Enter Manhattan

After all this, the bridges are back—and more popular than ever. (Getty)

Mayor Bloomberg just announced at his first press briefing today that due to bumper-to-bumper traffic in Manhattan today, all East River crossings will be HOV-restricted starting tonight at 6 p.m. This means any vehicles wishing to enter Manhattan will have to have at least three passengers inside. The restrictions will be in place all day Thursday and Friday.

“We need to reduce the number of cars coming in. The streets cannot handle all the traffic,” Mayor Bloomberg said. He said the city would try and figure out a way to allow people to arrange for rides, either at the crossings or elsewhere, but no details were given.

“I know it’s inconvenient for a lot of people, but the streets just can’t handle it,” the mayor said.

The crossings only just reopened today, with the exception of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and the Rockaway Bridges and the flooded tunnels, the Brooklyn-Battery/Hugh Carey and the Holland, which the mayor said he does not expect to reopen until the weekend or next Monday at the earliest.

He made the same prediction about the subways, which are expected to resume partial service tomorrow, though none will be going under the rivers.

Not surprisingly, hard-working New Yorkers, being the Type-A types they are, flooded the streets on their way to work and other destinations, generally crippling the streets and reminding us all how the MTA is actually pretty awesome.