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Long Island

Weekend traffic: Expect chaos on region's roads

New York City Marathon officials including Police Commissioner

New York City Marathon officials including Police Commissioner William J. Bratton, honorees, sponsors and Grand Marshall Spike Lee, third from left, participate in a ceremonial painting of a finish line of the marathon in Central Park on Oct. 29, 2015. Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

The luckiest drivers in the metro region this weekend might be pro football fans.

They can stay home because both the Giants and the Jets have away games. But others will face a weekend featuring at least two World Series games in Flushing, Queens, the Halloween parade in Greenwich Village and the granddaddy of street-closers, the New York City Marathon, which spans all five boroughs.

That means the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, where the 45th annual marathon begins on Staten Island on Sunday morning, will be closed to all vehicular traffic from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to the MTA. And the upper level will close to traffic starting at 11 p.m. Saturday for marathon preparations.

The best thing motorists can do -- if they have to drive in or through the city -- is to start very early, before closures, or very late, after reopenings.

"The bridge reopens at 3 p.m., but don't try to get on it at 3:05 p.m. You'll get snagged in traffic. Plan ahead and come back later in the day," said Alec Slatky, spokesman for AAA of New York.

Police said 1,800 officers will be deployed along the marathon parade route through Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx and Manhattan again, where it ends in Central Park. About 50,000 runners are expected to take part and more than 1 million spectators are expected along the route.

Police and other first responders conducted a tabletop exercise Thursday at Police Headquarters to go over potential problems during the marathon. In one scenario, a man rammed his SUV through a parade barricade in Queens, jumped out and began slashing spectators. Fire, police and ambulance officials explained how they would respond.

The Mets are urging fans to take mass transit for the night World Series games at Citi Field Friday, Saturday and -- fans hope -- Sunday.

Fans should arrive early so they can clear security before game time, the team said.

The best mass transit option is the No. 7 subway, which has the Mets-Willets Point stop adjacent to the main entrance to Citi Field.

Long Island Rail Road passengers can get off at the LIRR's Mets/Willets Point stop on the Port Washington Branch, or switch at Woodside. One LIRR wrinkle: buses will replace trains between Ronkonkoma and Hicksville on the Main Line this weekend for track work. Service is suspended between the two stations from 12:45 a.m. Saturday until 12:45 a.m. Monday.

The 42nd annual Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village will close Sixth Avenue from Spring to 16th Streets from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

MTA officials said ongoing construction would cause service changes on the No. 1 line, which serves the area. People planning to attend the parade should check for advisories.

With Anthony M. DeStefano


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