The city will hopefully be closer to normal by Monday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, though New Yorkers will have to deal with some inconveniences over the next few days as the city cleans up from Hurricane Sandy.
"We are on our way back to normal," Bloomberg said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon. "Today, our streets have too much traffic. Yesterday there was none."
With only limited subway restorations expected Thursday and massive traffic on city streets Wednesday from cars, MTA buses and non-working traffic lights, Bloomberg announced driving restrictions for people coming into Manhattan.
All cars entering Gotham over bridges or through the Lincoln Tunnel must have at least three passengers on Thursday and Friday. Bloomberg said cars breaking the order would be stopped unless they were able to pick up additional passengers. Bus lanes would also be enforced to help them move quicker.
"The streets just cannot handle the number of cars that have tried to come in," he said.
Bloomberg also said that schools would stay closed to students for the remainder of the week, in part because about 200 schools were damaged by the storm. School staff was ordered to return to work on Friday.
The annual Greenwich Village Halloween parade was canceled, as was a season-opening Nets-Knicks game at the Barclays Center, Bloomberg said. Sunday's marathon race will continue as planned, he said.
Engineers confirmed that a partially collapsed crane on West 57th Street was secured, but Bloomberg said sections of streets below will remain closed to pedestrians over the next few days, as the crane is removed and replaced.
About 6,300 people still remained in shelters as of Wednesday, Bloomberg said, adding that mandatory evacuations are still in place until the city has inspected buildings in the Zone A areas.