Queens roads were more congested than ever following the attack on the World Trade Center because of sporadic security checks set up throughout the borough to prevent terrorist acts.
According to an officer who requested anonymity, police have been directed to check all vans, trucks and any suspicious vehicles at entrance points to Manhattan as well as other spots in the borough.
The surprise, secret checks have resulted in boroughwide delays, adding to already jammed roads filled with overflow traffic redirected north from the Brooklyn Bridge, closed since the destruction of the Twin Towers. The Triboro Bridge, the Queensboro Bridge and the Midtown Tunnel have reopened.
Police are throwing up the security checkpoints in an attempt to catch terrorists off guard, so locations often change. The authorities will not release any information as to when and where the checks take place, so motorists cannot avoid the resulting delays.
How long will these checks continue?
Oh, Id say probably the next 10 years, said a spokesman from the city Department of Transportations Queens Division, who asked not to be identified.
Drivers may have to allow more time for their commute on a permanent basis.
You need to leave yourself a lot of time, said Jennifer Nelson, a state Department of Transportation spokeswoman.
DOT and city officials urged motorists to use public transportation if at all possible.
Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 141.
©2001 Community News Group
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