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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Batman causes traffic backup on Queensboro Bridge?

If asked to identify the reasons for a major traffic backup here in New York City, most people would probably guess an accident caused by inattentive driving or speeding, road construction or even sheer congestion as the most likely causes. Interestingly, a major traffic backup in the city this past weekend was caused by none of these factors, but rather by a single person: Batman.

Specifically, the entire top deck of the Queensboro (59th Street) Bridge was shut down for almost the entire weekend so that crews could film scenes for the next installment in the Christopher Nolan Batman film trilogy entitled "The Dark Knight Rises."

The movie shoot - which closed bridge traffic in both directions - caused significant traffic backups and frustrated many motorists.

"It was horrendous," said one observer in the area. "On a Sunday, it would never look like this."

Indeed, the long wait caused many motorists to resort to drastic measures, including stopping on green lights to ask traffic officers for directions around the mess, veering around barricades and onto alternative routes, and even driving the wrong way down 2nd Avenue.

Interestingly, it wasn't just the bridge traffic backup from the filming that caused headaches for many New Yorkers.

The parking spaces in and around the Queensboro Bridge area were lined with cars bearing "Gotham" license plates.

"It's getting outrageous here in New York," said one angry citizen. "All their filming, all this ridiculous filming and we aren't getting anything for it."

While the frustration is certainly understandable, the Mayor's Office responded by pointing out that movie/television productions bring over $5 billion a year to the city and that 23 television shows are currently being filmed here.

"During a time of financial distress, more T.V. shows are shooting in our city than ever before. So when you start reading stories about people leaving the city or about it being tough to do business here, nothing's perfect, but the evidence is that we have to be doing something right," said Mayor Bloomberg in a recent interview.

Here's hoping that the Batmobile is done patrolling the streets for the time being ...

Stay tuned for further updates from our New York traffic law blog ...

If you or a loved one has received a speeding ticket or other traffic violation, don't just dismiss it.

Instead, consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Sources:

The New York Times, "Traffic to stymie even the Batmobile shows the two sides of movie production" Nov. 13, 2011

CBS News, "'The Dark Knight Rises' filming causes major delays in New York City" Nov. 14, 2011

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