New York lifts travel ban as blizzard spares city

NEW YORK - A travel ban was lifted Tuesday in New York City after a major snowstorm failed to live up to predictions.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city ended a roadway travel prohibition as of 7:30 a.m. (GMT1230) and all public schools would reopen Wednesday.

The announcement came a day after the city virtually shut down amid expectations that a snowstorm of historic proportions would hit the northeast U.S. overnight, prompting de Blasio to declare local emergency and banning all non-emergency road traffic from city roads after 11 p.m.

"This is a better-safe-than-sorry scenario," the mayor told CNN. "We did what was necessary to keep everyone safe."

Heavy snow and fierce winds pounded the region nonetheless, but snowfall totals varied, with some areas including New York City seeing as little as 5 inches while others were pummeled by almost 3 feet. 

The National Weather Service recorded 5.5 inches of snow by 9 a.m. (GMT1400) in Central Park, the largest public park in Manhattan,

The MTA, the city’s transportation authority, resumed subway and bus services on a Sunday schedule beginning noon Tuesday, a day after the forecast caused a total shutdown of its services for the first time in its history.

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