Saturday, September 20, 2008

With UN summit comes gridlock

With UN summit comes gridlock

Friday, September 19th 2008, 6:25 PM

The arrrival of 192 world leaders at the United Nations once again translates into one huge Manhattan traffic jam.

The 63rd United Nations General Assembly, in addition to bringing President Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, promises the usual stupefying gridlock next week.

Around the Waldorf-Astoria, host to a Monday night reception for world leaders, the blocks on 49th and 50th Sts. between Park and Lexington Aves. are already closed through midnight Thursday. Additional street shutdowns are set for tomorrow. Beginning Monday, large swaths of 42nd St., 57th St. and Second Ave. will shut down to create an emergency vehicle lane.

Authorities urged drivers to avoid the East Side area around the United Nations, along with streets around the midtown hotels hosting the world leaders.

New Yorkers were asked to use mass transit to help cut down on the traffic woes inevitably caused by heavy security, endless motorcades and assorted demonstrations.

In addition to a range of scheduled street closures, police warned of random shutdowns through Wednesday along the FDR Drive, Park Ave. and First Ave. President Bush comes to town Monday, a day before he delivers his final address as chief executive to the world body.

Ahmadinejad is expected to speak on the same day, which should create huge delays.


Detour de Force

These streets will be completely closed to traffic from Saturday until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday:

  • 49th St. from Lexington Ave. to Park Ave.

  • 50th St. from Lexington Ave. to Park Ave.

    Trucks and other large vehicles will be banned from using:

  • Park Ave. from E. 48th St. to E. 52nd St.

  • Lexington Ave. from E. 48th St. to E. 52nd St.
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