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What to expect from the traffic chaos at the UN General Assembly in NYC

The United Nations General Assembly is back – and with it bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Bus routes are disrupted and roads closed — sometimes without notice — making midtown in general a driver’s nightmare all week long as world leaders converge on First Avenue between 42nd and 48th Streets.

Average car speeds drop to 4 miles per hour during General Assembly week – which city transit officials say will increase a one-mile drive to 20 minutes. The NYPD is urging New Yorkers and visitors to take mass transit or bikes as midtown traffic is expected to grind to a halt.

President Biden is expected in town after attending the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London. His speech, which would normally have been given on Tuesday, is scheduled for Wednesday.

The United Nations General Assembly is expected to bring heavy traffic to Manhattan this week.
The United Nations General Assembly is expected to bring heavy traffic to Manhattan again this week.
Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images

Transit and transportation officials are warning that through September 23, you can expect:

Vehicular traffic:

“Gridlock Alert Days” have been set by the city’s Department of Transportation for September 19-23.

Numerous streets will be closed beginning at 10 p.m. Sunday, including First Avenue between 42nd and 48th Streets and 44th through 46th Streets between First and Second Avenues.

Parking is permitted on 48th Street between Lexington and Park Avenues, 49th Street from First through Fifth Avenue, and 50th and 51st Streets from Park through Madison Avenue.

FDR Drive will also “intermittently” face unplanned closures while other nearby roads will have fewer lanes than usual.

A driver’s best bet is to avoid Midtown entirely — and definitely not get anywhere near Biden, who will likely come with a large entourage.

Due to the UN convention, traffic is restricted on 24th Street in Manhattan.
Due to the UN convention, traffic is restricted on 24th Street in Manhattan.
Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images
Numerous streets will be closed beginning at 10 p.m. Sunday, including First Avenue between 42nd and 48th Streets and 44th through 46th Streets between First and Second Avenues.
Numerous streets will be closed beginning at 10 p.m. Sunday, including First Avenue between 42nd and 48th Streets and 44th through 46th Streets between First and Second Avenues.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Bus services:

Passengers should expect delays on all buses serving Manhattan, with diversions on a number of routes:

  • The northbound M15 SBS buses will not stop on First Avenue from 39th Street to Mitchell Place until Friday.
  • M50 buses start and end at 50th Street and Second Avenue.
  • Express bus stops will be closed throughout Midtown. Check the MTA’s scheduled service changes page for your route.
President Joe Biden will also arrive in New York to address the convention.
President Biden will arrive in New York to address the General Assembly.
Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images
A temporary bike lane will also run southbound on Second Avenue between East 47th and East 41st Streets until 9 p.m
A temporary bike lane will also run southbound on Second Avenue between East 47th and East 41st Streets until 9 p.m
GN Miller/NY Post

Bike lanes:

The city will establish temporary bike lanes on First and Second Avenues for the week, as it has since 2019. No route requires a detour.

Cyclists traveling north on First Avenue will pass through a security checkpoint at 39th Street and may cycle on a temporary bike path through the First Avenue Tunnel from East 40th Street to East 49th Street. The railway remains open around the clock.

A temporary southbound bike lane will remain on Second Avenue between East 47th and East 41st Streets until 9 p.m. The existing cycle path is intended for dignitaries and emergency vehicles.

Both roads are subject to “security checkpoints and traffic closures,” the DOT said.

https://nypost.com/2022/09/18/what-to-expect-from-nycs-un-general-assembly-traffic-mess/ What to expect from the traffic chaos at the UN General Assembly in NYC

JACLYN DIAZ

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