NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill met with the Secret Service Thursday to discuss traffic trouble around Trump Tower since heavy security was put in place following the presidential election of Donald Trump.
Barricades, armed officers, Secret Service and slow-moving traffic is the new reality outside the Fifth Avenue building and on adjacent streets.READ MORE: CDC Reverses Course, Recommends People Wear Masks Indoors Where COVID Rates Are High
“I’ve been up there numerous times,” O’Neill said. “It is challenging.”
The police commissioner empathized with New Yorkers having to navigate the congested area, where Tiffany’s flagship store cancelled plans for the unveiling event of its holiday window display because of security concerns.
O’Neill’s meeting with the Secret Service was intended to come up with a more solidified, long-term security plan for the area.
“We have to strike that balance between security and making sure all New Yorkers are able to get around that very busy area of the city,” he said. “I am sure working with the Secret Service, we will come up with a good solution to it as we usually do.”
Possible security measures could include closing one of the lanes on Fifth Avenue, as well as installing blast-proof glass on the lower levels of the building, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported.
While officials try to devise a plan to keep some semblance of normalcy, Dennis Shields, who lives in Trump Tower two floors below the president-elect, said this inconvenience represents a right of passage for the incoming president.READ MORE: Drivers Turn Highways Into Personal Parking Lots While Waiting To Pick Up Passengers From Tri-State Area Airports
“He built the building and it’s his right to live here,” Shields said. “It’s the best run building in New York. They’ve gotten their act together with getting the tenants in and out, and deliveries, and Secret Service. It’s nice, you come in at 1 in the morning you’re greeted and and everyone is there. You feel like Norm from ‘Cheers.'”
Security is going to cost a fortune, but O’Neill says the feds better have their checkbooks ready.
“There is federal reimbursement, we’re not sure as to what extent that’s going to be yet,” O’Neill said. “As far as the protests, as we experienced a couple a years ago, when we have events that are not planned, there is additional overtime, there is additional cost.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio also addressed the traffic trouble while speaking outside Trump Tower following a meeting with president-elect on Wednesday.
“Obviously, traffic in Midtown has to flow and obviously the president-elect and his entire team have to be protected,” he said.
Trump has said that he also plans to stay at Trump Tower at times, even after he becomes president, WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron reported.MORE NEWS: Taxi Driver Scared To Return To Work After Almost Being Struck By Bullet While Driving On Queens Highway
The mayor and police commissioner are expected to hold a news conference Friday to announce the outcome of the meeting with the Secret Service.