NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Get ready for major gridlock in Midtown and on the East Side starting Monday as the United Nations General Assembly gets underway.
The best thing you can do going into this week is avoid driving and use other forms of transportation, but if you can’t do that, give yourself as much extra time as possible, CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported Sunday.
The U.N. General Assembly runs from Monday through Sept. 30.
“Midtown will see some of the slowest traffic speeds of the year. If you do not have to drive, please use alternative modes of transportation,” said Edward Pincar, the Department of Transportation’s Manhattan Borough Commissioner.
Starting at 10 p.m. Sunday police were to close traffic on First Avenue from 42nd to 48th streets. In addition, 44th, 45th and 46th streets will be inaccessible from First Avenue to Second Avenue, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported.
To help alleviate traffic, bike lane access on First and Second avenues in Midtown will remain open, including a temporary bikeway through the First Avenue tunnel. This year marks the first time that bike lane access will be maintained through the security zones along First and Second avenues. Cyclists will also be subject to security checkpoints.
“I think that’s wonderful. We like biking on streets without cars and, of course, I want to see what’s happening over there. It’s exciting,” Hell’s Kitchen resident Anne Rothwell told Rozner.
The FDR Drive will be closed between Whitehall Street and the RFK-Triborough Bridge.
“During last year’s U.N. General Assembly, average weekday speeds in the Midtown core slowed to 4 mph. We once again want to get the word out and often,” Pincar said.
At this year’s General Assembly, the U.N.’s secretary general is asking all leaders to come up with concrete plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% over the next decade and to net zero emissions by 2050.
President Donald Trump will be in New York during the Assembly but will not be attending the environmental event. Instead, he’s expected to hold an event of his own, focusing on religious freedom.
Top Iranian officials are expected to attend the General Assembly. President Hassan Rouhani will arrive in New York on Monday. The country’s visit comes as tensions between the U.S. and Iran have risen following an attack on oil installations in Saudi Arabia. That country says Iran is behind the attack.
Trump is still scheduled to meet with Ukranian leader Volodymyr Zelensky this week despite reports that Trump urged him to investigate Joe Biden’s son, who worked for a Ukranian oil company. The president has denied those claims, though he admitted Sunday he did discuss Biden with Zelensky.
On top of all the other traffic, an anti-Trump protest is expected to happen Monday night beginning at Bryant Park and making its way down Fifth Avenue.