What can you expect from the traffic jam in NYC during the UN General Assembly

What can you expect from the traffic jam in NYC during the UN General Assembly

What can you expect from the traffic jam in NYC during the UN General Assembly

The UN General Assembly is back – and with it, bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Bus routes will be disrupted and roads closed — sometimes without warning — that usually make Midtown a nightmare for drivers all week as world leaders gather on First Avenue between 42nd and 48th streets.

Average car speeds drop to 4km/h during General Assembly week – cutting a one-kilometre drive to 20 minutes, according to city transport officials. The NYPD is encouraging New Yorkers and visitors to take public transit or bike as Midtown street traffic is expected to come to a standstill.

President Biden is expected in the city after he attended Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in London. His speech, which would normally be given on Tuesday, is set for Wednesday.

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

Public transit and transportation officials are warning that here’s what to expect until September 23:

Vehicular traffic:

“Gridlock Alert Days” are designated for 19-23. September by the city’s Ministry of Transport.

Numerous roads will be closed starting at 10 p.m. Sunday, including First Avenue between 42nd and 48th streets, and 44th to 46th streets between First and Second Avenue.

Parking will be permitted on 48th Street between Lexington and Park avenues, 49th Street from First to Fifth avenues, and 50th and 51st streets from Park to Madison avenues.

The FDR Drive will also be subject to “intermittent” unscheduled closures, while other nearby streets will have fewer lanes than usual.

A driver’s best bet is to avoid Midtown altogether — and certainly avoid getting near Biden, who is likely to come with a large entourage.

Traffic restrictions on 24th Street in Manhattan due to the United Nations Assembly.
Traffic restrictions on 24th Street in Manhattan due to the United Nations Assembly.
Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images
Numerous roads will be closed starting at 10 p.m. Sunday, including First Avenue between 42nd and 48th streets, and 44th to 46th streets between First and Second Avenue.
Numerous roads will be closed starting at 10 p.m. Sunday, including First Avenue between 42nd and 48th streets, and 44th to 46th streets between First and Second Avenue.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Bus service:

Riders should expect delays on all buses operating in Manhattan, with detours on a number of routes:

  • Northbound M15-SBS buses will not stop on First Avenue from 39th Street to Mitchell Place through Friday.
  • M50 buses will begin 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 gathering.
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.
GNMiller/NYPost

Bike lanes:

The city will set up temporary bike lanes on First and Second avenues this week, as it has done since 2019. Neither route requires a detour.

Cyclists heading north on First Avenue will pass a security checkpoint at 39th Street, and will be able to pedal up to East 49th Street on a temporary bike path through the First Avenue Tunnel from East 40th Street. The track will be open around the clock.

A temporary bike lane will also run southbound on Second Avenue between East 47th and East 41st streets until 21.00. The existing cycle lane has been set aside for dignitaries and emergency vehicles.

Both streets are “subject to security checkpoints and traffic freezes,” the DOT said.

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