How to get around NYC during this year’s United Nations General Assembly

Posted On Fri, September 20, 2019 By

Posted On Fri, September 20, 2019 By In Events, Midtown, Transportation

Image via Flickr

The United Nations General Assembly already began on Sept. 17 but Midtown has yet to experience the traffic nightmare that will hit the neighborhood next week. With meetings taking place through Sept. 30, the city has designated weekdays between Sept. 23 and Sept. 30 as gridlock alert days. On top of UNGA, Climate Week events will add to the congestion. “Drivers should leave their cars at home next week if they can—and try walking, taking mass transit, or getting on a bicycle,” Polly Trottenberg, commissioner of the Department of Transportation, said in a statement. Here’s a handy guide to getting around the city during the busy week ahead, including street closures and traffic updates for those of you with nerves of steel.

Street closures and traffic updates

The city has just released a detailed, day-by-day plan of anticipated traffic delays, which you can view here. In general, the following streets may be closed at the discretion of the NYPD from now through Sept. 30:

  • FDR Drive between Whitehall Street and Willis Avenue Bridge/RFK Bridge
  • Area bounded by 60th to 34th streets, and First to Third avenues
  • Area bounded by 54th to 48th streets, and First to Madison avenues
  • 6th Avenue between 50th Street and 59th Street
  • Grand Army Plaza between 58th Street and 60th Street
  • 5th Avenue between 56th Street and 63rd Street
  • Madison Avenue between 42nd Street and 58th Street
  • 76th and 77th streets
  • Park Avenue between 76th and 77th streets
  • FDR Drive Service Road between 48th and 49th streets
  • 76th and 77th streets between Madison and Park avenues
  • 61st Street between Fifth Avenue and Lexington Avenue
  • 59th Street between Seventh Avenue and Fifth Avenue
  • 58th Street between Broadway and Madison Avenue
  • 57th Street between Seventh Avenue and FDR Drive
  • 56th Street between 6th Avenue and Madison Avenue
  • 54th and 55th streets between Seventh Avenue and Madison Avenue
  • 53rd Street between Seventh Avenue and FDR Drive
  • 52nd Street between Seventh Avenue and Madison Avenue
  • 50th Street between Seventh Avenue and FDR Drive
  • 51st Street between Seventh Avenue and First Avenue
  • 48th and 49th streets between First Avenue and FDR Drive Service Road
  • 42nd Street between Seventh Avenue and FDR Drive
  • 34th Street between Seventh Avenue and FDR Drive

Rideshare incentives

As a way of celebrating Climate Week, rideshare app Via is partnering with climate technology company ClimaCell to offer a 15 percent discount on shared rides to any of ten “clean air gems” they’ve identified throughout New York City, listed in the map above.  To make use of the offer riders can simply apply the code “VIAGREEN19” in the Via app. The code will be valid from Sept. 20 to 27.

Bike Lanes

This year the DOT is keeping protected bike lanes on First and Second avenues open for the first time during UNGA. There will be a temporary northbound lane on First Avenue between 40th and 49th Streets and a southbound lane on Second Avenue between 57th and 41st Streets.

The First Avenue lane will be open 24 hours a day while the Second Avenue lane will only be available until 9 p.m. The DOT notes that “cyclists on both routes will be subject to security checkpoints and occasional, unannounced traffic freezes.” In addition, CitiBike will be offering a 50% discount on 3-day passes from September 23 to 30.

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Neighborhoods : Midtown East

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