UN General Assembly creates traffic nightmare

September 20, 2011 9:18:56 AM PDT
Leaders from across the globe are in New York City this week for the annual United Nations General Assembly.

Checkpoints and closures are already in place, and more will be added or changed as the week goes on. First Avenue will be closed to traffic from 42nd to 47th streets.

Security will continue to be tight as diplomats from around the world arrive. President Barack Obama arrived Monday night and will address the General Assembly on Wednesday.

The gathering of world leaders is causing traffic headaches on the East Side, and gridlock is expected all week. There are numerous road closures on the East Side and in Midtown for security reasons. You can see the full list of closures at the bottom of this article.

One of the main issues the General Assembly will be taking up is the showdown over Palestinian statehood. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is planning to submit a formal request on Friday to make Palestine a U.N. member state.

The U.S. has vowed to veto the Palestinian application should it reach the Security Council, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the U.S. remains committed to continued negotiations between the two parties.

"We continue to believe and are pressing the point that the only way to a two-state solution, which is what we support and want to see happen, is through negotiations," she said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who flies to New York Tuesday, has called for face-to-face meeting with Abbas this week.

Among the other issues on the agenda include Mayor Michael Bloomberg attending the Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases to discuss New York City's health programs. Bloomberg says health initiatives launched under his administration can be models for the world.

Bloomberg's speech will highlight reducing the city's smoking rate, restricting trans fats and requiring restaurants to post calorie information.

Drivers should expect delays in the following areas:

Streets subject to closure at the discretion of NYPD:
W 34 St to E 57 St from 1 Avenue to 2 Ave, all inclusive
E 50 St between FDR Dr and 6 Ave
E 43 St, 44, 45, 46 and 47 St from 1 Ave to 3 Ave
E 45 St and 46 St from Madison Ave to Vanderbilt Ave (all inclusive)
E 48 St 49 and 51 St from Madison Ave to 1 Ave
E 48, 49, 50, and 51 St from Lexington Ave to Madison Ave (all inclusive)
W 52 St and 53 St from 6 Ave to 7 Ave
W 54 St from 6 Ave to 7 Ave
6 Ave from W 54 St to W 55 St

Streets subject to intermittent closures at the discretion of NYPD:
Area bounded by; East 60th Street on the North, East 34th Street on the South, 1st Avenue on the East, 3rd Avenue on the West
Area bounded by; East 51st Street on the North and East 48th Street on the South; 1st Avenue on the East and Madison Avenue on the West
34th, 42nd, 50th and 57th Streets between FDR Drive and 7th Avenue
5th Avenues between 42nd and 40th Street
6th Avenues between 42nd and 40th Street
40th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue
53rd Street between 5th Avenue and 7th Avenue
52nd Street between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue
55th Street between 6th Avenue and Madison Avenue
51st, 54th and 56th Streets between 6th Avenue and 5th Avenue

1st Avenue from 42nd to 49th Streets
42nd, 44th & 45th Streets from 1st to 2nd Avenues
45th Street from Madison to Vanderbilt Avenues
Vanderbilt Avenue from 46th to 44th Streets
46th Street from 1st to 2nd Avenues
49th & 50th Streets from Park to Lexington Avenues
61st Street from Park to Madison Avenues