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Our Annual Traffic Nightmare Returns: How to Avoid the UN General Assembly

By Noah Hurowitz | September 13, 2016 7:13pm
 The 70th United Nations General Assembly began on Tuesday afternoon, bringing with it the annual chaos of street closures for which east-side Manhattan braces every year.
The 70th United Nations General Assembly began on Tuesday afternoon, bringing with it the annual chaos of street closures for which east-side Manhattan braces every year.
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MURRAY HILL — The 71st United Nations General Assembly began on Tuesday afternoon, bringing with it the annual street closures that the east side of Manhattan braces itself for every year.

The assembly this year is a far smaller to-do than last year's, during which Pope Francis’ visit to the city coincided with President Barack Obama’s visit and resulted in a traffic-cordoning operation of historic scale. 

But closures will still affect anyone driving on the east side between now and the event's end on Sept. 26.

The following streets will have one traffic lane dedicated to emergency vehicles for the duration of the General Assembly:

►42nd Street between First and Fifth avenues
►57th Street between Second and Fifth avenues
►Second Avenue between 41st and 57th streets

Sunday, Sept. 18

Beginning at approximately 10 p.m. the following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will be closed to vehicular traffic:

► First Avenue between 42nd and 48th streets. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48 Street will remain open
►44th Street between First and Second avenues
►45th Street between First and Second avenues
►46th Street between First and Second avenues

On Sunday the FDR Drive will be subject to intermittent closures:

►Southbound at 63rd Street
►Northbound at South Ferry

Monday, Sept. 19

The following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will continue to be closed to vehicular traffic:

► First Avenue between 42nd and 48th streets. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48th Street will remain open for passenger cars. Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access until the end of each day’s session.
►44th Street between First and Second avenues
►45th Street from First and Second avenues
►46th Street from First and Second avenues

The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at approximately 5 a.m. and will reopen after each day’s session:

►42nd Street between FDR Drive and Second Avenue
►The FDR Drive exit and entrance ramps at 42nd Street

Tuesday, Sept. 20

The following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will continue to be closed to vehicular traffic:

►First Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48th Street will remain open for passenger cars. Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access until the end of each day’s session.
►44th Street between First and Second avenues
►45th Street between First and Second avenues
►46th Street between First and Second avenues
►49th Street between Third and Lexington avenues

The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at approximately 5 a.m. and will reopen at the end of the day’s session:

►42nd Street between FDR Drive and Second Avenue
►The FDR Drive exit and entrance ramps at 42nd Street

Wednesday Sept. 21

The following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will continue to be closed to vehicular traffic:

►First Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48th Street will remain open for passenger cars. Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access until the end of each day’s session.
►44th Street between First and Second avenues
►45th Street between First and Second avenues
►46th Street between First and Second avenues
►49th Street between Third and Lexington avenues

The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at approximately 5 a.m. and will reopen at the end of the day’s session:

►42nd Street between FDR Drive and Second Avenue
►The FDR Drive exit and entrance ramps at 42nd Street

The FDR Drive will be subject to intermittent closures:

►Southbound at 63rd Street
►Northbound at South Ferry

Thursday, Sept. 22

The following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will continue to be closed to vehicular traffic:

►First Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48th Street will remain open for passenger cars. Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access until the end of each day’s session.
►44th Street between First and Second avenues
►45th Street between First and Second avenues
►46th Street between First and Second avenues

The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at approximately 5 a.m. and will reopen at the end of the day’s session:

►42nd Street between FDR Drive and Second Avenue
►The FDR Drive exit and entrance ramps at 42nd Street

Friday, Sept. 23

The following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will continue to be closed to vehicular traffic:

►First Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48th Street will remain open for passenger cars. Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access until the end of each day’s session.
►44th Street between First and Second avenues
• 45th Street between First and Second avenues
• 46th Street between First and Second avenues

The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at approximately 5 a.m. and will reopen at the end of the day’s session:

• 42nd Street between FDR Drive and Second Avenue
•The FDR Drive exit and entrance ramps at 42nd Street