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Here's What We Know About the Trump Tower Security Plan

By Jeff Mays | November 17, 2016 11:20am | Updated on November 19, 2016 6:21pm
 NYPD examine the backpack of a woman before she crosses the security checkpoint leading to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue and 56th Street.
NYPD examine the backpack of a woman before she crosses the security checkpoint leading to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue and 56th Street.
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DNAinfo/Jeff Mays

MIDTOWN — The area around Trump Tower where President-elect Donald Trump has his residence will have strict security measures in place during the remainder of the transition.

Area streets will be closed to vehicular traffic, there will be restrictions on truck traffic and pedestrians headed to certain stores in the area will be required to go through a police checkpoint.

The NYPD, working with the Secret Service, said they developed a plan that tries to "strike a proper balance" between the safety of Trump and his family and the needs of pedestrians and businesses in the area.

After Trump begins his term in Washington, D.C., the security plan, much of which the Secret Service and NYPD declined to reveal for safety reasons, will be reevaluated.

"Of course it is," NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said when asked if Trump Tower was a terrorist target during a press conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Secret Service and the Department of Transportation.

"None of this is new for us," added O'Neill.

Here's what we know so far about the plans to secure Trump Tower and what impact it will have on Fifth Avenue and Midtown:

What will happen on Fifth Avenue?

Fifth Avenue will remain open, said O'Neill, but at least two lanes will remain closed for security reasons.

"No wholesale closures of Fifth Avenue are planned," said O'Neill.

There were fears that Trump's presence at Trump Tower, located at 725 Fifth Avenue, would require the busy avenue, which is lined with luxury retailers that draw thousands of tourists, to close.

"We are devoted to making sure this city will keep moving," said Mayor Bill de Blasio who called protecting Trump a "big challenge" and "unprecedented challenge."

♦TRAFFIC MAP OF THE AREA AROUND TRUMP TOWER

But there will be restrictions in place in the immediate area around Trump Tower. Truck traffic will be diverted from the immediate area around Trump's residence.

Trucks will not be allowed heading south on Fifth Avenue between 60th and 55th streets.

Will any streets be closed?

Police have also decided to close 56th Street between Fifth and Madison avenues to all vehicular traffic.

Can pedestrians walk through the area?

Pedestrians who live and work in the area will be allowed access after going through a police checkpoint.

"Enforcement will be more aggressive on Fifth Avenue," said de Blasio.

► What security measures are already in place?

Police barricades line the sidewalk leading to the tower restricting jaywalkers. There's a police checkpoint just before you cross onto the block where the tower, at 725 Fifth Ave., is located.

NYPD officers check for identification and bags, asking the throngs of tourists what store they're going to.

"Can you imagine what this area will be like once he's president," said one person who had just cleared the checkpoint on the east side of Fifth Avenue at 56th Street.

Once in front of Trump Tower, heavily armed members of the NYPD's terror response team stand outside. Those wanting access to the public atrium inside Trump Tower must have their bags scanned by Secret Service officers.

The NYPD also has 50 officers in the area to help with traffic enforcement.

There will be uniformed officers on security posts around the property and on intersection patrol. There will be vehicles blocking the intersection along with barriers. The NYPD will maintain observation posts on nearby rooftops.

Counterterroism, heavy weapons and critical response units will also staff the area around the tower. Radiation detectors will be in use.

Is there a lot of traffic on Fifth Avenue?

New Yorkers can expect four years of "Trumplock," according to former city Transportation Commissioner Sam Schwartz, who coined the term "gridlock" and is known as "Gridlock Sam."

► READ MORE: Expect 4 Years of 'Trumplock' Traffic Jams in Midtown, Gridlock Sam Says

De Blasio asked New Yorkers to avoid the area around the tower from 53rd to 57th streets on Fifth, Madison and Sixth avenues. Anyone headed to the area should use public transportation if possible, said Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.

Will there be public transportation along Fifth Avenue?

Cars and buses will still be allowed on Fifth Avenue, but two of the five traffic lanes near Trump Tower are currently closed due to security precautions. That will remain in place for the time being, said police officials.

How will the high-end retail businesses along Fifth Avenue be affected?

Asked this on Wednesday, de Blasio said: "I will not tell you that Gucci and Tiffany are my central concerns in life."

But on Friday, the mayor said he wanted to insure that businesses in the area could continue to operate. Patrons of the stores will have to continue to go through checkpoints to get to some stores.

When will we know more about security measures going forward?

O'Neill said that the NYPD and the Secret Service would confer on a long-term security plan once Trump takes office.

"Right now we're talking about the transition period, 65 days, so we are still working on the long-range plan," he said.

Trump officials have said he will live in the White House during the week but could likely be at his various properties — a golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, or Trump Tower — on a regular basis during the weekends.

NYPD officials said they were in "regular discussions" with the Secret Service "regarding the on-going security issues" around Trump when he is in New York City.

De Blasio said he expects that the business of being president will require Trump to be in Washington, D.C., much of the time but that it was ultimately Trump's decision.

"He's the president-elect of the United States of America. He has to make a decision of what will work for him," said the mayor.

How much will the extra security cost New York City taxpayers?

O'Neill declined to say how much the additional security will cost but the NYPD has dedicated "substantial resources" to protecting Trump and Trump Tower.

There are 50 officers handling traffic in the area alone, not counting all the officers on patrol, on the rooftops, and staffing checkpoints leading to and around Trump Tower.

The city will seek reimbursement from the federal government for the costs.

"I think we have a very strong case for substantial reimbursement," said de Blasio.

O'Neill said the city has received reimbursement in the past for the cost associated with protecting other dignitaries.

The mayor, who has been highly critical of Trump, calling him a racists who is unfit for office, said he believes the issue of New York City's taxpayers being reimbursed for police protection will rise above partisan politics.

What about protesters?

Protesters will still be allowed around Trump Tower. Since Trump won the presidency, Fifth Avenue has been shut down three times due to protests, including one protest that drew 20,000 people, said NYPD Chief of Department Carlos Gomez.

Protesters will be contained to the sidewalk so as not to disrupt traffic.

What if I'm sick and tired of the disruptions caused by President-elect Trump?

Suck it up!

"New Yorkers are the most resilient people on the planet," said O'Neill.

De Blasio agreed.

“After we get through legitimately grumbling, we will get through our lives," said the mayor. "We are used to handling situations other people couldn't even imagine."