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Expect traffic jams near Trump Tower during president’s stay, NYPD says

The two Fifth Avenue lanes closest to Trump

The two Fifth Avenue lanes closest to Trump Tower will be closed to traffic with President Donald Trump is in town, the NYPD said. Photo Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

With President Donald Trump set to spend a few days in Manhattan beginning Monday, the NYPD has dusted off the security plan it devised after his election in November, a department spokesman said.

Along with the heavy security that always accompanies the president wherever he goes, New Yorkers should brace for heavier-than-usual midtown traffic, particularly on Fifth Avenue, near Trump’s apartment in the tower that bears his name.

The bottom line: Expect delays.

Trump, in the midst of what he has called a working vacation, is expected to be in the city from Monday through Wednesday.

According to NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis, the preliminary security plans call for the two Fifth Avenue lanes closest to Trump Tower at the corner of 56th Street to be closed to traffic, leaving two lanes on the west side of the avenue open.

Vehicle traffic will not be permitted on 56th Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, a continuation of security restrictions in place since late November. Pedestrians will continue to have access, subject to bag checks by police, officials said.

NYPD Chief of Department Carlos Gomez urged motorists to stay away from Trump Tower if possible, and said vehicle restrictions would be put in place.

Truck restrictions, as well as bus and vehicle check points, will start along Fifth Avenue at 7 p.m. Monday, he said.

"While this is not his first visit back to New York City, it is the first time he’s staying at his residence in Trump Tower. So we prepared accordingly," Gomez said. "We have a good number of traffic agents assigned to the area around the tower to assist the traffic and congestion."

Not all streets in the Trump Tower vicinity will have restrictions, officials said. Traffic will be unimpeded on 57th Street, a major east-west corridor.

Gomez said the NYPD is also prepared for several protests planned outside Trump Tower while the president is in town.

"We’ll have our officers from our Strategic Response Group on hand to address and deal with them," he added.

At an event in Brooklyn last Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the last time Trump came to Manhattan, on April 26, there were only limited disruptions.

“I think we’re going to be ready by any measure, and I do want to say it’s been a lot less than we expected,” de Blasio said about the predicted traffic nightmare in Manhattan once Trump took office.

“We expected President Trump might be back a lot,” de Blasio said. “He’s only been back once previously, and to his credit he kept the time here very limited and the disruption very limited. So hopefully that will be the same this time.”

The U.S. Secret Service will also have its own security operation in place. A spokesman for the agency didn’t return a request for comment. Earlier this month it was reported that the Secret Service pulled out of space it had in Trump Tower, one floor below Trump’s residence, after a dispute over a long-term lease between the building’s management and the agency couldn’t be resolved. A Secret Service spokeswoman said the dispute had no impact on security plans.

While the NYPD wouldn’t discuss manpower specifics, the department has a special Strategic Response Group of hundreds of heavily armed officer available to handle unforeseen incidents.

With Laura Figueroa and Alison Fox

Update: Originally expected to arrive Sunday evening, Trump has postponed his arrival to Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday afternoon.


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