Several roads will be closed and the New York City Police Department will beef up its presence in Midtown in conjunction with next week’s United Nations General Assembly.
The two-day summit, hosted by President of General Assembly Dennis Francis, will focus on the implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), a plan to boost economic prosperity and social wellbeing while working toward greener goals and environmental protection.
Though neither the gathering nor the city are facing any immediate credible threats, Police Commissioner Edward Caban said Thursday that the NYPD will be keeping an eye out on the UN — and across the Big Apple.
“The NYPD and our law enforcement partners deploy resources all across the city to keep this event safe, and to keep the city running smoothly. Every aspect of our department will be involved,” Commissioner Caban said. “We will be working closely with the Secret Service, the State Department, the FBI and the UN Police.”
Due to the heightened security measures, police brass are asking the public to stay clear of the United Nations Plaza if they do not have direct business there. They are also asking New Yorkers to opt for public transportation over driving to decrease congestion related to the summit.
According to NYPD Deputy Chief of Transit Bureau Michael Pilecki, First Avenue will be fully closed to traffic from 42nd Street to 47th Street beginning Monday morning, and several hundred police officers and traffic agents will be placed along 34th Street to 65th Street from First Avenue to Seventh Avenue, which is also expected to cause some delays. The First Avenue underpass will remain open, however, albeit with truck restrictions and intermittent closures.
“The bottom line is this: you can expect to see heavier than normal traffic in Midtown next week,” Chief Pilecki said. “We recommend that you take public transportation if you can, or avoid the area altogether.”
With climate protesters disrupting several scale events as of late, including the U.S Open and the Burning Man festival, the NYPD say they are also keeping a keen eye out for potential demonstrations. But, Assistant Chief of Intelligence John Hart said Friday, protests are entrenched in New York City culture, making them something cops deal with on a daily basis.
Hart also said the NYPD will also keep its ears to the ground about any potential political violence, or other developments, to ensure the UN’s proceedings run smoothly and safely.
“Their job [the international elected officials] is to discuss the future of our world,” Commissioner Caban said, “and our job is to make sure they can do it without disruption.”