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UN General Assembly Brings Street Closures, Traffic Delays To City

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TWC News: UN General Assembly Brings Street Closures, Traffic Delays To City
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New Yorkers can expect street closures and traffic delays this week, as world leaders convene in the city for the annual United National General Assembly.

The pressure is on President Obama to inspire international confidence on diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, particularly regarding Syria's use of chemical weapons and a plan to eliminate them.

Aides say his address scheduled for tomorrow will touch on Iran, Syria, and the Middle East peace process.

The U.S. was moving toward a military strike on Syria until a tentative deal was reached to have President Bashar Assad's government surrender its chemical weapons.

The president is also expected to meet with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas during the Assembly.

President Obama may also meet with newly elected Iranian President Hasan Rouhani.

No official talks are scheduled, but there is speculation the two men could talk on the sidelines.

If they do, it would mark the first meeting of U-S and Iranian leaders in more than 30 years, and could be a precursor to renewed talks on Tehran's disputed nuclear program.

Meantime, large areas along Manhattan's East Side will be subjected to closures and detours by police, creating gridlock elsewhere in the borough.

Many New Yorkers who spoke with NY1 say they have developed their own strategies to deal with the traffic mayhem.

"Park somewhere else, park, five, six blocks away, if not take mass transit," said one New Yorker.

"You just wake up early and go to work early," said another New Yorker.

"Just walk, don't take a cab," added a third New Yorker.

UN Under Secretary General Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal apologized Monday for the problems the General Assembly causes, but adds world leaders will get important work done over the next two weeks.

Additionally, he says it's a huge boost for the New York City economy.

"The 10,000 colleagues working for the United Nations go out shopping here. They go for a meal. They go to a ball game, they go to the movies. And altogether they spend about $3.3 billion U.S. dollars," Launsky-Tieffenthal said.

The New York City Police Department highly encourages the use of public transportation for duration of the General Assembly.

The following street closures will be in effect:

• First Avenue will be closed from 42nd to 48th Streets.

• The tunnel underpass from 41st to 48th Streets will be open to passenger cars only.

• 44th, 45th and 46th Streets will be closed from First to Second Avenue.

• 42nd Street from the FDR Drive to Second Avenue and the 42nd Street exit and entrance ramps of the Drive will be closed from 5 a.m. until the end of each day's session.

• 42nd Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue, 57th Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue and Second Avenue from 41st Street to 57th Street will have one traffic lane dedicated to emergency vehicles.

• 49th Street from 3rd Avenue to Lexington Avenue will be closed from Tuesday through Friday.

• 49th and 50th Streets will be closed between Lexington Avenue and Park Avenue from Monday at 10 a.m. through approximately Tuesday at 10 p.m. Trucks and other large vehicles will also not be allowed to use Park or Lexington between 48th and 52nd Streets during this time.

• On Monday and Tuesday, intermittent closures will take place on First Avenue from 42nd Street to 50th Street and on 50th Street from Park Avenue to First Avenue.

• The FDR Drive will be subject to intermittent closures between Whitehall Street and Willis Avenue Bridge/RFK Bridge.

For the latest traffic and transit updates, be sure to check out NY1 Rail and Road 24/7 on channel 104 on Time Warner Cable.

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