Traffic poses a big challenge to Bongbong UN protesters

By Alex P. Vidal

“As we take our places in the General Assembly and at the Council meetings, let us begin all our work in the name of God, for the solution of all our problems is a spiritual one.”

—Warren R. Austin

ANTI-MARCOS protesters may not be able to penetrate the main areas leading to the United Nations Headquarters in the Midtown Manhattan as the New York Police Department (NYPD) disclosed September 17 a list of street closures and expected traffic delays relating to the weeklong United Nations General Assembly.

Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is scheduled to address the 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 77), which officially opened September 13, 2022.

The first day of the high-level General Debate will be on September 20, 2022, the same day Mr. Marcos will speak.

Meanwhile, Francis Tapiculin, an Ilonggo supporter of President Marcos and Vice President Sara Carpio in Northern America and Canada, has called on individuals and supporters of Mr. Marcos Jr. to “please

go to New York City and show our support  BBM. And protect him!”

Tapiculin said groups in Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco opposing the President’s father, the late former President Marcos Sr., “are now in the areas, with their Patroness Loida Nicolas Loida who launched a blitz campaign for pinklawan, but suffered dismal defeat in all States and in all countries with our compatriots, our OFW’s.”

He urged Marcos supporters to “come and create a Tent Villages along the streets, to manifest our support to BBM. Oras na ipakita Puersa ng mga Pinoy sa katahimikan at kaunlaran ng bansa! Mabuhay  si BBM, our President! Go out, and protect him!”

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Enrico Inayan, a Filipino Martial Law victim now residing in New York City, however, disputed Tapiculin’s claims.

“We will only tell the truth about the Marcoses. We will not harm the President; it’s impossible to do that. They need to answer so many questions regarding the human rights violations against the Filipino people during the dark years of Martial Law,” said Inayan. “We may not be able to hold a protest near the UN, but our voices will definitely reverberate all over the world.

Drivers should expect extensive street closures and delays across the general UN area in Manhattan.

The United Nations is located at 1st Avenue and 42nd Street. The use of public transportation for the duration of the General Assembly is highly encouraged.

According to the schedule provided by NBC New York, the street closures are:

On September 18, 2022 beginning at around 10 p.m. the following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will be closed to vehicular traffic: 1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street (However, the tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48 Street will remain open); 44th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue; 45th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue; 46th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue.

The following streets will have managed access and no vehicle parking permitted: 48th Street from Lexington Avenue to Park Avenue; 49th Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue; 50th Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue; 51st Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue

On September 19, 2022 the following streets will have one traffic lane dedicated to emergency vehicles for the duration of the General Assembly: 42nd Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue; 57th Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue; 2nd Avenue from 41st Street to 57th Street.

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The following streets will continue to be closed to vehicular traffic:

1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street (However, 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 from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue; 45th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue;

46th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue.

The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at about 5 a.m. The area will reopen in the evenings after the day’s session: 42nd Street from the FDR Drive to 2nd Avenue; 42nd Street Exit and Entrance Ramps of the FDR Drive.

The following streets will have managed access and no vehicle parking permitted: 48th Street from Lexington Avenue to Park Avenue; 49th Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue; 50th Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue; 51st Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue

The following streets will have one traffic lane dedicated to emergency vehicles for the duration of the General Assembly: 42nd Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue; 57th Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue

2nd Avenue from 41st Street to 57th Street.

On September 20, 2022 The following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will continued to be closed to vehicular traffic: 1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street. (However, 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 from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue; 45th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue; 46th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue; 49th Street from 3rd Avenue to Lexington Avenue.

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The following streets will have one traffic lane dedicated to emergency vehicles for the duration of the General Assembly: 42nd Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue; 57th Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue

2nd Avenue from 41st Street to 57th Street;

The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at about 5 a.m.: 42nd Street from the FDR Drive to 2nd Avenue; 42nd Street Exit and Entrance Ramps of the FDR Drive

These areas will reopen each evening after the day’s session. The FDR DRIVE will be subject to intermittent closures: Southbound at 63rd Street; Northbound at South Ferry.

The following streets will have managed access and no vehicle parking permitted: 48th Street from Lexington Avenue to Park Avenue; 49th Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue; 50th Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue; 51st Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue

Mr. Marcos was expected to arrived in New York City on September 18.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)

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