Saturday, June 26, 2004

GOP to bring NYC to standstill!

From today's WashPost:

The heart of midtown Manhattan will be closed to cars, taxis, delivery trucks and buses for the four-day-long Republican National Convention beginning in late August. Closer to Madison Square Garden, police will bar even pedestrians.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (R) outlined the first detailed security plans for the convention, which will run from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2, in his weekly radio address on Friday. "The disruptions will be a little bit annoying but minimal," Bloomberg said, adding that the convention will pump $250 million into the local economy.

But the closings he forecast are anything but minimal. Traffic in midtown already moves at less than 4 mph, and the street closures and rerouting -- which will last 13 hours each day -- could bring traffic to a near-standstill. The closures could cost local businesses many thousands of dollars.


Barbara Randall, executive director of the Fashion Center, a nonprofit group that support business improvement in the Garment District, estimates that the security measures will affect nearly 2,000 manufacturing and retail shops in the district, which is centered in midtown. She declined to estimate the cost of the disruptions.

"Deliveries are going to be a problem -- there's no way around it," she said. "When and how these folks are going to take deliveries is going to be a problem for a lot of these small businesses."

City officials have suggested that local businesses reschedule delivery and service visits for after midnight.

Oh, yeah. UPS is glad to schedule post-midnight deliveries. What are these people SMOKING??


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