New Yorkers have seen heavy security and major traffic delays Monday in the first gridlock alert day of the year, ahead of the United Nations General Assembly.


Thousands of NYPD officers will be working with the Secret Service to ensure the safety of both diplomats and civilians during the 73rd session of the U.N.'s annual gathering.

More than 200 world leaders and dignitaries, including President Donald Trump, will be in town.

The Department of Transportation declared Monday to be the first gridlock day of the year.

Road closures are now in effect and include First Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street as well as 44th through 46th streets from First to Second Avenue.


In the past, gridlock days started on the Friday before Thanksgiving. Most people NY1 spoke to knew it was a gridlock day, and some planned for it.

"Awful as usual this week, so I'll park a few blocks up from where I normally park," one man said in his car. "Part of being in New York, right?"

"There's nothing I can do," one woman said in her car. "I have to go to work."

Some actually said there's been an improvement.

"It is a bit of an ordeal, but, over the years, the city has made it much easier. The restrictions used to go for much longer," one woman said. "The cops are more understanding."

Some business owners say what has not gotten better is their bottom line. Two small shops on 49th St. said their sales drop 50 percent this week, every year.


The general debate at the United Nations doesn't begin until Tuesday, but Trump has several meetings Monday in the city.

Trump arrived in Manhattan on Sunday via helicopter. He will meet with the presidents of Egypt and France after participating in a Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem.

Trump will address the General Assembly on Tuesday. He is set to chair the U.N. Security Council for the first time Wednesday. The group will discuss the use of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

Aides expect Trump will also talk about North Korea. The president famously called that country's leader, Kim Jong Un, "Rocket Man," during last year's Assembly.

Trump and Kim have since met face-to-face to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Kim will not attend the General Assembly.

Gridlock alert days planned ahead of UN General Assembly