GOP Traffic Lockdown Begins

Businesses operating close to Madison Square Garden in New York City, where the Republican National Convention (RNC) is held this week, are now dealing with tight restrictions in delivery schedules.

Last Saturday, businesses located on West 31st and 33rd St. between the West side of 7th and 9th Ave. were barred from receiving deliveries (near Madison Square Garden), while on Sunday deliveries were open between midnight and 9 a.m.

For information on delivery schedules throughout RNC, check New York City’s website.

Now that security measures are in place before the GOP kickoff, there have been no major delays reported so far.

“It’s been fairly smooth,” William Joyce, president of the New York State Motor Truck Association, told Fleet Owner. “What they’ve [security] done is attempted to move checkpoints around while making those routes as efficient as possible.

“I think they’ve pretty much succeeded, that’s not to say it’s a picnic to go into Manhattan. It wasn’t the best place to deliver to before the convention— or before 9/11 for that matter.”

Vehicle inspection checkpoints have been moving around constantly, indicating that officials are trying to avoid predictability of where an inspection will take place, Joyce said. It appears that officials are funneling delivery traffic through 10th avenue.

As the city is prepared for a terrorist strike, the trucking industry is also ready to adapt to the tightened security measures as well. “Carriers making deliveries to the lower and midtown Manhattan area are pretty much up to speed on the changes,” Joyce said.

The major I-95 and I-84 arteries are unaffected by the GOP security measures, Joyce said. This is largely because the highways are a good distance away from Madison Square Garden. This is unlike the security situation for the last month’s Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Boston, where lane closures were imposed on the I-93 artery due to its proximity to the convention. See Beantown Traffic ‘Like Clockwork’

FedEx has had a team in contact with city officials to plan for the GOP for six months, according to FedEx spokesperson Sandra Munoz. “FedEx has been working for the GOP for many months. We have contingency plans such as lanes and mobile facilities,” Munoz told Fleet Owner.

“We’ve been working with our customers and given them information on where some stations may close and where a second one would open,” she said. “We’ve been on this…to make all of our adjustments and to ensure that our customers get the same level of service they’ve always gotten from FedEx. We do think there is a possibility that there may be something that is a little late, but it’s too early to tell.”

Munoz points to last month’s operations during the DNC as an example of what she hopes to repeat itself for the GOP. “Everything in Boston ran like clockwork. We’re hoping that all of our planning works out just as well for New York,” Munoz said.

To read more about RNC security measures, see Metal Barriers Between Trucks and GOP.

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