NEW YORK, U.S. – With President-elect Donald Trump set to assume office, America’s business capital, New York is preparing for traffic chaos that is set to haunt their nightmares for at least the next four years.
The 58-storied midtown Manhattan skyscraper, that is home to the 45th President of the United States and his family has transformed into Trump’s transition headquarters and has constantly been in the limelight since the November 9 election.
With America’s next President housing the tower at least till the inauguration – the vicinity too has transformed into one that is shrouded with layers and layers of security all around.
Traffic is being maneuvered away from the building that has been surrounded by the Secret Service and the NYPD – making it a challenging bid for protesters, supporters, even the media to make it to the entrance.
So much so that the former New York City traffic commissioner, Sam Schwartz said, “If President Trump has some favorite restaurant in Brooklyn, I don’t think we’re going to get any advance notice. All the roads will be frozen.”
The security at the building has already been a tricky issue facing Trump’s transition team and other administrative bodies.
The City’s Mayor, Bill de Blasio requested President Barack Obama and the Congress for help as the cost of security has surged dramatically – especially after the soon-to-be FLOTUS, Melania Trump announced that she would be staying the $90-million triplex penthouse in the Trump Tower until spring, along with their ten-year-old son, Barron Trump.
Trump too has made it clear that he would visit his New York home frequently till his son and wife reside in the Trump Tower.
Further, since Barron Trump would be attending school in the area – reports noted that he would be accompanied by many armored cars will enter the building only after security checks. He will also have to be safeguarded from a notorious criminal gang that operates on the very block where his school is located.
Blasio estimated the cost till the inauguration would be around $35 million or $500,000 a day.
He said, “It is a high-density neighbourhood and street traffic easily obstructs pathways to and from the building, making it profoundly challenging for the NYPD to establish a secure perimeter.”
Currently, metal railings and concrete bollards have been placed outside the building on Fifth Avenue, near Central Park with heavily armed police forces patrolling the streets. Some of the pavements have also been closed for security concerns.
Apart from the fact that New Yorkers might eventually bear the brunt of the increased security cost through higher taxes – now, small businesses surrounding the Trump Tower have said that they are facing heavy losses.
Businesses are said to be suffering at the busiest time of the year for them – the holiday season.
The many diversions set in place and mounting traffic problems – shoppers have been put off from visiting the areas around the Trump Tower.
Shop owners have reportedly started laying off staff and are considering relocating from the area.
A recent survey suggests that out of 50 businesses, 46 percent of them have suffered a severe impact on business and 56 percent said that customers have been restricted from entering their shops. 12 percent of them are considering relocation, the survey revealed.
The situation is grave for shop owners who aim to make 30 percent of their annual sales during the holiday season.
Jimmy Carbonell, a worker at the Central Park Electronics store was quoted as saying, “We had to lay people off because we can’t afford to keep the entire staff on. The business went down drastically.”
Jimmy Tarzy, Manager at Allen M Jewellers on Madison Avenue reportedly said that sales were down by 70 percent in the last four weeks.
“No one came in today. No one came in all day. It’s been like this since the minute they started blocking the streets. Last Tuesday, we did $65 for the whole day. Leading up to the holiday season, that’s insane. We should be really busy. It’s empty,” he said.
Daniel Wolman, General Manager of the Kiton custom-tailor shop claimed, “We have to find a way to do business no matter how insensitive our mayor is to our livelihood. We sell $10,000 suits, so one of our customers makes a big difference in our daily total. I don’t want to give you a number, because it was so bad it would make our business look bad.”
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