With Obama In New York, Gridlock Examined Whenever the president comes to New York City, traffic stops. This week, however with President Obama, the U.N. General Assembly and meetings on climate change, gridlock may be even worse.
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With Obama In New York, Gridlock Examined

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With Obama In New York, Gridlock Examined

With Obama In New York, Gridlock Examined

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MADELEINE BRAND, Host:

In New York City right now, there are those climate change meetings, the president is in town, the U.N. is in session. It all means traffic comes to a standstill. NPR's Margot Adler did the stupidest thing you can do on a day like this. Well, okay, we made her do it. She hailed a cab.

MARGOT ADLER: You'd think people would be happy when the president comes to town and the U.N. is in session. Not a chance. New Yorkers groan.

(SOUNDBITE OF RADIO ANNOUNCEMENT)

S: 44th through 46th Streets will be closed between First and Second Avenue and starting today 49th Street will also be...

ADLER: First you hear the bad news on your television or radio like here on New York 1, although this is the first time we got a world-class apology. Here's President Obama on David Letterman last night.

BARACK OBAMA: I know traffic is bad for New Yorkers, so I apologize in advance for that.

ADLER: Have you experienced any of the traffic this morning yet?

KWAME JOSE KORSI: Absolutely, Park Avenue southbound is a nightmare. You can't really go anywhere. The passengers get very irritated and they get out. Most of the dignitaries are staying on Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue.

ADLER: And we are just approaching Park Avenue and there are barricades everywhere. There are police cars right in the middle of the street. That street is closed off. We're being directed. This cop is just saying go forward, go straight, go straight.

JOSE KORSI: Between 42nd Street...

(SOUNDBITE OF POLICE SIREN)

JOSE KORSI: ...and over to like 49th Street, it's totally shut off. It's closed.

ADLER: Now, I'm going to do the smart thing...

(SOUNDBITE OF POLICE SIREN)

ADLER: ...and get out of your cab and walk.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLICE SIREN)

ADLER: Unidentified Woman #2: Very crazy, awful.

BRAND: Unidentified Woman #3: Stuck.

(SOUNDBITE OF HONKING)

BRAND: Terribly annoying. Gridlock all the way down 42nd Street and like an idiot, I took this road.

ADLER: Margot Adler, NPR News, New York.

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