VIDEO: Emergency vehicles stuck in Obama gridlock
NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - Traffic on 3rd Avenue and 64th Street on Manhattan's Upper East Side was at a complete standstill on Tuesday. Not only were drivers stuck in it, but so were first responders who were on their way to aid a person who needed assistance. The cause of it all: street closures for President Obama, who was in town for a fundraiser on 75th Street.
Those who were in traffic with nowhere to go were venting on Twitter such as: "Obama has Manhattan traffic shut down, been in standstill for half hour. This sucks can't get home."
A fire truck, EMS and a New York Presbyterian ambulance with their emergency lights and sirens on, got stuck. The ambulance was on 3rd Avenue turning on to 63rd Street. It took them 20 minutes to respond to a reported pedestrian struck. First responders walked over to the person who needed aid. Luckily, the aided it turns out only had cuts and bruises.
The FDNY said that when the president is in town they join the NYPD and federal law enforcement in a joint command center at 1 Police Plaza.
The Secret Service said in a statement: "Public safety is a high priority for the Secret Service. Without exception and in every instance that is brought to our attention, the Secret Service works with its partners to facilitate access for emergency response personnel and critical resources responding to the public."
On the Upper East Side between East 77th and 68th streets, there are three hospitals. The streets were closed until the president's motorcade passed by.
New York City police transportation chief told Fox 5 News the Transpiration Bureau, the Highway and Secret Service work together and try to keep the closure of the streets as short as possible.
"We open it up as soon as possible, as soon as the motorcade passes, but again we work closely with and we do take that into consideration at the traffic," said Chief Thomas Chan.
Things aren't going to get better because the U.N. General Assembly is in session.