Republican National Convention FAQ
Many questions have arisen about the impact of the
Republican National Convention. The following information
is intended to address some of the most common concerns.
When will the convention take place?
Where will the convention be held?
Who will be attending?
What can I expect?
How will pedestrian access to the area be affected?
How will vehicular access to the area be affected?
How will trash be picked up?
What about deliveries?
Will Penn Station be closed?
What will happen with the Farley Post Office?
Will there be protests?
How can I get more information?
WHEN WILL THE CONVENTION TAKE PLACE?
The Republican National Convention (RNC) will take
place in New York City from Monday August 30, 2004
through Thursday September 2, 2004.
WHERE WILL THE CONVENTION BE HELD?
The convention sessions will be held at Madison Square
Garden each evening from 8:00 P.M. until 11:00 P.M.
Additionally, there will be a morning session on
Monday, August 30th from 10:00 A.M. until 1:30 P.M.
Other venues throughout the city, such as the Jacob
Javits Center, will be utilized for convention related
activities, and may have an effect on traffic conditions
WHO WILL BE ATTENDING?
Some 50,000 delegates, officials, media representatives
and guests, staying at approximately forty hotels,
will visit New York City and participate in the convention.
The RNC is also expected to draw large numbers of
WHAT CAN I EXPECT?
As we prepare for this event, the New York City Police
Department is making every effort to ensure the safety
of the public at-large, implement reasonable security
measures around the RNC and facilitate peaceful protest
activity. In balancing these responsibilities, the
department is endeavoring to minimize the inconvenience
to merchants, commuters and visitors to the area.
Indeed, it will be business as usual for our great
city and its residents and guests alike.
HOW WILL PEDESTRIAN ACCESS TO THE AREA BE AFFECTED?
Pedestrians will have access to the streets and buildings
in the vicinity of Madison Square Garden. Some crosswalks
adjacent to Madison Square Garden may not always
be accessible due to convention activity and pedestrians
may be required to walk to the next intersection
to cross the street. Persons who work or have business
in the immediate vicinity of Madison Square Garden
(from the west side of Seventh Avenue, 31st to 33rd
Street, to the east side of Ninth Avenue, 31st to
33rd Street) will be asked to identify themselves
before entering the area. It will be especially helpful
if such identification includes the address that
the person is going to work at or intends to visit.
This restriction is similar to the one employed in
the Times Square area each New Year's Eve.
HOW WILL VEHICULAR ACCESS TO THE AREA BE AFFECTED?
Vehicles bearing hazardous or destructive materials
pose a potential danger to the event and the public
at large. To minimize this risk, some limitations
will be placed upon vehicular access to the streets
immediately around Madison Square Garden. Vehicle
checkpoints with active vehicle barriers will be
established at the following locations:
- West 31st, 32nd and 33rd Streets on the west
side of Sixth Avenue
- West 31st and 33rd Streets on the east side of
- Seventh Avenue at West 34th Street and West 30th
- Eighth Avenue at West 34th Street and West 30th
Vehicles that are permitted to enter this perimeter
will be thoroughly screened by highly trained personnel
prior to admittance. As previously announced, Seventh
Avenue between 29th and 42nd Streets and Eighth
Avenue from 23rd to 34th Streets will be closed during
hours when the Convention is in session.
HOW WILL TRASH BE PICKED UP?
The New York City Department of Sanitation will remove
all trash, including commercial trash, within this
perimeter during the convention. Private carters
will not be permitted to enter this area. The sole
exception applies to the carters who haul and dump
trash compactors. When returning to replace the compactor,
the compactor must be empty and will be inspected
prior to admission through the vehicle checkpoint.
Merchants who normally place their trash in small
metal dumpsters will have to place all trash into
plastic bags instead since the Department of Sanitation
does not have the equipment to pick up dumpsters.
WHAT ABOUT DELIVERIES?
All truck deliveries servicing facilities inside the
area between West 29th Street to West 35th Street
from Sixth Avenue to Ninth Avenue will have to be
made during off-hours. On Monday August 30th all
vehicles must be out of the area by 4:00 A.M. From
Tuesday August 31st through Thursday September 2nd,
delivery trucks may enter after 2:00 A.M. and must
be out of the zone by 2:00 P.M. Delivery truck drivers
must posses a valid driver’s license, vehicle
registration and delivery manifest or invoice. Deliveries
being made on foot or with hand trucks will be permitted
at all times after being properly identified and
screened. The taxi stand on Seventh Avenue in front
of Madison Square Garden will be relocated to West
32nd Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway. The
taxi stand on 8th Avenue in front of Madison Square
Garden will be eliminated for the week. Parking will
be prohibited within this area except during the
designated delivery times. Street vendors will also
be excluded from this area as well to minimize congestion
and alleviate any potential danger to pedestrians
and expedite the flow of traffic.
WILL PENN STATION BE CLOSED?
No. Penn Station, which sits directly beneath Madison
Square Garden, services the Long Island Railroad,
New Jersey Transit and Amtrak. Penn Station will
remain open during the convention. Law enforcement
officers from several agencies will patrol the trains
entering the station. The entrances to Penn
Station along Eighth Avenue will be closed during
the RNC. The entrance on the south side of West 34th Street
between Seventh and Eighth Avenues will remain open.
In order to avoid the congestion expected at Seventh
Avenue and West 34th Street, it may be advisable
to access this entrance from the West (Eighth Avenue)
side. Additionally, the entrance at West 32nd Street
and Seventh Avenue will remain open. Thirty-second
Street will be similar to a pedestrian walkway between
Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue in order to facilitate
the flow into and out of Penn Station. To ease egress,
it is recommended that commuters go to Sixth Avenue
to access West 32nd Street and enter Penn Station
from the east. Service on the Seventh and Eighth
Avenue subway lines (1, 2, 3, 9, A, C and E trains)
will continue during the convention as well. Penn
Station can be accessed from both subway lines without
the need to ascend above ground. Taking the subway
to and from Penn Station may be a viable alternative
for some commuters rather than exiting Penn Station
directly to street level. Commuters should allow
some extra time for their trip as every train will
be inspected by law enforcement personnel prior to
entering Penn Station.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH THE FARLEY POST OFFICE?
The retail window of the Farley Post Office will be
closed during the convention. The Postal Service
plans on setting up at least one mobile post office
in close proximity to the Farley Building to accommodate
retail transactions. People who have post office
boxes inside the post office will be granted access
into the building during the overnight hours with
proper identification. Undomiciled persons who normally
receive their mail at the Ninth Avenue side of the
post office will continue to be able to do so.
WILL THERE BE PROTESTS?
Large numbers of demonstrators are expected to stage
protests in the vicinity of the venue. The main demonstration
area is on Eighth Avenue extending south from 31st Street
for as far as necessary depending upon the size of the
crowd. Significant crowds could impede the flow of vehicular
and pedestrian traffic throughout the area. The largest
demonstration is expected on Sunday August 29th, resulting
in the closure of 7th Avenue between 14th and 34th Street,
34th Street between 7th and 12th Avenue, and the West
Side Highway from 34th Street to Chambers Street.
> Learn more.
HOW CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
The police department will continue to reach out to
the community and provide notice regarding any matters
that may affect the public. The Midtown South Precinct
(MTS) has established an information office for inquiries
concerning the convention. The telephone numbers
are (212) 239-4381 and (212) 239-2344. Additionally,
the MTS Community Affairs Unit can be contacted at
(212) 239-9846. Up to the minute information is also
available at the New York City Host Committee’s
web site www.nyc2004.org or
by calling 3-1-1. The NYPD will frequently update
its website with the
most up to date information.
Please keep in mind that world events and information
from the intelligence services may require changes
in the security plans as they currently stand. Despite
these variables, the NYPD will make every effort
to minimize the impact of the convention upon those
who live, work and visit New York City.