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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?


The Republican National Convention (RNC) will take place in New York City from Monday August 30, 2004 through Thursday September 2, 2004.


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 as well.


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 protestors.


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.


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.


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:

  1. West 31st, 32nd and 33rd Streets on the west side of Sixth Avenue
  2. West 31st and 33rd Streets on the east side of Ninth Avenue
  3. Seventh Avenue at West 34th Street and West 30th Street
  4. Eighth Avenue at West 34th Street and West 30th Street

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 the hours when the Convention is in session.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.
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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 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.



Copyright 2004 The City of New York