Before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the city, navigating the streets and sidewalks of midtown Manhattan was always a herculean challenge. When Donald Trump was elected president in 2016 the frustration needle for residents pegged at a 10 as the Secret Service and New York City police department installed cement barricades, closed off sidewalks and instituted security checkpoints around Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.
But now that Trump and the clan have abandoned the Big Apple for Florida many of the security measures have been removed, delighting those who endured four years of vehicular and pedestrian snarls. Businesswoman Gloria Wan, who owns a hair salon on West 56th Street near Trump Tower, is overjoyed. “I can’t find the proper words to describe — it was like breathing fresh air, with all the barricades gone,” Wan told The New York Times. “I kept looking: ‘Am I on the right block?'”
The Secret Service and NYPD have been famously tight-lipped about changes to the protection scheme for the building. “In partnership with the United States Secret Service the decision was made to remove the barriers around Trump Tower,” Sergeant Jessica McRorie, a spokeswoman for the NYPD, said in an email. “The NYPD does not discuss security measures.”
Trump rarely returned to the city during his four years as president, but when he did security around the tower went into lockdown mode. In addition to being a relief to Manhattanites, New York City’s budget will be feeling the relief. The cost to the city of guarding the tower was almost $150,000 a day when Trump wasn’t there. It soared to more than $300,000 a day when he and his family were there.