Days after Donald Trump was elected as the next president, stores in midtown Manhattan helplessly watched foot traffic slow down to a trickle. Portable roadblocks and concrete barriers were put up by the police authorities at Fifth Avenue and 56th Street and the intersection front of the Trump Tower, the residence of the new president for security reasons. Even the skies above Manhattan were restricted to air traffic having been declared as a national defence space.
The emergence of the 58-story presidential residence in midtown Manhattan is totally unexpected and there is no way of telling whether the barriers erected will be temporary or permanent. Small businesses near the Trump Tower are worried about the inconvenience of a 4-year detour. November 9 was a nightmare on Fifth Avenue and the rest of November is almost as bad as the day the new president was elected.
According to Tom Cusick, president of Fifth Avenue Association Business Improvement District, informal estimates put the business losses at more than $40 million. Business revenues fell as a result of the road closures and the whole block seemed like a ghost town.
According to Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer, there were a total of 105 businesses on 56th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and they were harmed when the roads were closed to vehicles and foot traffic. The businesses have created at least 1,000 jobs for the neighbourhood. Businesses were offered construction around the recently opened Second Avenue subway but some businesses could not survive the strain of years-long construction including the increase in rent.
If the barriers around the Trump Tower continue during his 4-year term, businesses will be threatened. Businesses were already hurt during the holiday season when Trump conducted his transition from the Trump Tower he calls home. If you have a hotel on that block and even if there is a subway nearby, people will cancel bookings when they cannot access their accommodations.
In Thailand, if you stay in a hotel near Bangkok subway you are within walking distance of the commercial and financial district. Restaurants, entertainment and nightlife are easily accessible and transportation will be the least of your problems.