Election Day Safety & Situational Awareness (NYC ed)
November 1, 2020 12:04 PM   Subscribe

What are reasonable precautions for someone commuting in NYC on election day?

my daughter has to commute from midtown to Williamsburg to get home from work on tuesday.

should she ask to leave early, in light of the possible unrest (shops already boarded up, national guard units beginning to arrive)?

any other comments?
posted by j_curiouser to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Does she take the subway or the ferry? I have a feeling the ferry would be safer. Fewer people take it and the security is higher.

General safety advice: no headphones, leave early if she can, don't carry anything you can't afford to lose, wear shoes she can run in. Have alternate routes in mind.
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:53 PM on November 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

I appreciate your concerns, but I am fairly certain that very little would happen. New York City is almost overwhelmingly "blue" in its political affiliation, and the parts of the city where you would find Trump supporters aren't anywhere along a Midtown-to-Williamsburg commute. So that means that while there may be national guard units standing around, most likely standing around is all that they would be doing.

If she were commuting to Staten Island or to some of the neighborhoods in East Queens or Southern Brooklyn, that may be a different story. But I think that there would be very few people trying to start trouble along her route home.

What blnkfrnk says about the ferry is a good idea, though - if for no other reason than it would be a much more direct route home, and also because it's a pretty ride. The East River ferry could take her direct from Midtown across the river to Williamsburg within about 20-30 minutes, and there are even two stops in Willamsburg so she has a choice for where she can get off. I used it a couple times in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and it actually was almost a perk in my day because it was quick and pleasant.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:02 PM on November 1, 2020 [11 favorites]

I don't think election day is the day to be concerned about, I'd be more worried about unrest on Wednesday or Thursday if there are contested results, and honestly not along her commute.

She should follow social media organizing protests to be aware of any potential march routes, but otherwise I personally will be treating this like another day of work in a pandemic.
posted by larthegreat at 1:06 PM on November 1, 2020 [8 favorites]

I live in NYC, and I agree that there's little if anything to worry about on Election Day. If you're going to be worried, worry more about November 4. But I'd bet a good amount of folding money that Election Day will be perfectly fine and quiet.
posted by holborne at 1:16 PM on November 1, 2020 [6 favorites]

Your daughter has nothing to worry about on Election Day. There may be some roads closed or a curfew imposed if there are large-scale protests later in the week, but those wouldn’t impact a normal commute, and are extremely unlikely to happen until Wednesday if they ever do at all.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 1:39 PM on November 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

thanks, y'all! I'll pass it on.
posted by j_curiouser at 2:46 PM on November 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

I doubt there will be any form of disturbance, and it won’t be by Trump supporters at least in midtown or Brooklyn. But if there is, and she on the East Side for work, she probably should have an alternative to getting the L Train at Union Square, because Union Square could be dicey. Maybe loop over to 14th Street and 8th Avenue on the E train.
posted by MattD at 3:53 AM on November 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

Based on what’s happened so far, the most dangerous place to be would be in a car on a highway. These traffic-blocking gatherings are cowardly behavior in that they don’t want to be out of their car unless they can have all traffic stopped. So I would not worry about the subway or other mass transit.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 11:51 AM on November 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

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