De Blasio announces partial holiday street closures for pedestrians near Rockefeller Center

Kimberly Dole
November 22, 2019 - 11:15 am
Rockefeller Center Holidays

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday a temporary expansion of pedestrian space on the streets surrounding Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall.

Starting Friday, November 29, the city will pedestrianize the streets surrounding Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall, with movable barriers to institute full or partial street closures that will alleviate the crush of foot traffic.

"The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is New York City’s crown jewel during the holidays, and we’re always excited to welcome the world to see it—but when the world descends on Rockefeller Center for a month on end, additional tools are clearly necessary so that our Vision Zero agenda stays in place," said Mayor de Blasio. "This historic announcement pedestrianizing Rockefeller Center will keep holiday revelers safe while ensuring minimal disruption to the rest of the life of the city."

Side Street Closures:

49th and 50th Streets between 5th and 6th Avenues will only be open to pedestrians during the most congested hours. These streets will be closed between 2 p.m. and midnight from Monday to Thursday, 1 p.m. and midnight on Friday, and 10 a.m. and midnight on Saturdays and Sundays.

5th Avenue: Movable barriers will be placed on the east and west sides of the streets on 5th Avenue between 48th and 52nd Streets, eliminating a lane of traffic on each side of the avenue to create more pedestrian space. Additionally, there will be no turns on 47th, 49th, or 51st Streets.

Barriers will be put in place between 5 p.m. or earlier and midnight during the week, and between noon or earlier on weekends.6th Avenue: Movable barriers may be placed on the east side of the street on 6th Avenue between 48th and 52nd Streets, eliminating one lane of traffic to create more pedestrian space.

6th Avenue will be monitored and barriers will be put in place or removed depending on crowd conditions.Buses: MTA buses will bypass 48th to 52nd Streets.Additionally, the NYPD and Department of Transportation (DOT) staff will conduct joint round-the-clock monitoring of the area to adjust the barriers if needed during times.

These new steps aim to ensure the safety of New Yorkers and visitors while minimizing vehicular congestion in one of the City’s busiest areas at the height of the holiday season.

"Today’s announcement provides much-needed relief. The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is a must-see for visitors and residents alike, and now there will be more space to enjoy the sights and move through the area," said Council Member Keith Powers. "I am glad to see the Mayor take action on mine and Borough President Brewer’s proposal in time for the much-anticipated holiday rush."

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