5th Avenue to close to car traffic in December for first time ever

People cross the road near Saks Fifth Avenue during sunset on November 28, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

For the first time ever, Manhattan's Fifth Avenue will be closed to all vehicular traffic for three Sundays in December as part of a program dubbed "Fifth Avenue for All."

On Dec. 4, 11, and 18, between the hours of 12 p.m. and 6 p.m., Fifth Avenue will be for pedestrians only from 49th Street to 57th Street.

Food vendors and musicians will take over the street's sidewalks, meaning it should be a little easier to look at the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree this year.

It isn't clear what this means for the MTA bus routes that run along the avenue.

An MTA official said the agency was working with the city to "[mitigate] the impact to New Yorkers who rely on buses to get where they need to go."

"In the meantime, we will also be working with the City to establish and preserve a dedicated safe bus travel lane on Fifth Avenue throughout the holidays," NYC Transit Chief Operating Officer Craig Cipriano said in a statement.

The event is one more of a multitude of events taking place during the holiday season this year all across New York City:

  • The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is bringing back the "Lightscape at Brooklyn Botanic Garden" beginning Nov. 16, using over one million lights to brighten a one-mile illuminated trail of art from local and international artists.
  • The Rockettes' iconic Christmas Spectacular begins at Radio City Music Hall on Nov.18, featuring Santa, wooden soldiers, and of course the Rockettes' signature kick line.
  • The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park has opened, offering roughly 60 different shopping and food kiosks, along with free skating at the 17,000-foot ice skating rink.
  • The New York Botanical Garden is hosting its annual Holiday Train Show, beginning Nov. 19. The show turns the garden into a mini train depot, with a collection of 25 model trains and 190 miniature versions of New York City landmarks.