NEW YORK - Navigating in and around Rockefeller Center during the holiday season is never easy, which is why New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has decided to temporarily expand pedestrian space on the streets around Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall.
As of Friday, Nov. 29, at 1 p.m., cars are banned from 49th and 50th Streets between 5th and 6th Avenues. These side streets are now considered pedestrian walkways. The streets will be closed from 2 p.m. to midnight from Mondays to Thursdays, from 1 p.m. to midnight on Fridays, and from 10 a.m. to midnight on weekends.
"We created a plan that is flexible so that when there is a lot of pedestrian activity, we can have these zones closed off," de Blasio said.
The NYPD will also be placing movable barriers along 5th and 6th Avenue between 48th and 52nd Street, eliminating one lane of traffic so pedestrians have more room to walk.
The Mayor's plan has its critics, however, including the MTA and New York City's firefighter's union.
Read the full details from the NYPD:
Starting Friday, November 29, the City will pedestrianize the streets surrounding Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall, using movable barriers to institute full or partial street closures that will alleviate the crush of foot traffic. The closures are as follows:
- Side Street Closures: 49th and 50th Streets between 5th and 6th Avenues will be open to pedestrians alone during the most congested hours. By default, 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.
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