NYC opens pedestrian access for the Rockefeller Center Tree, Mayor Bill de Blasio said today. It will ease the annual sidewalk crush and decrease car traffic at key times.
Tree lighting is set for December 4th, following seasonally themed music performances. A national broadcast starts at 8:00 and ends with the lighting at 10:00.
But today’s news is all about making it easier to enjoy the tree for visitors, throughout the holidays.
NYC Opens Pedestrian Access for Rockefeller Center Tree
“Walkin’ around the Christmas Tree” is how the mayor stated his theme. Briefly, the city will close of nearby streets during peak hours. NYPD will be vigilant about more closings as needs arise.
This is from the text of the press release. (These things are always verbose, and I’ll spare you the chest-thumping parts.)
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.
NYC Opens Pedestrian Access for Rockefeller Center Tree, continued
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 of unusual pedestrian activity or extreme weather.
That’s how NYC will open pedestrian access for Rockefeller Center Tree. It makes things safer and easier on everyone but drivers, which is the idea.