Rockefeller Center pedestrian zone goes into effect Friday
MANHATTAN — The holiday season is underway, and that means more shoppers and tourists will be flocking to some of the most popular sightseeing locations in New York City, including Rockefeller Center.
Because of that, the city’s Department of Transportation is closing the popular area to vehicles — effective Friday.
About 800,000 people filter through the Rockefeller Center area everyday during the season. To ensure crowd control and pedestrian safety, Mayor Bill de Blasio enacted unprecedented street closures.
Starting Black Friday, 49th and 50th streets between Fifth and Sixth avenues will be closed to vehicular traffic.
Both 49th and 50th streets will be shut down from Monday through Thursday 2 p.m to midnight, Fridays from 1 p.m. to midnight and weekends from 10 a.m. to midnight.
Tourists tell PIX11 they appreciate the move, but local authorities, including the Uniformed Firefighter Association and the MTA, have blasted the move.
The UFA called the move “misguided and makes this city less safe,” while MTA President Andy Byford called the plan “disappointing” since it “gives no priority to MTA buses and ignores the needs of bus customers.”
The plan goes into effect at 1 p.m., and the traffic changes run through at least Jan. 1.