NEW YORK (PIX11) — Tis the season to hit the streets of Midtown, Manhattan — and it’s about to get easier for pedestrians.
New York City will open 11 blocks to pedestrians as part of what’s been described as the city’s “largest-ever holiday season-specific Open Street.” Fifth Avenue from 48th Street to 57th Street will be designated as an Open Street on three Sundays in December. There will also be a pedestrianized area around Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall.
“Every year, people come from across the world to New York City, and to Midtown Manhattan specifically, during the holiday season. This year, we are going to make that experience safer and more enjoyable for all New Yorkers and visitors with more access to Open Streets,” Mayor Eric Adams said. “This is the kind of bold, creative thinking that we need to ensure the city’s comeback is strong, equitable, and inclusive. And to all those coming in from out of town, I have only two messages: Happy holidays and spend money.”
Open Streets will take place on Dec. 4, 11 and 18 from 12 p.m. through 6 p.m., city officials said. Visitors on those days can see choirs, drum lines, and a samba group. There will be food and beverage vendors along with public seating.
There will also be some adjustments on other days throughout the holiday season. Moveable barriers will be placed on the east and west sides of Fifth Avenue, between 48th Street and 52nd Street. On non-Open Street days, they’ll be used to repurpose a lane of traffic on each side of the avenue for pedestrians. The moveable barriers will be adjusted in the early afternoon on weekdays and in the morning on weekends.
Westbound vehicle right turns will be prohibited from Fifth Avenue onto 47th Street, 49th Street, or 51st Street.
New York City will also pedestrianize the area around Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall from Nov. 30 through early to mid-January. Moveable barriers will be used to partially or fully close streets to cars. West 49th Street and West 50th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues will only be open to pedestrians from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. each day.
Moveable barriers will also be placed on the east side of Sixth Avenue between 48th and 52nd streets to reallocate a lane of traffic, starting on Nov. 30. The adjustment will continue through early to mid-January.