How to get around NYC this New Year’s Eve

Posted On Mon, December 30, 2019 By

Posted On Mon, December 30, 2019 By In holidays, Transportation

Image by Anthony Quintano via Flickr

Tomorrow roughly one million people will brave the cold and uncomfortable conditions to witness a quintessential New York celebration: New Year’s Eve in Times Square. The event is free and open to the public but NYPD will begin restricting traffic in the area as early as 4 a.m. and the viewing areas will start filling up around 11 a.m. so planning ahead is crucial. Here’s what you need to know.

Viewing areas will start at 43rd Street and move north as the crowd gets bigger. Once streets begin to close, Broadway and Seventh Avenue will be completely closed off, so you’ll have to enter via Sixth or Eighth Avenue. “The exact times that these blocks close to pedestrian and vehicular traffic will depend on when the revelers begin arriving, but it is likely that there will be no vehicular traffic on either Broadway or Seventh Avenue starting early in the morning of December 31,” the official Times Square website notes.

Several subway station entrances and exits may be closed to better manage the crowds, check out the schedule here.

Metro-North will offer extra inbound trains in the late afternoon as well as the early evening on Tuesday. On New Year’s Day, hourly service will be provided on most lines while others will operate on a weekend schedule. Alcohol will be prohibited on Metro-North trains (and in Times Square!) from noon New Year’s Eve to noon New Year’s Day.

The security will be intense with more than 1,200 cameras installed, uniformed and plainclothes police officers patrolling the area, and drones flying above for added surveillance. Leave your backpacks, duffel bags, and umbrellas at home and head to one of the following checkpoints to gain access to the viewing area:

  • 37th Street and Seventh Avenue
  • 37th Street and Broadway
  • 38th Street and Eighth Avenue
  • 39th Street and Sixth Avenue
  • 49th Street from Eighth and Sixth avenues
  • 52nd Street from Eighth and Sixth avenues
  • 54th Street from Sixth Avenue
  • 55th Street from Eighth Avenue
  • 57th Street from Seventh Avenue
  • 57th Street from Broadway
  • 58th Street from Eighth and Sixth avenues
  • 59th Street from Eighth and Sixth avenues

Getting a spot is half the battle, after that, you’ll have to withstand hours of waiting around. Luckily the weather forecast is relatively good, starting out the day partly cloudy but getting gradually sunnier with a high around 49. Temperatures will drop to the mid-low 30’s in the evening so make sure to dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes. There are no public restrooms or food vendors, so plan accordingly.

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