NYPD Sets Rules For New Year’s In Times Square
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly have jointly announced the City’s plans to host the annual New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square and encouraged New Yorkers to celebrate safely and responsibly. The Mayor and Commissioner announced street closings in the Times Square area and gave important tips for attending the festivities, which will culminate with the traditional lowering of the New Year’s Eve Ball at midnight.
“Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Times Square is one of New York City’s most beloved traditions,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “We expect hundreds of thousands of visitors and New Yorkers to be in Times Square on Friday, and we are doing everything possible to ensure that everyone enjoys the festivities safely. I urge everyone to be aware of traffic restrictions, use public transportation and celebrate responsibly. I also would like to take this opportunity to wish all New Yorkers a safe and healthy 2005.”
As with all large-scale events in New York City, security and emergency preparations for New Year’s Eve in Times Square is a multi-agency effort. Over 30 different City, State and Federal agencies, as well as representatives from KeySpan and Con Ed, will be assisting the Police Department with preparations for the event.
By 4:00 p.m. on Friday, December 31, Times Square will be closed to vehicle traffic. Attendees will be directed by Police Officers to gather in separate viewing sections. As one section fills up, people will be directed to the next viewing section. As the evening progresses, revelers will continue to fill Times Square along Broadway and Seventh Avenue moving uptown from 43 Street to Central Park.
People will not be permitted to return to their area if they leave.
Backpacks and bags are subject to search. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the area.
People should not abandon property at Police checkpoints.
There will be access to all stores, theatres and restaurants but people should note the following traffic restrictions: There will be No Parking in the following areas from Friday, December 31 at 12:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 1; All cross-town streets from 34 to 57 Street between Sixth and Eighth Avenue; West side of Sixth Avenue, from 34 to 59 Streets; East side of Eighth Avenue from 34 to 57 Streets; and 48 Street between Fifth and Ninth Avenues.
At approximately 4:00 p.m. on Friday, December 31, the following streets will be closed to all vehicular traffic: Seventh Avenue, from 42 to 59 Streets; Broadway, from 42 to 59 Streets; and 43 to 47 Streets, from Sixth to Eighth Avenue. After 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 31, the remainder of the traffic closures will be instituted as crowd conditions warrant: All cross-town streets from 37 to 42 Streets - Sixth to Eighth Avenues; All cross-town streets from 49 to 59 Streets - Sixth to Eighth Avenues; 48 Street, from Fifth to Ninth Avenues; Cross-town access for emergency vehicles will be available on 57 and 59 Streets.
People are advised to use public transportation. In the event that they must bring a vehicle into Manhattan, on street parking will be extremely limited in the Midtown area. People should avoid all cross-town streets from 34 to 59 Streets, as well as Sixth and Eighth Avenues. Suggested alternatives for cross-town traffic include 23 Street and the Central Park Transverse Roads at 65 and 66 Streets.
As it does every year, the NYPD will continue its drunk driving enforcement on New Year’s Eve through DWI patrols and checkpoints throughout the City. To date, the NYPD has made 41% more drunk driving-related arrests this year than in 2003, and as part the DWI Forfeiture Initiative, has also seized 2,074 vehicles from drunk drivers so far in 2004 – a 21% increase from last year. This has helped lead to a 31% decline in drunk-driving fatalities in our City this year, and helped us drive down the number of overall traffic fatalities to 287 so far in 2004 – the lowest year-end number of overall traffic fatalities since 1910.