New Yorkers can expect traffic, large crowds and noise on New Year's Eve, especially in Midtown Manhattan, thanks primarily to the iconic festivity known as the ball drop in Times Square. If you're one of those disgruntled residents who wants to do everything in his or her power to avoid the commotion, here's your guide to street closures, plus other vital information to avoid traffic.
The New York Police Department will begin closing streets and access to Times Square Thursday, starting at 43rd and Broadway and moving northward. The actual times at which streets will be closed vary, but according to the official website for Times Square, after 3 p.m. Thursday, there will be no vehicles on Broadway or Seventh Avenue, and after 6 p.m., "vehicles will most likely have difficulty traveling across town after 6:00 p.m. above 42nd Street, as far north as 59th Street."
NYPD has said that from approximately 3 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday, these streets will be closed to cars and other traffic: 38th Street between 8th and 6th Avenues; 41st Street between 8th and 6th Avenues; 50th Street between 8th and 6th Avenues; and 8th Avenue between W. 41st and W. 50th Street, plus other closures on 6th and 8th Avenues. Also closed will be 7th Avenue and Broadway, between 41st and 50th streets, from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. Friday.
This means that the subway is your friend. NYC.gov recommends using mass transit on New Year's Eve, to avoid traffic and other delays caused by street closures. Or, you can steer clear of midtown Manhattan entirely. For help visualizing the more congested areas of New York on New Year's Eve, check out this guide from NYC.gov, where you can enter a specific time and zoom in on neighborhoods of New York City.
If you're in Coney Island, the area contained by the Boardwalk on the south, Surf Avenue on the north, West 8th St. to the east and W. 19th St. to the West will also be closed to vehicular traffic from roughly 8 p.m. Thursday until 12:30 a.m. Friday, according to NYPD.