New Year’s Eve means over one million revelers will descend on Times Square to watch the ball drop. Thanks to the bombing that took place at Port Authority security measures are being beefed up including the closing of all parking garages near Times Square, and stationing NYPD officers in hotels along the ball drop route.
So here’s what you need to know if you want to try and get around on New Year’s Eve:
If you want to see the ball drop get there early. People start getting there around noon if you want a good spot. There are no bathrooms and backpacks are not allowed, so get ready for a long night. Also you’ll want to dress in extra layers. The AccuWeather forecast is calling for temperatures in the low teens and wind chills below zero at the stroke of midnight.
On December 31, the New York Police Department will begin closing down access to Times Square starting at 43rd Street and Broadway, and moving north as revelers arrive. The exact times that these blocks close to pedestrian and vehicular traffic will depend on when the revelers begin arriving. It is likely that there will be no vehicular traffic on either Broadway or Seventh Avenue as of approximately 3:00 p.m. Vehicles will most likely have difficulty traveling across town after 3:00 p.m. or earlier above 42nd Street and as far north as 59th Street. If you are planning to come to Times Square and join in the festivities, you are advised to enter from Sixth or Eighth Avenue. Your chance of getting a viewing spot near the Ball increases the earlier you arrive. The blocks will be closed off as they fill up northward, street-by-street, as the police deem necessary.
Basically, expect all of Times Square to be blocked off, including points south (to 38th Street) and north (to 59th Street). Access points are as follows:
South of 41st Street
37th & 7th Ave
37th & Broadway
38th & 8th Ave
38th & 6th Ave
North of 43rd street
49th from 8th & 6th Ave
52nd from 8th & 6th Ave
54th from 6th Ave
55th from 8th Ave
57th from 7th Ave
57th from Broadway
58th from 8th & 6th Ave
59th from 8th & 6th Ave
According to the Times Square Alliance, “the MTA has advised revelers not to use the 42nd Street Subway Station on New Year’s Eve due to crowding conditions – you are advised to exit at one of the surrounding stations and enter Times Square on foot.” That means 49 St on the N, Q, and R; 50 St on the C; and the 1, A, C, and D at 59th St–Columbus Circle.
There are likely to be outages on some of those lines (the 1, for example, won’t stop at 50 St); check the Weekender app for more details.