If you're planning on celebrating the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010 in Times Square, you should be there by now! Reader Valerio tells us that the police have things pretty organized, as they're "sectioning off chunks of barricades at a time, frisking each person, then letting them in one by one" along Broadway and 7th Avenue. Like every year, backpacks and large bags prohibited, as are alcohol beverages—and the police will not let people who leave the area return to their original spot. (After the jump, the police notice for street closures.)
Even though there was a bomb scare—thanks to a suspicious white van left on Broadway between 41st and 42nd Street for days—yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg said of Times Square, "I can't think of a better place and a safer place to be in the whole wide world. I'm going to be here with my family, and I hope you're going to be here." But don't think that the NYPD suddenly beefed things up just because of last week's terror attempt by plane—Police Commissioner Kelly said, "We assume here that New York is the No. 1 terrorist target in America. We’ve done a lot, to my knowledge, even more than any other city in the world, to protect ourselves from a terrorist event."
Still, what's up with the cops only noticing the van, which didn't have plates, yesterday? We guess the fake placard for the "Detective's Crime Clinic, Metropolitan New Jersey and New York" was really convincing! A building supervisor at 7 Times Square told the Post, ""Various times, I saw meter maids bypassing it. I guess they saw the NYPD placard. It looked real, but they need to have more control of those plates. We are not secure anywhere. It's crazy."
Beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 31st, Times Square will be closed to vehicle traffic. Attendees will be directed by Police Officers to gather in separate viewing sections. When 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 43rd Street to Central Park.
Backpacks and large bags prohibited
Alcohol beverages prohibited
Property may not be abandoned at checkpoints
Attendees who leave before the ball drops will not be able to gain entry to their original viewing area
There will be No Parking in the following areas from Thursday, December 31st at 12:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Friday, January 1st:
All cross-town streets from 33rd to 59th Street between 6th and 8th Avenue;
West side of 5th Avenue, from 37th to 52nd Streets;
West side of 6th Avenue, from 34th to 59th Streets;
East side of 6th Avenue, from 37th to 52nd Streets;
East side of 8th Avenue from 34th to 57th Streets;
48th Street between 5th and Ninth Avenues;
43rd Street between 5th and 8th Avenue;
42nd Street between 5th and 9th Avenue;
37th Street between 5th and 8th Avenue;
34th Street between 5th and 9th Avenue;
48th Street between 5th and 9th Avenue;
52nd Street between 5th and 8th Avenue;
58th Street between 6th and 8th Avenue;
59th Street between 5th Avenue and Columbus Circle.
At approximately 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 31st, the following streets will be closed to all vehicular traffic:
Seventh Avenue, from 41st to 59th Streets;
Broadway, from 47th to 59th Streets;
43rd to 47th Streets, from Sixth to Eighth Avenue.
Beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 31st, 42nd Street from 6th to Eight Avenue will closed to traffic.
After 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 31st, the remainder of the traffic closures will be instituted as crowd conditions warrant:
All cross-town streets from 37th to 41st Streets - Sixth to Eighth Avenues;
All cross-town streets from 49th to 59th Streets - Sixth to Eighth Avenues;
48th Street, from Fifth to Ninth Avenues;
Cross-town access for emergency vehicles will be available on 42nd, 48th, and 59th Streets.
People are strongly advised to use public transportation. On-street parking will be extremely limited in the Midtown area. People should avoid all cross-town streets from 34th to 59th Streets, as well as Sixth and Eighth Avenues. The Department will continue its drunken driving enforcement on New Year's Eve through DWI patrols and checkpoints throughout the City. The NYPD made 11,056 drunken driving arrests this year, and as part of the DWI Forfeiture Initiative, seized 1,548 vehicles from drunk drivers so far in 2009.
Beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 31st, some subway access around Times Square will be closed. The following subway system changes should be noted:
Southbound and northbound N/R/W lines will skip the 49th Street station beginning at 7 p.m., Thursday, December 31st until approximately 12:15 a.m., Friday, January 1st.
The northbound IRT "#1" train will skip the 50th Street station beginning at 7 p.m., Thursday, December 31st until approximately 12:15 a.m., Friday, January 1st.