Crowds Begin Taking Advantage Of Rockefeller Center Pedestrian Area

Steve Burns
December 03, 2019 - 7:16 pm
Rockefeller Center Traffic

Anatoleya/Getty Images

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Pedestrians are already taking full advantage of the extra space surrounding the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, with crowds expected to increase tenfold when the tree is lit Wednesday.

As WCBS 880’s Steve Burns reports, some people out of habit continues to walk in the crosswalk and look both ways.

Though, some, like Steve who is visiting from Switzerland, are gleefully strolling down the middle of 49th Street.

“I stumbled into in, and I was kind of wondering 'what's going on,’” he said.

He thinks it’s great that people can spread out if they're not watching out for cars.

“Especially this time of year when it's busy, when people are shopping, I think it improves the movement,” Steve said. “There's less stress.”

The barricades were first brought out the day after Thanksgiving, closing down 49th and 50th streets between Fifth and Sixth avenues to cars during most afternoons and evenings, mornings and weekends.

Another lane on the roads is also given to those on foot along the avenues.

Some are less enthused about all this, including the MTA.

City Transit President Andy Byford blasted the plan when it was first announced since the decision didn't take busses into account.

For now, all MTA buses are skipping stops in the area where the pedestrian areas have been set up.

Supporters, who include Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, have called for the closures to stay year-round.

Currently, they are slated to end in early January.