On Dec. 3, 10, and 17, multiple streets around Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center will completely close to traffic between noon and 6 p.m., allowing pedestrians access to popular holiday attractions. The 2023 version is expected to set a record for New York City’s largest-ever holiday season-specific Open Street program.
“Open Streets are good for people and good for business, and we can’t wait to bring back the iconic Fifth Avenue Open Street this holiday season — bigger and better than ever,” said Mayor Adams. “I felt the energy walking down the middle of Fifth Avenue last year — it was electric. And as we get excited for more of the same this December, we’re moving full speed ahead on permanently reimagining Fifth Avenue, so people can have this incredible experience every day of the year.”
During the designated time period, Fifth Avenue will be completely open to pedestrians between 48th Street and 59th Street, with barriers being used to repurpose a lane of traffic on each side of the avenue as additional pedestrian space on non-Open Street days. To accommodate high pedestrian traffic, westbound vehicle right turns will be prohibited from Fifth Avenue onto 47th Street, 49th Street, or 51st Street.
Starting on Nov. 30, Rockefeller Center will be open to pedestrians around West 49th Street and West 50th Street, between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue, between 11 a.m. and 12 a.m. every day. The New York Police Department will help ensure that vehicle traffic does not enter those streets.
On these designated Open Street Sundays, guests will be able to enjoy a lineup of performances and other forms of entertainment, as well as street activations. Food and beverage vendors will also serve the area, and public seating will be provided for pedestrians to take a rest.
In 2022, this initiative saw a 6.6% increase in spending at businesses in the Open Streets area, according to Mastercard, in partnership with the New York City Office of Technology and Innovation (OTI) and Chief Public Realm Officer Ya-Ting Liu. To deliver these commercial and safety benefits all year round, the Adams administration is working with the “Future of Fifth” partnership and their core consultant team to permanently reimagine Fifth Avenue as a safer, less congested, pedestrian-centered boulevard.
“We are excited that under Mayor Adams’ leadership, we are bringing back the Fifth Avenue Open Street,” said New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “Whether you are window-shopping or taking in the Rockefeller Center tree, we are building upon last year’s successful program to add improvements this year that will make the Open Street an absolute must-visit part of the holidays for New Yorkers and visitors. And with expansion of the number of days to include the Sunday of the busy Thanksgiving weekend, we expect the Open Street will be more popular than ever.”
“The Fifth Avenue Holiday Street was a tremendous success last year, and I’m delighted that we will be expanding the program and working to design a Fifth Avenue that works for pedestrians and local businesses year-round,” said Chief Public Realm Officer Liu. “As we learned recently through our partnership with Mastercard, the Fifth Avenue Open Street can result in millions of dollars in additional spending at local businesses, and a delightful holiday experience for New Yorkers and visitors alike.”
Further details on Open Streets programming along Fifth Avenue will be announced in November. More information about DOT’s Open Streets program is available on the DOT website.