NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As millions of people from the Tri-State area and around the world converge on New York City to ring in the New Year, the New York Police Department and city officials are urging those who plan to attend celebrations in the city and particularly in Times Square to take note of some important rules.
If you plan to welcome 2014 in Times Square, police want you to know that backpacks and large bags, as well as alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Property may not be abandoned at checkpoints and attendees who leave before the ball drops will not be able to re-enter their original viewing area, police said.
Those attending the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration will be directed by police officers to gather in separate viewing sections. When one section reaches capacity, people will be directed to another, police said. As the evening progresses, merry-makers will be positioned along Broadway and Seventh Avenue, moving uptown from 43rd Street to Central Park.
The NYPD is urging people to use public transportation whenever possible. That’s because as of Tuesday afternoon, officers shut down vehicle traffic in Times Square.
Parking restrictions for the ball drop are also in place. According to police, there is no parking in the following areas until 1 a.m. on Wednesday:
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;
Seventh Avenue, from 41st to 59th Streets;
Broadway, from 47th to 59th Streets;
43rd to 47th Streets, from Sixth to Eighth Avenue
42nd Street from 6th to Eight Avenue was closed to traffic at around 5 p.m., Tuesday.
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.
The NYPD said it will continue its drunken driving enforcement on New Year’s Eve with DWI patrols and checkpoints throughout the city.
There are also some changes to the subways near Times Square Tuesday night. At 7 p.m. some subway access around Times Square was closed. The following subway system changes should be noted:
N/R/W lines in both directions will bypass the 49th Street station until approximately 12:15 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 1.
The northbound IRT No. 1 train will bypass the 50th Street station until approximately 12:15 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 1.
And if you’re heading into the city from Long Island, Long Island Rail Road officials have issued an alcohol ban effective from noon Tuesday through noon on Wednesday in order to “maintain orderly travel to and from New Year’s Eve events.”
If crowding into Times Square seems more like a hassle than a celebration, there are plenty of other parties and events throughout the city, including fireworks displays.
Fireworks will light up the sky at midnight at New York Harbor, near Liberty Island, and at Cherry Hill Fountain in Central Park, Manhattan.
You can also head to Brooklyn where there will be a fireworks display at Long Meadow of Prospect Park.
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