By Arturo Conde
MANHATTAN — The NYPD is implementing a new strategy to crack down on drinking and public intoxication during Wednesday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Police officers will be dispatched along the parade route with strict orders to confiscate alcohol and discourage any unruly behavior from parade-goers.
Officers will also commandeer alcoholic beverages in major transportation hubs like Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal, the Port Authority Bus Terminal and Staten Island ferry terminals.
Attendees are encouraged to take public transportation since streets near the route will be closed to traffic, and NYC Transit will maintain regular weekday bus and train service. Those wanting to drive in to Manhattan should note that alternate-side parking rules will be in effect.
Street closings will occur along the length of the parade, on Fifth Avenue between 44th and 86th streets, as well as between 44th and 46th streets from Vanderbilt to Sixth avenues, and between 47th and 48th streets from Park to Sixth avenues.
The Central Park street crossings will remain open to traffic, and pedestrians will be able to cross the parade route at certain locations.
This will be the last year that the parade will be allowed to march its traditional route before the city introduces a cost-cutting strategy in April to reduce all parade routes by 25 percent.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly will lead the parade, which begins at 11 a.m. and is expected to run until 4:30 or 5 p.m., for its 248th consecutive year. It will honor fireman, policeman, the Marines and the Boy Scouts of America, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, according to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration Committee.