MIDTOWN — As throngs of New Year's Eve revelers flock to Times Square in anticipation of Tuesday night's ball drop, the city is preparing to shut down most of the streets in the area to cars, along with rerouting subway service and banning parking, officials said.
Southbound and northbound N and R trains will bypass the 49th Street station between 7 p.m. and midnight on New Year's Eve, and the northbound 1 train will bypass the 50th Street station between 7 p.m. until after midnight, MTA officials said.
The changes are designed to keep the area around Times Square clear, the officials said.
Midtown streets will also be closed to car traffic starting at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, including Seventh Avenue between 41st Street and 59th Street; Broadway between 47th Street and 59th Street; and Sixth and Eighth avenues between 43rd and 47th streets.
Police will expand closures throughout the afternoon, cutting Times Square off completely to vehicular traffic by 3 p.m., according to police.
At 5 p.m., police will shut the entire length of 42nd Street between Sixth and Eighth avenues to traffic, police said.
After 6:30 p.m., police will close all streets between 37th and 42nd streets, from Sixth Avenue to Eighth Avenue. The NYPD will also close all crosstown streets between 49th and 59th streets from Sixth Avenue to Eighth Avenue, and 48th Street from Fifth Avenue to Ninth Avenue, they said.
Only emergency vehicles will be allowed on 42nd, 48th and 59th Street during the festivities, police said.
In preparation for the traffic closures, the NYPD said drivers would be unable to park from midnight Tuesday until after 1 a.m. on Wednesday on all crosstown streets between 33rd and 59th streets between Sixth Avenue and Eighth Avenue, as well as on stretches from Fifth Avenue to Ninth Avenue between 34th and 59th streets.
Party-goers will gather in Times Square starting at 3 p.m., when police said they would start letting attendees fill the designated viewing sections in Times Square. Police expected pedestrians to fill Broadway and Seventh Avenue from 43rd Street all the way north to Central Park over the course of the evening, they said.
Police urged people traveling into the Midtown and Times Square area to use public transportation where possible. Anyone not heading to watch the festivities is advised to avoid the area between 34th Street and 59th Street, from Sixth Avenue to Eighth Avenue.