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December 30, 2002
PR 343-02


Lowering of New Year's Eve Ball Continues Tradition Begun in 1907

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, and Times Square Business Improvement District President Tim Tompkins today encouraged people to celebrate New Year's Eve in a safe and responsible manner. The Mayor announced the street closings in the Times Square area and gave important tips for attending the festivities, which will culminate with the lowering of the New Year's Eve Ball at the stroke of midnight.

"Every New Year's Eve, the eyes of the world focus on New York City," Mayor Bloomberg said. "Our Police Department is world renowned for providing security at large events and those attending the ball lowering at Times Square are in for a night they will never forget. Also, everyone should be aware of the traffic restrictions and use public transportation possible. Dress warmly and celebrate responsibly and I would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year."

By approximately 4:00 p.m. tomorrow, Times Square will be closed to vehicle traffic. Attendees will be directed by police officers to gather in separate viewing sections. As one section fills up, people will be directed to the next viewing section. As the evening progresses, revelers continue to fill Times Square along Broadway and Seventh Avenue moving uptown from 43rd Street to as far as Central Park. People will not be permitted to return to their area if they leave.
In addition:

No parking in the following areas from 7:00 a.m. on Dec. 31, until 1:00 a.m. on January 1:

At approximately 4:00 p.m. the following streets will be closed to all vehicular traffic:

After 5:00 p.m. the remainder of the traffic closures will be instituted as crowd conditions warrant:

People are advised to use public transportation. In the event that they must bring a vehicle into Manhattan, on street parking will be extremely limited in the Midtown area. People should avoid all cross-town streets from 34th to 59th Streets, as well as Sixth and Eighth Avenues. Suggested alternatives for cross-town traffic include 23rd Street and the Central Park Transverse Roads at 65th and 66th Streets.

General information is available by calling (212) 768-1560 or by visiting the Times Square Visitors Center located on Broadway between 46th and 47th Streets, which is open 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily.


Edward Skyler/Jerry Russo
(212) 788-2958

  Michael O'Looney (NYPD)
(646) 610-6700