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Published November 28, 2023

NYC's Fifth Avenue Will Go Car-Free This Winter

The iconic street will be open to pedestrians only on select days throughout December. 🚶‍♀️✨

by New York Bucket List


Fifth Avenue is arguably New York's most famous street, known for world-renowned shopping and some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. This year, the historic street will go car-free for a second year during the holiday season in a program dubbed “Fifth Avenue for All." The 2023 version will set a record for New York City’s largest-ever holiday season-specific Open Street — expanding geographically by nearly 25 percent to reach Central Park.

On December 3, 10, and 17, from 12:00 PM until 6:00 PM, Fifth Avenue will be open only to pedestrians between 48th Street and 59th Street. Throughout the holiday season, movable barriers will be placed on Fifth Avenue between 48th Street and 52nd Street. On days when it's not just for pedestrians, starting in the afternoon on weekdays and mornings on weekends, one lane on each side will be blocked off and used as extra space for pedestrians. To handle the crowds, cars won't be allowed to turn right from Fifth Avenue onto 47th, 49th, or 51st Street.

This year's open streets program will also expand to include Rockefeller Center's surrounding areas. From the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree on November 29 until January, the streets around Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall will become pedestrian zones, making West 49th and West 50th Streets, between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue, pedestrian-only from 11:00 AM to 12:00 AM daily.

The new initiative gives New Yorkers the opportunity to stroll the usually traffic-heavy avenue and take in some of the city’s best holiday displays, like the Rockefeller Tree and the Saks Fifth Avenue light display, without worrying about cars and buses crowding the way.

Visitors on car-free days can also enjoy an array of food vendors and see performances from local choirs and musicians. If you make it up to 57th Street, you can hop over to the Columbus Circle Holiday Market before heading home!


Find more information about NYC's Open Streets program here.


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