NYC politicians seek Rockefeller Center’s ‘permanent’ pedestrian zone

Two Manhattan executives want the most wonderful time of year to last all year in Midtown.

Borough President Gail Brewer and Councilman Keith Powers have asked the city’s Department of Transportation to consider “permanent walking” of the streets around Rockefeller Center.

Every year – with the exception of 2020 – huge crowds flock to 30 Rock Plaza to see the giant Christmas tree.

The city first closed 49th and 50th Streets between Fifth and Sixth Avenues to cars during the 2019 holiday season to make room for crowds of evergreen enthusiasts.

But the current streetscape around the Art Deco office complex “unnecessarily gives more priority to vehicles,” Brewer & Powers wrote to Hank Gutman, the city’s transportation chief, in a letter shared with The Post.

“It is our expectation that after the expected success of this holiday program, we will meet with DoT to discuss sustainable pedestrian plans for the area,” he said.

Counselor Keith Powers
Councilman Keith Powers has asked the DOT to consider “permanent walking” of the streets around Rockefeller Center.
John Lamparski / Getty Images
Gail Brewer
Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer also called for “permanent walking” of the streets around Rockefeller Center.
Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

A representative for DOT, Seth Stein, sent The Post the following statement: “We appreciate this request from Borough President Brewer and Councilmember Powers, and agree that there is a need to reduce overcrowding and manage crowds during the busiest shopping season.” The increase in pedestrian space is important for this year. We will have more to say about our plans for this year soon.”


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