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Bus operators react to new pedestrian areas around Rockefeller Center

MANHATTAN — Beginning Friday, the city of New York will prioritize pedestrians during around one of the busiest spots for holiday visitors.

A new group called BUS4NYC that was created to advocate for private bus carriers, tours and charters will be watching the new configuration.

During the holidays, 49th and 50th Streets between 5th and 6th Avenues will be open to pedestrians alone during the most congested hours. These streets will be closed between 2 p.m. and midnight from Monday to Thursday, 1 p.m. and midnight on Friday, and 10 a.m. and midnight on Saturdays and Sundays.

Movable barriers will be placed on the east and west sides of the streets on 5th Avenue between 48th and 52nd Streets, eliminating a lane of traffic on each side of the avenue to create more pedestrian space. Additionally, there will be no turns on 47th, 49th, or 51st Streets.

Barriers will be put in place between 5 p.m. or earlier and midnight during the week, and between noon or earlier on weekends.

Along 6th Avenue, movable barriers may be placed on the east side of the street between 48th and 52nd Streets, eliminating one lane of traffic to create more pedestrian space, depending on conditions.

MTA buses will bypass 48th to 52nd Streets. City officials say buses are usually diverted away from the area during the holiday season and some bus stops have been changed in the past.

"Keeping New Yorkers safe across the city throughout the holiday is of the utmost importance. The NYPD and Department of Transportation employees on the ground at Rockefeller Center will have the flexibility to re-open lanes of traffic as necessary in the event of an emergency," said NYC Mayor's Office Spokesperson Will Baskin-Gerwitz.

MTA NYC Transit officials, who have called for more focus on buses, say they will work with the city and NYPD.

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