Every year, city officials are criticized for their poor handling of holiday crowds and the traffic that fills the streets. This year promises to be even worse. As Gelinas has documented, tourists visiting the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center are being funneled between police barricades and concrete bollards, while cars move freely down the wide avenues.
Traffic in midtown has gotten measurably worse in recent years, even as tourism has reached record-highs. The city is considering proposals to close midtown streets to vehicles during the holidays, but officials will have to be more creative to solve a problem that grows more unmanageable every year.