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July 4th in NYC: Street closures, subway changes, and more

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Expect plenty of changes to streets and transit for the Fourth of July in New York City

Independence Day Fireworks in New York Photo by Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks take over a chunk of the East River tonight, and the event is expected to draw as many as three million spectators to watch the massive pyrotechnics show. (Four barges in the river will fire off pyrotechnics, and the Brooklyn Bridge will be a major part of the 25-minute display.)

Expect a larger than normal NYPD presence throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn over the next 48 hours—the Wall Street Journal reports that thousands of officers will be stationed throughout the city for the event.

While everyone is looking for the best places to watch the spectacular, it’s also important to know how public transportation and getting around Manhattan will be affected. (Don’t want to deal with any of this? Here’s how to watch the fireworks from your own apartment.)

Street closures and traffic changes

With all of those people crowding either side of the East River—the prime viewing spots are in lower Manhattan, Brooklyn Heights, and Dumbo—it’s a sure bet that streets, and traffic, are going to be a gigantic mess on Wednesday. The NYPD has announced its list of street closures for the fireworks, and unsurprisingly, many of the big thoroughfares in those parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn—including big chunks of the FDR Drive and Flatbush Avenue—will be shut down.

Manhattan:

  • All streets included in the area bounded by Grand Street, Catherine Street/Slip, South Street/FDR Drive, East Broadway
  • Allen Street between Division Street and Canal Street
  • Battery Place between State Street and West Street
  • Beekman Street between Pearl Street and South Street
  • Broad Street between Water Street and South Street
  • Dover Street between Pearl Street and South Street
  • FDR Drive between Brooklyn Battery Underpass and Delancey Street (including exit/entrance ramps)
  • Frankfort Street between Gold Street and Pearl Street
  • Front Street between Old Slip and Dover Street
  • Fulton Street between South Street and Gold Street
  • Gold Street between Fulton Street and Frankfort Street
  • Gouverneur Lane between Water Street and South Street
  • John Street between Water Street and South Street
  • Little Water Street between Fulton Street and Beekman Street
  • Maiden Lane between Water Street and South Street
  • Old Slip between Water Street and South Street
  • Pearl Street between Fulton Street and St. James Place
  • Peck Slip between Pearl Street and South Street
  • Pike Street between Division Street and East Broadway
  • Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place between Pearl Street and South Street
  • South Street between Whitehall Street and Jackson Street
  • St. James Place between Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place and Oliver Street
  • State Street between Whitehall Street and Battery Place
  • Wall Street between Water Street and South Street
  • Water Street between Whitehall Street and Dover Street
  • West Street between Battery Place and West Thames Street
  • Whitehall Street between Water Street and South Street

Brooklyn:

  • Adams Street between Tillary and Joralemon Streets
  • Adams Street between York Street and John Street
  • Atlantic Avenue between Furman Street and Flatbush Avenue
  • Beard Street between Conover and Van Brunt Streets
  • Coffey Street between Van Brunt Street and Dead End
  • Columbia Street between Atlantic Avenue and Degraw Street
  • Conover Street between Pioneer Street and Dead End
  • Degraw Street between Columbia and Van Brunt Streets
  • Dikeman Street between Van Brunt Street and Dead End
  • Ferries Street between King and Van Dyke Streets
  • Flatbush Avenue/Flatbush Avenue Extension between Tillary Street and Atlantic Avenue
  • Front Street between Jay Street and Old Fulton Street
  • Furman Street between Old Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue
  • Henry Street between Old Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue
  • Hicks Street between Brooklyn Queens Expressway and Old Fulton Street
  • Imlay Street between Summit and Pioneer Street
  • Jay Street between York Street and Dead End
  • John Street between Jay Street and Adams Street
  • Joralemon Street between Furman Street and Adams Street
  • King Street between Conover and Ferries Streets
  • Main Street between Front Street and Plymouth Street
  • Montague Street between Court Street to Montague Terrace
  • Old Fulton Street between Cadman Plaza West and Furman Street
  • Old Fulton Street between Hicks and Furman Streets
  • Old Fulton Street/Cadman Plaza West/Court Street between Henry and Joralemon Streets
  • Pearl Street between York Street and John Street
  • Pioneer Street between Van Brunt and Conover Streets
  • Plymouth Street between Adams Street and Main Street
  • Reed Street between Conover and Van Brunt Streets
  • Remsen Street between Court Street and Montague Terrace
  • Sullivan Street between Van Brunt Street and Dead End
  • Summit Street between Van Brunt and Imlay Streets
  • Tillary Street between Prince Street and Cadman Plaza West
  • Van Brunt Street between Degraw Street and Dead End
  • Van Dyke Street between Van Brunt Street and Dead End
  • Washington Street between York Street and Dead End
  • Wolcott Street between Van Brunt Street and Dead End
  • Water Street between Adams Street and Old Fulton Street
  • York Street between Jay Street and Front Street

Additionally, the Brooklyn Bridge will be closed entirely starting at 2 p.m. on July 4 (it’ll open again after 1 a.m.), and the Manhattan Bridge will have intermittent closures throughout the day. In both boroughs, the closures are at the discretion of the NYPD, but expect them to begin sometime in the afternoon and last well after the fireworks end.

On Staten Island, meanwhile, the Travis 4th of July Parade—the self-proclaimed longest running annual Independence Day parade—will host its 109th annual event beginning at noon. That event will cause traffic irregularities as the procession travels throughout Travis, Staten Island, from noon to 3 p.m.

Formation

  • At Showplace Center (East Service Road), Cross Victory Boulevard to Glen Street

Route:

  • Glen Street between Melvin Avenue and Cannon Avenue
  • Cannon Avenue between Glen Street and Victory Boulevard
  • Victory Boulevard between Cannon Avenue and Melvin Avenue

Dispersal:

  • Melvin Avenue between Glen Street and Victory Boulevard

All access roads into Travis including the Victory Blvd exit off Route 440 will be closed at 11:30 a.m.

How NYC subway, bus, and ferry service will be affected

On Thursday, the subway will operate on a Saturday schedule, so you can expect service changes, particularly to the trains that stop near the prime fireworks viewing areas. Buses are also likely to be affected. The MTA has helpfully listed all of the planned changes here.

A crucial thing to remember: The 2 and 3 trains will not stop at Wall Street or Clark Street on the 4th, since those stops are quite close to the viewing areas for the fireworks.

There will also be schedule changes on the Metro-North, which will operate on a weekend schedule, and the Long Island Rail Road. Some Citi Bike stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn will likely be out of service to allow for fireworks setup—check the app for details.

NYC Ferry will also be impacted by the event, with most of its routes operating on a weekend schedule (and no ferry to Governors Island). There are also specific route and stop changes going into effect on July 4 and 5, chief among them the fact that boats won’t stop at the Pier 1 and Pier 6 stops in Brooklyn Bridge Park all day on Thursday. Most of the ferries that travel up and down the East River will suspend service starting around 3 p.m. on the 4th; check the NYC Ferry website for more details.

The Staten Island Ferry will also stop service between 7:30 and 10:15 p.m. on July 4; here’s the schedule:

July 4TH Schedule 12:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 30-minute service. 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 20-minute service. Last boat before fireworks will be at 7:30 p.m. from both terminals. No ferry service from 8:00 p.m. until 10:15 p.m. in Whitehall Manhattan and 10:30 p.m. in St. George Staten Island. 30-minute service resumes at 10:30 p.m.