Mayor Michael Bloomberg cut a ribbon in Times Square Monday to celebrate a permanent new pedestrian plaza at 42nd Street.
It's the first of five plazas that the city plans to build in the area at a cost of $55 million.
Ongoing construction has some retail owners miffed in the run up to New Year's Eve, but the mayor promised that everything would be presentable for the big night, and he emphasized the positives of the temporary pedestrian plazas that have been in place since 2009.
"The results of that experiment have been tremendously positive for public safety, for economy and for traffic flow, and that's why we are making it permanent," he said.
Bloomberg said that since 2009, Times Square has made it onto the list of the 10 most successful retail areas in the world.
All of the plazas are scheduled to be done by 2015.