2008 celebrated all around the world

December 31, 2007 8:44:26 PM PST
The world ushered in 2008 -- most notably the hundreds of thousands in Times Square for 100th anniversary of the ball drop. This year's event featured an energy-efficient ball drop. The giant ball will be covered with nearly 10,000 light-emitting diodes capable of generating more than 16 million colors. Those bulbs will use about the same amount of electricity as 10 toasters.

The person chosen to push the button to make the ball begin its drop is a newly minted police officer from Poland who worked at ground zero after September 11 and served in Iraq.

Additional security was to be provided by plainclothes officers mingling in the crowd, along with bomb-sniffing dogs and police sharpshooters stationed on rooftops and in trucks throughout midtown.

Crowds gathered early to wait for the main event, despite chilly temperatures in the 30s.

The area around Times Square was blocked off to drivers by the late afternoon. Thick crowds bustled on avenues east and west of the area, and traffic on open streets moved slowly.

Traffic:

To access Times Square:

For south of 41st Street:
37th Street & 7th Avenue or Broadway
38th Street & 8th Avenue or 6th Avenue

For north of 43rd Street:
45th from 8th Avenue & 6th Avenue
46th Street from 8th Avenue & 6th Avenue (press access)
49th Street from 8th Avenue & 6th Avenue
52nd Street from 8th Avenue & 6th Avenue
54th Street from 6th Avenue
55th Street from 8th Avenue
57th Street from 7th Avenue or Broadway
58th Street from 8th Avenue & 6th Avenue
59th Street from 8th Avenue & 6th Avenue


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