MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- There are swarms of holiday shoppers and a sea of headlights and taillights up and down the avenues.
Millions descend on Midtown Manhattan for the holidays every year, but this year feels different.
Traffic feels worse in Manhattan because it is worse.
Security around Rockefeller Center is now the tightest it's ever been with officers in body armor with heavy weapons, bomb sniffing dogs, sand trucks, cement blocks, and street closures.
For several hours Wednesday evening, crossing Midtown was nearly impossible.
"We've got some serious traffic problems," said Sam Schwartz, "Gridlock Sam" a Transportation Expert.
Schwartz says the security zone around Trump Tower is creating a perfect storm of gridlock that will only get worse with the holidays.
Everyone is being urged to use public transportation.
That's how Isabel Diaz brought her daughter and her friends to the tree lighting, and it was practically painless.
But, driving in Midtown this holiday season is becoming unthinkable.
Midtown Manhattan gridlock worse than ever thanks to holidays, Trump