Here’s a job that you may not have known existed: “Pedestrian Management Agents.”
In order to create a truly world-class public space in Times Square, the Bloomberg administration and the New York City Department of Transportation have necessarily concentrated on pedestrian traffic flow. Sam Schwartz Engineering (SSE) was hired to deploy our Pedestrian Management Agents (PMAs) at four intersections in Times Square during the pilot program.
Perhaps surprisingly, given the notoriety of New York City walkers for seemingly using every available opportunity to cross a street regardless of whether cars are coming or not, our agents were able to increase compliance with walk/don’t-walk signals by 62%, from a rate of 57.5% to 93.4% compliance with the walk/don’t walk signals.
SSE has also provided Pedestrian Managers to augment pedestrian safety around the World Trade Center site, most significantly at the intersection of Church St. and Vesey St. This is the main access/egress point from the WTC PATH station, and by our counts may be the intersection with the highest peak hour pedestrian volumes in the city.
Our pedestrian managers all come from law enforcement backgrounds and bring at least 15 years of experience with them to the job. At any one time there is nearly a century of experience guiding pedestrians across Church St. In addition to their law enforcement and crowd control qualifications, all of our employees have received certification through the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA).