The Pedestrian Crush: It Doesn’t Have to Be Like This

Although there is undoubtedly an amazing streets renaissance
going on in NYC, there still remain places in dire need of
improvement. Every workday, heavily-used areas like the blocks surrounding Penn
Station are overwhelmed with
pedestrians making their way home via buses, subways, the Long
Island Railroad and Amtrak. The sidewalks are so
clogged by this "crush of humanity" that people are forced to walk in
the streets. If you’ve never seen it, or if you’re claustrophobic, get ready.

Open Planning Project Executive Director Mark Gorton
recently went out to sample the atmosphere on a typical weekday evening and posits that we can do much better in how we choose to allocate street space. His words sum it up nicely:

The reason it’s so crowded here is not because there’s not enough space. It’s because we give all of our space to the least spatially-efficient form of transportation available. 

Of course he is referring to the automobile — especially the single-occupant vehicle. Oddly enough, I did a PSA over three years ago
which aired during our New York City Streets Renaissance campaign launch. I filmed most of
it in the same location. It still looks much the same, perhaps
worse.

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