A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Big Apple (city ornament of Columbia, SC, 2021) (11/29)
“English and Maths were my 3 bestest subjects in school” (11/29)
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Entry from November 28, 2009
Pedestrian Manager

A “pedestrian manager” might also be called a “crossing guard.” Sam Schwartz Engineering (Sam Schwartz was an assistant commissioner of transportation who helped popularize the word “gridlock”) trained “pedestrian traffic managers” in June 2009 for busy downtown Manhattan streets.

Sam Schwartz Engineering
June, 2009 marks the beginning of Port Authority’s crossing guard program on Church Street. SSE recruited, trained, and placed ‘highly visible’ pedestrian traffic managers at the corner of Church and Liberty Streets. SSE’s highly trained pedestrian managers are retired NYPD or Port Authority Police Department personnel. Working under Port Authority’s and the City Department of Transportation’s (DOT) guidelines, the agents are managing large number of PATH commuters, tourists, tour buses and construction vehicles entering and leaving the World Trade Center site.

Downtown Express
Volume 22, Number 27 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | November 13 - 19, 2009
Pedestrian managers keep communters at bay with chains at Church and Vesey Sts., the busiest intersection in the city.
A cross to bear on Church

By Julie Shapiro
The pulsing intersection of Church and Vesey Sts. in Lower Manhattan is a sea of buses, trucks, taxis, construction vehicles — and, most of all, pedestrians.
Others called the heavily manned intersection — seven agents plus a supervisor — a waste of money. The Port pays $225,000 a month for pedestrian managers there and one block south at Church and Liberty Sts., which has four agents. The Port pays another $70,000 per month for separate workers who direct vehicle traffic.
“We welcome suggestions,” (Sam—ed.) Schwartz said, “because frankly, the science of pedestrian control is being written at the corner of Vesey and Church.”

Many of the ideas came from the pedestrian managers who spend all day every day directing the flow. Schwartz handpicked agents with law enforcement backgrounds and at least 15 years of experience dealing with crowds, because keeping harried commuters in line is not an easy job.

New York (NY) Times
Big City
The Hand That Moves the Masses

Published: November 27, 2009
The international sign language for “stop” does not seem to mean much to Wall Streeters trying to charge across Vesey Street, the busiest pedestrian thoroughfare in all of New York City.

So in April, shortly after John Apel and his colleagues were hired to control pedestrians on the corner of Vesey and Church Streets, they started hemming in the crowds with a long link chain, a people corraller in bright yellow with serious institutional overtones.

The chain keeps back most of the crowd, but there remain a number of well-groomed, middle-aged chain-crashers who regularly lift it and dash across, sometimes stopping to show Mr. Apel a certain finger or leave a few choice words ringing in his ears.

Such is the lot of the crossing guard, or, as Mr. Apel and his colleagues prefer to be called, the pedestrian manager. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWorkers/People • (0) Comments • Saturday, November 28, 2009 • Permalink