Can I please just cross the street?

Photo courtesy of the Marino Organization.

Cars that line up at the entrance to the Holland Tunnel on Varick Street often interfere with pedestrian traffic. The Hudson Square Connection, the neighborhood’s Business Improvement District, is trying to change that by deploying pedestrian traffic managers along Varick Street as part of a pilot program aimed at keeping the crosswalks safe and vehicle-free.

Motorists are being ordered to steer clear of intersections and crosswalks so pedestrians may securely cross the street. The managers, supervised by Sam Schwartz Engineering, will also monitor the intersections for smooth vehicular passage. The pilot program is also geared toward stopping motorists from honking their horns.

“With more than 50,000 people a day working in and visiting the Hudson Square neighborhood, we need to even the playing field so that pedestrians can safely get from one place to another in the district,” said Ellen Baer, president of the Hudson Square Connection. “Now that Hudson Square has established itself as a business center, it is time that we take on this age-old problem.”

The B.I.D. has already taken measures to streamline traffic along Varick Street, such as installing high-visibility crosswalks, improving signage and setting up pedestrian countdown signals.

The pilot program will run for six months during evening hours, Wednesday through Friday.