Snøhetta reacts to Times Square pedestrian incident

Courtesy Snøhetta

When a car traveled to Times Square in Manhattan on Thursday, 22 people were injured and one person was killed. However, things could have been much worse. The security posts at Snøhetta pedestrian square were strong and stopped the driver, Richard Rojas, from killing and injuring more people. His car stopped on two wheels after being stuck up by a 3-foot marker, manufactured by Callecpe Security Bollards and installed last autumn as part of the redesign of the square. In response, Craig Dykers, founding partner at Snøhetta, issued the following statement:

Times Square is one of the densest and most visited places in New York and the world. One of the main challenges of transforming this crowded neighborhood of vehicles into a place for people makes the Times Square more comfortable and natural to go while protecting it from unpredictable tragedies like the one that took place yesterday in the square . We offer our deepest condolences to the family of the victim and we wish for a healthy recovery from the injured and the affected.

In our work to make pedestrian plazas permanent in Times Square, we have successfully completed a collaborative process with the city and specialized consultants to ensure that pedestrians are safe in the crossroads of the world. Our method consisted of protecting the areas of the place while using elements of design that do not interfere with the public experience. We wanted to be sure that security measures do not define the public space while creating highly effective protection devices in the most populated areas. The terminals, in conjunction with other built-in safety functions, form the basis of the safety design of the place. These elements allow a smooth and intuitive circulation between the squares. It was a fundamental concept of the overhaul as a whole, focused on reducing visual and physical congestion and confusion in the space, creating a simplified surface that allows people to move comfortably and naturally in space.

Without these considerations, other people would have been affected by this tragedy, so we are grateful to all members of the team for designing these preventive measures. We will continue to analyze the character of this event alongside our partners connected to this work in order to minimize the impact of any future situation without hindering the open, dynamic and unique character of Times Square.