project documentation

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The New York Penn Station Atlas a.

A better map of Penn Station

This sketch map with inaccurate proportions, no measurements, no pictures or icons, and poor handwriting has few of the attributes of a formal map. However, at a glance it shows where every railroad is located in Penn Station and how they are related to the exterior environment – that's more contextual information in one doodle than in the majority of the existing wayfinding programming in Penn Station today.

a project by john schettino

b.


Project summary: Penn Station is the the busiest transit hub in the Western Hemisphere. Penn was planned for a capacity of 200,000 people per day but now hosts over 650,000 daily users. The station is severely overcrowded during peak travel times, and at all times the space itself is deeply confusing. That confusion, and the ability of people in Penn to find their way (or not), is a subject deserving closer scrutiny because confusion amplifies congestion. This is a key concept for Penn because, in the absence of a simple option for expanding capacity, it points the way to a


fast and economical path to reducing congestion by decreasing confusion. It can be done by delivering wayfinding tools directly into the hands of Penn Station users. This project identifies and analyzes the principle sources of confusion in Penn Station. It establishes a basis for what a personal wayfinding toolkit for Penn Station should do and provides examples of how it would do it. This is a clear and detailed roadmap for an approach to how Penn Station can be made easier to use – today.


l the situation

Understanding the sources of confusion

+

principal issues Identifying the challenges

1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4

capacity the big picture comparative transport centers pedestrian circulation cognitive load in the environment

2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4

visibility seeing the station seeing the station seeing on train platforms all platform obstructions

3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3

layout horizontal configuration vertical configuration vertical access

4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3

ll delivering help

Making Penn easier to use, today.

+ +

Wayfinding fundamental principles atlas index

1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5

approach delivering tools into people's hands the right tools to the right people making the environment visible starting: simple fast and cheap roadmap

2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6

overviews coordinates neighborhood street entrances configuration and relationships orientations of trains in the station track layouts

wayfinding fragmentation navigating by signs station maps

3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4

paths from A to B three steps to your goal a clear and direct route easily locate accessible routes

alignment consonance with user needs consonance with stakeholder needs imperatives

4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3

perspectives you are here: 8th & 31st you are here: 7th & 32nd you are here: West End Concourse


ll delivering help (cont.)

lll inside Penn

Making Penn easier to use, today.

Documentation of the experience.

5.0 vistas 5.1 main level/ Amtrak concourse 5.2 lower level/ LIRR main ticketing area

Photoessay: what it feels like in Penn

6.0 plans main level 6.1 index 6.2 relationship to street 6.3 floorplan 6.4 detail: Amtrak Concourse 6.5 detail: NJT Mezzanine 6.6 spotlight view explanation 6.7 spotlight view: restrooms 6.8 spotlight view: departure gates 6.9 spotlight view: departure boards 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18

lower level index relationship to street floorplan detail: Exit Concourse/ Hilton Corridor detail: LIRR main area spotlight view: LIRR ticketing spotlight view: restrooms spotlight view: departure gates spotlight view: exits


Part l Penn Station

the situation

Understanding the sources of confusion.



identifying the issues/ principal challenges to orientation capacity

visibility

interpretation

In-station system load, principally the volume of people in the space.

Ability of people to see where they are in relation to the station environment.

effects

An exceeded capacity is

The anonymous exterior

the most severe issue but

makes it difficuලt to locate the

other kinds of system loads

station from outside, even

exist, including on users.

when directly at the location.

The congestion intensifies

Minimal presence of eye-

proxemic stress and can

level information makes it

severely limit circulation,

hard to understand exterior

and precipitate high-risk in

location. Inside, obstructed

an emergency. Sheer volume

sightlines and constricted

of poorly structured visual

view fields hamper the ability

content experienced while

to see ahead and can stymie

mobile sets conditions for

basic anticipatory decisions

information overload.

of pedestrians.

overload

concealment

issue

outcome


layout

wayfinding

alignment

Spatial configuration as it relates to environmental complexity and coherence.

In this context; programmatic support for spatial problem solving in Penn.

How the needs of station users and stakeholders are being met, or not.

Each level has a different

Penn operates as three

Millions of different people

floor plan, causing vertical

separate railroads, result-

use the station each week

incongruence. The maxi-

ing in territorialized and

but Penn does not provide

mum effect of this occurs

discontinuous signage.

a user-centric experience

when elevator use causes

In addition to inter-system

full spatial disorientation.

conflict, intra-system issues

that addresses people as

On the horizontal axis, the

exist where decades-old

station architecture offers

legacy signage is in use

no structural cues to en-

and visually inconsistent.

able intuiting of the space.

In the station, maps do not

Inside/outside relationship

correspond to user's spa-

of building is unintelligible

tial orientation, making for

to casual station users.

much less effective help.

complexity

fragmentation

individuals with different goals. This one-size-fits-all approach amplfies the station confusion and leads to excess demands on station resources that result in wasted time and money.

inefficiency


l/ 1.0 Capacity


principal challenges to orientation

1. Capacity 2. visibility 3. layout 4. wayfinding 5. alignment


/ 1.1 Capacity/ the big picture


Penn Station, New York, is the busiest transit hub in the Western Hemisphere.

Over a half million people use Penn each workday.

More people use Penn on a daily basis than the entire population of cities like Atlanta (456,002), Cleveland (389,521) or â‚ Pittsburgh (305,412) . Penn was designed to accomodate a maximum of 200,000 people per day.â‚‚


l/ 1.2 Capacity/ comparative transport centers Penn Station daily pedestrian traffic surpass the world's busiest airport. (Each icon below = 10k)

LGA

JFK

La Guardia Airport

≥73,000

John F. Kennedy International Airport 3

daily passengers

≥145,000

4

daily passengers

ATL

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport

≥250,000

5

daily passengers

world's busiest airport by daily passengers


Penn Station

≼650,000

6

daily passengers


l/ 1.3 Capacity/ pedestrian circulation Level of Service (LOS) is a measure used to rate the adequacy of pedestrian circulation based on volume-to-capacity ratios. Research shows that peak traffic in Penn is never less than 'restricted'.

LOS general qualitative descriptions

LOS descriptions per element

Level Of Service: A and B Sufficient area to allow pedestrians to freely select walking speed and bypass slower moving pedestrians. When cross flow and reverse flow movement exists, minor conflicts may occur. No severe peak concentrations.

Corridors and Ramps

Level Of Service: C Pedestrian movement is fluid although somewhat restricted. Provides sufficient room for standing without personal contact. Circulation through queuing areas, however, would require adjustment to walking speed. Level Of Service: D Walking speed is restricted and reduced. Reverse flow and cross flow movement is severely restricted due to congestion and difficulty in bypassing slower moving pedestrians. These conditions are common in many Manhattan locations during peak periods and represent somewhat congested conditions. Level Of Service: E and F * Severe congestion.

Walking speed is restricted and there is insufficient area to bypass others and counterflow movement is difficult. LOS F is “bumper to bumper� pedestrian flow, with forward progress achievable only through shuffling, and with pedestrian queues forming.

LOS A: Unrestricted. LOS B: Slightly restricted. LOS C: Restricted, but fluid. LOS D: Restricted. Varying walking speed. LOS E: Severely restricted. LOS F Forward progress only by shuffling, no reverse movement possible.

Stairways

LOS A: Unrestricted. LOS B: Slightly restricted, no impact on speed. LOS C: Speeds reduced, difficult to pass. LOS D: Restricted, reverse flow conflicts. LOS E: Severely restricted. LOS F: Many stoppages, no discernible flow.

Queuing

LOS A: Free circulation. LOS B: Restricted circulation. No affect on queues. LOS C: Restricted. Affecting people in queue. LOS D: Severely restricted. No personal contact. LOS E: No circulation. Contact unavoidable. LOS F: Close physical contact, unsustainable.

Levels range from A to F and are defined by differences in: freedom to choose walking speed, ability to bypass slower moving pedestrians, and ease of counterflow movements at pedestrian traffic concentrations. Statistics quoted here are from the 2010 Moynihan Station environmental assessment. LOS descriptions and calculations are the standards established by John J. Fruin, Pedestrian Planning and Design, Revised Edition, 1987.


weekday morning peak pedestrian levels of service, select locations (2008) Location

Elements

Peak Volume Peak Volume per Hour per 15 Min.

Effective Width (ft.)

Level Of Service

Main Entrance, 7th & 32nd

Stair and 2 Escalators

11,881

4,158

16.5

E

LIRR Entrance, 7th & 34th

Stair and 3 Escalators

9, 246

3,236

13.5

E

33rd St Connecting Concourse, East of Exit Concourse

Corridor

11,005

3, 852

19.0

C/D

33rd St. Connecting Concourse, West of LIRR Main Gate Area

Corridor

10,279

3,598

20.0

C

33rd St Connecting Concourse, East of 8th Avenue Subway

Corridor

11,859

4, 151

26.0

C

weekday evening peak pedestrian levels of service, select locations (2008) Location

Elements

Peak Volume Peak Volume per Hour per 15 Min.

Effective Width (ft.)

Level Of Service

Main Entrance, 7th & 32nd

Stair and 2 Escalators

10,160

3,556

16.5

D

LIRR Entrance, 7th & 34th

Stair and 3 Escalators

7,668

2,684

13.5

D

33rd St Connecting Concourse, East of Exit Concourse

Corridor

8,484

2,969

19.0

C

33rd St. Connecting Concourse, West of LIRR Main Gate Area

Corridor

8,430

2,951

20.0

C

33rd St Connecting Concourse, East of 8th Avenue Subway

Corridor

13,633

4,772

26.0

C


l/ 1.4 Capacity/ cognitive load in the environment Just as the volume of traffic that Penn can accommodate is defined by the station architecture, the volume of information that station users can process is defined by neurological architecture and the mental effort used in working memory. In cognition, useful information competes for processing with irrelevant information and background noise. At Penn, the environment is dense with stimuli and can push against the limits of how much a person can process. Heightened demand on the capacity of users in Penn calls for heightened clarity in how station information is communicated. example:

I just saw the listing of my trains track number, now how do I remember it? 7 rehearsal (repetition)

stimuli relevant information,

transfer

attention

sensory memory

working memory

Irrelevant information,

environmental noise

long-term memory retrieval

forgotten

forgotten

visual load: signal detection

spatial load: cognitive mapping

Engineering and communication use S/N, or signal-to-noise ratio, to measure information against interference8. In signal detection theory9 it's a basis for quantifying our ability to discern information from distraction in conditions of uncertainty. In high-noise environments, distractions (unchecked visual stimuli, activity) obscure signals (signs, features) and increase uncertainty, and anxiety, while reducing decision-making ability; a recipe for frustration.

The way we perceive, represent and navigate the world around us – spatial cognition – is our basis for forming cognitive maps10, places internalized as mental images. Those images depend on survey knowledge11, our grasp of place relationships. That knowledge permits wayfinding independent of support like maps12. In Penn, with unclear relationships and broken wayfinding support, only the most experienced users can internalize such a map.


proxemic load: personal space in a public place The space that pedestrians keep between themselves and obstacles is termed shy distance. 1 to 1.5 feet is an oft-quoted metric for minimal comfortable distance, roughly similar to Edward T. Halls minimum proxemic space13,however empirical studies on this are few and NYC is collecting data to establish standards14. Still, the pressure of prolonged "severely restricted movement", and "close, unavoidable physical contact"15 will trigger discomfort (attributed, in some research, to amygdala16 function) and can reduce capacity for stress, decrease sense of orientation and lead to poor/wrong decisions.

Zones (after Hall's theory of proxemics) Public

ranges: close: 12 to 25 feet, far: 25 feet or more

Social (Extrapersonal) outside of personal reach ranges: close: 4 to 7 feet, far: 7 to 12 feet Personal (peripersonal) within personal reach, “arm’s length� ranges: close 1.5 to 2.5 feet, far: 2.5 to 4 feet Intimate (Pericutaneous) immediately outside the body ranges: close less than 6 inches, far: 6 to 18 inches


l/ 2.0 Visibility


principal challenges to orientation

1. capacity 2. Visibility 3. layout 4. wayfinding 5. alignment


l/ 2.1 Visibility/ seeing the station exterior: non-place and anonymous space For a person who is not already familiar with Penn Station, a novice user, finding the station at the street level is complicated by its largely anonymous exterior. While most station entrances have signage that identifies Penn little of it is at eye-level and it can be easy to overlook. Street areas stretching between those entrances are often long expanses of featureless walls, sidewalks and road with little or no indication of where the station is located or how a person is situated in relation to it. These barren exterior spaces comprise a nether-zone that effectively renders Penn Station invisible to pedestrians.

8th Avenue street wall, between 32nd and 33rd streets


interior - obstructed sightlines Seeing and being informed on what lies ahead is one of the fundamental aspects of any person's wayfinding process, especially in built environments with large volumes of pedestrian traffic (malls, airports, plazas, etc.). Our forward visual axis provides our long view of space and often includes cues as to possible paths and decision points – our on-the-fly basis for how we navigate space. During peak travel times sight lines are rarely clear in passageways and conditions are exacerbated further on narrow train platforms which are interspersed with many of the over one thousand columns that support Madison Square Garden. Looking ahead in Penn can often mean seeing little more than a few inches forward. connecting ramp from MTA IND line to Penn Lower Level West End


l/ 2.2 Visibility/ seeing the station A sighted persons’s ability to identify their location is contingent on being able to visibly discern their surroundings by picking up on environmental cues like landmarks, paths, distinct regions or purposed messages. In contrast, Penn is notable for its many narrow and crowded corridors, obstructed views, and low ceilings – all conditions that contribute to spatial confusion. In an environment exemplified by a persistent absence of navigational cues, disorientation has literally been built into the architecture.

unimpeded vision

For most people, typical binocular vision has a visual angle range of about 200 – 220 degrees.17

180º 200º 220º

spatial cognition

The area directly visible from a particular point in space is known as an isovist. Working from a landscape perspective, Tandy18 (1967) developed the idea of viewshed which later came to be codified as an isovist by Benedikt19 (1979) and further operationalized by Hilliard via Space Syntax20 (1984). More recently, the notion has been contested and dimensionalized by Ratti21(2010). Benedikt introduced his work with a quote from Architect Bruno Zevi: “To grasp space, to know how to see it, is the key to the understanding of building"

what it means in practice

The sequence at right traces the isovist, or visual field, of an advancing pedestrian as vantage point and views continuously shift between visibility and occlusion, with red indicating the isovist area presented as a simple plan view. Note that mediating space as a 2D image removes much of the complexity and ambiguity of experiencing 3D space in motion and among other people. (Diagrams on opposite page adapted from James Gibson, The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception22)


Pedestrian view shifts and diminishes quickly in constricted space. 23 “Maze-like� is a common phrase that appears in descriptions of the architecture Penn Station, especially in reference to the lower level layout. And it does operate, visually, like a labyrinth.

visual field

1.

Protruding edges and corners occlude view fields.

Station areas like the Hilton Corridor typify this experience with narrow, confined spaces and occluding edges contributing to highly restrictive limits on the field of view that is open to users. visual field

2.

As pedestrians advance, fields progressively open . . .

A practical outcome of this is to complicate navigation by concealing navigation cues, and in experience a pedestrians path can feel unpredictable without knowing what's ahead. visual field

3.

. . . and emerging edges begin to occlude far areas.


l/ 2.3 Visibility/ seeing on train platforms Madison Square Garden is situated directly over Penn Station. To support the weight of MSG, over 1,100 vertical steel columns are distributed through the entire Penn site. The columns are sizeable obstacles in many areas of the station, including the station’s train platforms where they crowd floor space, obstruct circulation and reduce the visual field of anyone on the platform. The example below shows a partial section of platform six with obstructed views in conditions that represent minimal pedestrian traffic. The typical peak AM load for a full train at this platform is 1,620 passengers.24

Diagram: black squares = steel columns

escalator (up)

platform six column reference

Typical platform 6: concrete-clad 17" square.

23"

13"

17"

visual field

note: platform capacity

Immediately following train arrivals, exit stairs and escalators operate at full capacity (LOS E) "lack of vertical circulation capacity and the uneven spreading of that capacity along the length of certain platforms results in inordinately long times to clear platforms of passengers when trains arrive with a full load . . . This condition is most prevalent on platforms 3 through 6" where it can take over six minutes for platforms to be cleared. 25


12'– 9 1/2"

note: station columns elsewhere

Many columns are larger than the 17" example.


l/ 2.4 Visibility/ all platform obstructions Platform 11

Platform 10 Platform 9

Platform 8

Platform 7

Platform 6

Platform 5

Platform 4

Platform 3

Platform 2

Platform 1


Track 21 Track 20 Track 19

Track 18 Track 17 Track 16 Track 15 Track 14 Track 13 Track 12 Track 11 Track 10 Track 9 Track 8 Track 7 Track 6 Track 5 Track 4 Track 3 Track 2 Track 1

Diagram: black = steel columns, gray = vertical circulation (stairs, escalators) and utility areas


l/ 3.0 Layout


principal challenges to orientation

1. capacity 2. visibility 3. Layout 4. wayfinding 5. alignment


l/ 3.1 Layout/ horizontal configuration Penn has pedestrian circulation patterns that vary dramatically by station area. Each level has a commercial spine; retail/main and food/lower. The spines establish a central linear space, however a pedestrian who branches off either central line is quickly lead into myriad spaces without little evidence of organizing principles. Without spatial linkages that are visually obvious navigating by signage becomes a default, but station signage is fragmented and often missing from areas where it's needed.

main level horizontal relationships Street Level

Main Level

Lower Level

Commercial Spine

Primary Circulation

2 Penn Plaza

Madison Square Garden

2 Penn Plaza

Secondary Circulation


intelligibility A central principle of space syntax analysis is that that knowing where you are is contingent on understanding the larger context that you're situated in. "In an intelligible world (where the relationship between local and global properties of space is strong), this relationship assists subjects in efficient navigation."26 In Penn it is largely impossible to know where you are in relationship to the world, the streets, outside of the station. By this criteria, Penn is a space that is unintelligible.

lower level horizontal relationships Street Level

Main Level

Lower Level

Commercial Spine

Primary Circulation

2 Penn Plaza

Madison Square Garden

2 Penn Plaza

Secondary Circulation


l/ 3.2 Layout/ vertical configuration incongruity In Penn, one of the circumstances that makes it very difficult to orient oneself in terms of inter-floor relationships is incongruity between levels. The floor plans don't match. Even if a user is able to grasp the layout of a level and ascertain where they are in the floorplan that knowledge does not transfer to another level.

uninformed connections

Moving between completely different layouts is further complicated by lack of information at vertical connections e.g.: the stairs, escalators and elevators that enable up-down access. Vertical transition spaces are often anonymous zones, with little more than cryptic identifying markings such as escalator or stair numbers. These transition spaces rarely feature any information that helps to explain a users present location. Likewise information is almost never offered on where a user will be be when they reach the opposite end of an escalator or flight of stairs. Some escalators do allow pedestrians to maintain visual contact with the larger environment when moving between floors but, in contrast, elevator use can result in a completely disorienting experience when passengers step out onto a new level that bears no resemblance to the boarding level.

lower level street level main level


the central connecting elevator Only one elevator in Penn provides access to all three levels: street, main and lower. This elevator is also one of the most disorienting features in the Station offering no explanation of how levels relate to each other and where a person is when entering/exiting the elevator. Using the elevator is predicated on being able to actually find it. On each station level it is a crucial but indistinct feature, tucked away out of sight and easy to miss.

street level (MSG footprint)

main level

lower level


l/ 3.3 Layout/ vertical access assured disorientation One of the critical points of access for disabled users is also one of Penn's worst failures.

lower level street level main level

lower level

street level elevator access

the central elevator is the only means of access to every station level from a single elevator. The street elevator entrance, shown here, is clearly marked on its exterior but once a user steps into the elevator nothing that happens next helps a user to understand where they are in the station. On the main and lower levels there is almost nothing, no maps, signs, or messaging that establishes a users location, a sense of place or real spatial awareness. For a first-time user, exiting the elevator is to enter a completely unknown space. You can't not be lost.

street level main level

lower level street level main level


the experience: using the elevator street level view from open elevator Opens to view of former taxiway. No signs immediately orient user on exiting. An Amtrak wall-mounted map of the station and relative street location is to the right and behind anyone exiting elevator.

main level view from open elevator Opens to view of food vendor. No signs immediately orient user on exiting. No signs or maps in immediately adjacent area to establish orientation for person who has exited elevator. No means of self-orienting.

lower level view from open elevator Opens to brick wall. Largest immediate signs point to same elevator as means of exit. Small sign indicates two RR tracks. No signs or maps in immediately adjacent area to establish orientation for person who has exited elevator. No means of self-orienting.


l/ 4.0 Wayfinding


principal challenges to orientation

1. capacity 2. visibility 3. layout 4. Wayfinding 5. alignment


v/ 4.1 Wayfinding/ fragmentation identities One of the chief characteristics of the wayfinding and signage at Penn is an identity that is fragmented at a scale rarely seen in public spaces. In application the station name appears in a hodgepodge of graphic styles. And while the second most-used ingress to Penn clearly announces itself as the LIRR entrance, the actual name of the place, Penn Station, isn't even displayed on the prominent marquee.

7th Ave/33rd St entrance

7th Ave/32nd St entrance

8th Ave/32nd St entrance

Amtrak Train platform

LIRR Train platform

NJT Train platform

Amtrak Train platform

Taxiway

34th Street main LIRR entry


territories The fragmented identity in the signs at right results from Penn being divided into territories controlled by three different railroads: Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit. Because each railroad operates in relative isolation there is no consistent station-wide signage system in the station. One of the most significant impacts of this on the pedestrian experience of Penn is that a person walking the length of the station can experience three completely different ways that information is displayed – from train departure schedules to restroom signs. These disconnected approaches to communication are one of the key factors underlying the pervasive sense of confusion in the station. transportation agency silos

legacies Compounding the confusion of dissociated wayfinding programs are numerous inconsistencies within individual territories. Although each railroad has standardized wayfinding signage, instances of orphan or legacy signs are a common sight in the station. Some of these non-standard signs occur in places where territories are ambiguous and where the need for clear guidance to pedestrians is most acute.


l/ 4.2 Wayfinding/ navigating by signs a station journey: From the uptown A train platform to New Jersey Transit area.

Exiting the subway and entering Penn Station (4) signs point right (5). A short walk with no signs (7) brings you to a large Amtrak concourse with signs dispersed far enough to be out of sight. You might see NJT ticket counter sign (9) unless you are on the East side of the concourse where you would probably first see the NJT sign (10) pointing to the rotunda. From the rotunda area it's possible to walk for almost a full minute with no signs(12) and easy to miss the side entrances to NJT because no NJT signs face directly towards 1. trip a

2. trip a

3. trip a

4. trip a

9. trip a

10. trip a

11. trip a

12. trip a

6.b

7.b

8.b

9.b

Decision? 14.b

15.b

16.b

17.b

Decision Point


you in the main corridor and the NJT wall signs are mounted high over entrances (13) making them easy to miss. The entrance to the NJT area (14) is devoid of signage, but moving into the mezzanine area signs and personnel can guide you to a ticket counter (15). If, at the beginning of this trip, you missed the first NJT sign (5) you'll walk down the LIRR 33rd St. corridor for as long as 2 minsutes wit no signs for NJT. Finally a small sign near ceiling points to the main LIRR waiting area and then up escalators. Placement and lighting (13.b, 14.b) makes these signs easy to miss. Exiting the escalator you might see the big NJT logo hidden behind the police desk (15.b) entering the NJT area brings you to the same unmarked decision point (17.b) described in trip a. As before, from here signs (19.b) or personnel can guide you to your destination (21.b) 5. trip a

6. trip a

8. trip a

Walking 1/2 min. no info

Decision Point 13. trip a

7. trip a

14. trip a

15. trip a

5.b

Unmarked decision Point 10.b

Decision Point

11.b

12.b

13.b

19.b

20.b

21.b

Walking 2 min. no info 18.b


l/ 4.3 Wayfinding/ station maps Depending on where you are when looking for a map of Penn Station the results of that search will be very different. Online, the landlord of Penn, offers their customers no map of the station at all while the LIRR provides a map that shows only their territory in the station. In contrast, NJT hosts a detailed directory of Penn. Within the station only NJT displays any maps, and only in NJT territory.

LIRR (online only)

Amtrak (on building exterior)

NJT (online and inside building)

As with their exterior marquee signage, the MTA/LIRR's online map completely disassociates itself from the rest of Penn Station.27 The LIRR map shows only LIRR areas and even where non-LIRR parts of Penn are rendered on the map they do not provide any information about what those areas are. With this map the LIRR completely severes its cartographic relationship to the rest of the station and provides no information at all about how LIRR is connected to its surroundings. Available online only, the map is provied at (low) screen resolution. Anyone trying to print the map at a standard high resolution (300ppi) will find that the resulting printed map is only two inches wide.

Outside of Penn Station maps are mounted on exterior walls adjacent to entrances with direct access to major Amtrak concourse areas inside the station. These locations include 8th Avenue entrances and the West entrance under the former taxiway location, between 7th & 8th Avenues. The maps are visible to anyone using those entrances. While focused on providing Amtrak area information they also point out the general locations of other RR's in penn. These maps also locate Penn in relation to the street grid and provide a You-Are-Here symbol, however it's questionable how many people could actually hold these maps in mind once stepping away and enter inside the station.

NJT is the only railroad that offers a comprehensive map of Penn online and in the station.28 All corridors adjacent to the NJT mezzanine feature large, back-lit wall displays of the map as does their ticket area in the Amtrak concourse. The map shows both levels and track layout in high detail. The level of detail in the maps can, in fact, be overwhelming as the viewer is presented with a set of plans that display everything in Penn Station all at once. You-Are-Here arrows on some of the maps point the wrong way or are in the wrong location entirely. Like the Amtrak map these NJT maps are difficult to recall once away from the display and in a changed orientation in space,


the best on-site maps create sense of place29 through spatial awareness Maps installed in the site they describe are often most useful in he you-are-here format. Klippel (1999) shows that effective YAH maps establish a relationship of wayfinder-world-map and that creating spatial awareness "requires the ability of the map user to establish element-to-element correspondence within and between maps...and between objects represented by maps and entities in the real world" 30 framework:

requirements:

requirements:

1.

2.

3.

spatial awareness31 trilateral relationship must be established

correspondence For users to effectively grasp the information in a YAH map clear, memorable correspondences between elements in the map and the world must be established. Aligning map and environment is critical for the map to be effective for the wayfinder. Unaligned maps require users to reorient and the "success of the rotation task is strongly dependent on the structural cues provided in the immediate surroundings of the map placement." 34

task-focused maps32

You-Are-Here maps33

completeness perceptibility, syntax, clutter semantic clarity ambiguity consistency signage pragmatics convenience currency

global placement local placement correspondence alignment architectural cues Y-A-H symbol alignment of text in map redundancy

An unaligned map means reading one way and navigating another.

N

Orientation 1

Orientation 2

E

W S

90º

E

S 90º

N

W


l/ 5.0 Alignment


principal challenges to orientation

1. capacity 2. visibility 3. layout 4. wayfinding 5. Alignment


l/ 5.1 Alignment/ consonance with user needs Making Penn easier to use is contingent on knowing the user. Users range over a wide spectrum of station knowledge. Looking to the railroads can help us to discern users and needs. Two of the three railroads in Penn (NJT, LIRR) provide East and West service to daily local commuters, as well as providing critical segments of public rail to airports (JFK/Airtrain/MTA&LIRR/ Penn and Newark/Airtrain/NJT/Penn). In contrast, a different set of customers is reflected in Amtrak's service offerings. With 30% of Fortune 500 headquarters in the Northeast region35, Acela Express serves intercity busi-

ness travellers who are not daily commuters. Amtrak student discounts recognize that 30% of all US 4-year colleges are on the Notheast corridor36, and Amtrak prides itself on being a vital means of transportation for seniors, who make up 38 percent of long distance adult passengers37. Long distance is generally trips of five hours or more38, but seniors on NEC rail are a visibly consistent presence. Finally, about 10% of users are non-passenger pedestrians: local workers, residents, retail/food patrons, and Penn's homeless population.

Profiles that represent user groups help in modelling planning scenarios.

commuters, neighbors daily

expert

business travellers, students, seniors

tourists, regional travellers

occasional

unique

novice


Facilitating user orientation will help decrease congestion.

confused users = congested traffic Congestion stems from Penn being over capacity, but additional factors contribute. One NY urban pedestrian analysis1 concludes by calling for attention to "pedestrian, environmental and flow characteristics". Disruption to flow in Penn can mean halting for help, wandering, opposing circulation, or freezing from bewilderment. A small group of novice users are most likely to slow flow and cause congestion. Orienting that group will benefit all users. The novice user's impact on flow is inverse to population in station.

impact on flow

?

(increased congestion due to confusion)

user group size

(proportion of overall station population)

most familiar with the station

expert

least familiar with the station

novice


l/ 5.2 Alignment/ consonance with stakeholder needs Fiscal responsibility can be championed by capturing value in efficiency. In discussing confusion in Penn Station and shining a light on the logistics of orientation, it's crucial to examine all implications of the state of wayfinding programming, especially the costs incurred by reliance on the three fragmented systems that are in place today. Beyond confusion, the cost of broken wayfinding comes in the price of time lost by station personnel who are required to dispense directions. Diminished productivity by staff and distracted attention by security accumulates like a leaking faucet as seemingly insignificant seconds add up to a staggering total of hours. Staunching these incremental losses should be a top priority of anyone invested in Penn.

Who are the stakeholders?

Minimum estimate of daily users who are unfamiliar with Penn and would need help:

Estimate of novice users in the station each day based on 2013 Star-Ledger news story:

5,000 novice users per day

to

Based on a figure of 1% of 500,00 people per day. The math for this very conservative scenario is outlined on the opposite page.

U.S. taxpayers The Sate of New York Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, The NY MTA

Who are the stakeholder resources? Transit workers Ticket agents Station maintenance Station vendors Station security National guard Transit police

30,000 novice users per day

Of daily Penn users "30,000 of them are novice users" – Robert Previdi, former NY transit planner, The Star-Ledger, November 14, 2013


the cost of confusion in a minimally expensive scenario

confused users = lost resources On a typical day, over half a million people use Penn Station (650k/day is a current accepted figure) To understand what that means, using the conservative 500,000 stat, here’s what happens when just 1% of those people ask for directions:

A typical day: 5,000 queries.

if each query is 15 seconds,

X 5,000 Summed up, as an aggregate:

then time lost to questions is:

20.83 hours

43 weeks per year lost.


l/ 5.3 Alignment/

Imperatives

Based on the synopsis of the five issues that challenge Penn Station here is what can be done immediately, to relieve pressure in the station, without major construction, and with a relatively small investment.

long term, structural, high cost

fast, digital, economical

capacity, visibility, layout, wayfinding, alignment orientation clarity visibility

alignment user-centricity


What does it mean?

actionable next steps: Understand the user and the effect of what help is provided to which user.

Facilitate and clarify the process for users to find their way in the station.


Part ll Penn Station

delivering help

Making Penn easer to use, today. Today and during the construction phase of a Penn Station rebuild, a solution can be put in place to reduce the chaos and also decrease some of the congestion that results from confusion. It can be fast, economical and implemented without the need for any physical construction/installation.



Wayfinding/ fundamental principles Wayfinding is a verb.

Wayfinding is the deeply human and personal process of spatial orientation – understanding where you are, where you are not, and finding your way between places. Wayfinding design is the business of programming environments with elements to support that process. Typical wayfinding support includes signs, maps, screens, built objects and spatial interventions.

A widely-accepted framework used in spatial cognition research assesses human understanding of space from three domains:

1. landmark knowledge 2. route knowledge 3. survey knowledge

Landmark knowledge is based on unique or prominent elements that are fixed in the environment. Route knowledge is based on identifying a sequence of locations that establish a connecting path. Survey knowledge integrates information from different aspects of an environment and allows for inferences about layouts or configurations. The maps in this project are designed to key into these three domains of spatal cognition. Spotlight Maps use a filtering approach to highlight landmarks and goals in the station. Path Maps chart the connecting routes between points in the station, and Vistas and Perspectives provide aerial overviews that help to establish an integrated understanding of spatial relationships in the station.


wayfinding phases: orientation 

choice of route 

keeping on track 

discovery of objective

Above: The four phases of wayfinding as outlined by Roger M. Downs & David Stea. Their work published in the mid-1970's described this process, and is now the most well-known model of how wayfinding works.



The New York Penn Station Atlas a. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3

approach concept

delivering tools into people's hands design in service to common experience making space visible and coherent starting: simple, fast and cheap a roadmap for potential development

overviews overviews

coordinates neighborhood street entrances configuration and relationships orientations of trains in the station track layouts

paths paths

from A to B three steps to your goal a clear and direct route easily locate accessible routes

perspectives perspectives 4.0 you are here: 8th & 31st 4.1 you are here: 7th & 32nd 4.2 you are here: West End Concourse

b.

vistas vstas 5.0 main level/ Amtrak concourse 5.1 lower level/ LIRR main ticketing area plans plans 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17

main level index relationship to street floorplan detail: Amtrak Concourse detail: NJT Mezzanine spotlight view explanation spotlight view: restrooms spotlight view: departure gates spotlight view: departure boards lower level index relationship to street floorplan detail: Exit Concourse/ Hilton Corridor detail: LIRR main area spotlight view: LIRR ticketing spotlight view: restrooms spotlight view: departure gates spotlight view: exits


Amtrak

Red Cap

A,C,E W 33rd St Restrooms To Street Mezzanine Waiting Area

31st Street Departure Gate Baggage Check

Exit

New Jersey Transit To Lower Level Police E One Penn Plaza Off Peak 8th Avenue

LIRR Ticketing Stand By Customer Service Elevator 11:15 A Now Boarding Long Island Rail Road Location D 3, 4 East 195 Regional To 7th Avenue 4 West Escalator Enter Here 10 West Use Caution 12:05 P Tracks 17-19

Connecting Concourse

Track 12

W

Central Corridor

See something, NJT Ticketing Say something, 10:29 No Clearance Taxis Hilton Corridor Tourist Information

Down

7th Avenue Concourse

Lost and Found

1,2,3

Main Level Up

Madison Square Garden

West End Concourse

ATM

11, 12 West

Exit Concourse 9, 10 East


The New York Penn Station Atlas 1 approach / 2 overviews / 3 paths / 4 perspectives / 5 vistas / 6 plans 1.1 delivering tools into people's hands 1.2 the right tools to the right people 1.3 making the environment visible 1.4 starting: simple, fast and cheap 1.5 roadmap


ll/ 1.1 Approach/ delivering tools into people's hands The fragmented state of wayfinding programs and sign systems in Penn Station means that users have few options for consistent stationwide assistance in finding their way through the station. In the absence of a consistent wayfinding solution originating inside the station the question arises: Where can can help come from? What if, instead of a fixed or installed solution in the station, a fluid approach was implemented from the outside in? Such an approach could augment the built wayfinding program inside of Penn with a set of digital wayfinding tools delivered directly into people’s hands from outside of the station. Rather than having to rely on the Balkanized sign systems in the station anyone with a smartphone or a tablet could have a personal wayfinding tool in their pocket. The net effect would be to provide clarity to station users, empower them to navigate the station more efficiently, and to reduce confusion from people who are lost or asking for directions.

What version 1.0 is:

static maps; PDFs and images a web-based interface usable on a mobile device printable free

What version 1.0 is not:

an Apple or Android app GPS indoor location-based service (LBS) interactive 3D a purchase or subscription



ll/ 1.2 Approach/ centering on the context of users Penn Station can be a profoundly disorienting place, especially for first-time visitors. Short of major infrastructure changes, the best opportunity for immediately beginning to reduce that confusion is to bring clarity to how information is presented and delivered in the station, especially the information that's intended to help people find their way through the station. In a highly complex environment like Penn, where over half a million station users per day have wayfinding needs, making information relevant and easy to understand is contingent on acknowledging that users are individuals, each with their own unique goals and perspectives. That's why The New York Penn Station Atlas is designed to equip people with the tools that are best suited for the context of their individual needs. Unlike a 'universal' approach (one-sizefits-all), the information that is made available through The Atlas is precisely the content that is most relevant to each user. In developing a better wayfinding approach for Penn Station, the critical mapping activity is not production of diagrams and models – it is the mapping of content to context. Context is the basis of easier and deeper comprehension. Using a context-based strategy can provide a way to harness the tidal wave of station content and transform it into a focused and useful stream of information.

Context-based information means that a person who simply wants to locate a ticket counter doesn’t have to sift through the entire contents of Penn Station in order to find that place. Instead, The Atlas uses spotlight maps to clearly distinguish that location, the same way

Amtrak

Red Cap

A,C,E W 33rd St Restrooms To Street Mezzanine Waiting Area

31st Street Departure Gate Baggage Check

Exit

New Jersey Transit To Lower Level Police E One Penn Plaza Off Peak 8th Avenue

LIRR Ticketing Stand By Customer Service Elevator 11:15 A Now Boarding Long Island Rail Road Location D 3, 4 East 195 Regional To 7th Avenue 4 West Escalator Enter Here Use Caution 12:05 P Tracks 17-19

Connecting Concourse

Track 12

W 10 West

Central Corridor

See something, NJT Ticketing Say something, 10:29 No Clearance Taxis Hilton Corridor Tourist Information

Down

7th Avenue Concourse

Lost and Found

1,2,3

Main Level Up

Madison Square Garden

West End Concourse

ATM

11, 12 West

Exit Concourse 9, 10 East

Penn today: an overload of uncontextualized content.

that it calls out all of the most important features in the station. Prioritizing context means providing maps that are aligned with your orientation in the station, offering views from your perspective, and plotting laserlike routes that show how to get from A to B while eliminating the surrounding visual noise of the station.


central principal align and map information content to the context of people's needs

content Amtrak

context

Red Cap

A,C,E W 33rd St Restrooms To Street Mezzanine Waiting Area

31st Street Departure Gate Baggage Check

Exit

New Jersey Transit To Lower Level Police E One Penn Plaza Off Peak 8th Avenue

LIRR Ticketing Stand By Customer Service Elevator 11:15 A Now Boarding Long Island Rail Road Location D 3, 4 East 195 Regional To 7th Avenue 4 West Escalator Enter Here Use Caution 12:05 P Tracks 17-19

Connecting Concourse

Track 12

W 10 West

Central Corridor

See something, NJT Ticketing Say something, 10:29 No Clearance Taxis Hilton Corridor Tourist Information

Down

7th Avenue Concourse

Lost and Found

1,2,3

Main Level Up

Madison Square Garden

West End Concourse

ATM

11, 12 West

Exit Concourse 9, 10 East

environmental information

individual requirements


ll/ 1.3 Approach/ making the environment visible Kevin Lynch, in The Image of The City married the term way-finding (today, wayfinding) to the process of human spatial orientation. His appropriated naming and insightful writing established the groundwork for much contemporary thinking on how humans get from place to place, especially in built environments. In his writing Lynch describes “clarity” and “legibility” as factors that make environments coherent. His

ideas and language have informed countless urban wayfinding projects, sometimes with the word 'legibility' even included in the name of the initiative. But Lynch also stressed visibility as key to spatial comprehension, and visibility is a core concept of The New York Penn Station Atlas. Lynch wrote: “In the process of way-finding, the strategic link is the environmental image, the generalized mental picture of the exterior physi-


cal world that is held by an individual.� Lack of visibility, inside and outside of Penn Station can be daunting. Except for a handful of exterior entry points, Penn Station is completely concealed from the outside. On the inside, during peak travel times, physical obstructions and crowds make it hard for anyone to see more than a few feet ahead of themselves. There is no vantage point in the station from which a comprehensive

overview of the space can be gained, and the constricted, maze-like spaces offer users little help in establishing an overall sense of location or position in the environment. The Atlas project is designed to address these issues by making it easy to visualize the station. With it's unique set of overviews, perspectives, diagrams, maps and models, The New York Penn Station Atlas makes Penn clear – literally and figuratively.

In the process of way-finding, the strategic link is the environmental image, the generalized mental picture of the exterior physical world that is held by an individual.

Kevin Lynch, The Image of The City 1960


ll/ 1.4 Approach/ starting: simple, fast and cheap The technology that version 1.0 of this project is built on is bare-bones simple: a website and a library of PDFs. The real technology is not the platform but the content, maps, diagrams and information that can enable navigation of the station. Finalizing and publishing The Atlas will mean developing maps and views that have not yet been drafted as well as updating existing maps to reflect changes in the station that have taken place since this project began in 2014.

A rigorous completion effort would likely require 6-12 months of project-dedicated work. Compared to planning, designing and installing a new signage program in Penn, implementing an Atlas initiative would be a fast and economical way to capture the benefits of incremental reductions to confusion in the station, such as greater efficiencies in circulation, and savings in time, cost and attention of station personnel.

actual printed map


perspective map viewed on tablet


ll/ 1.5 Approach/ roadmap tech: low

1.0

v

2.0

digital space implementations

3.0

full (static) mapset

dynamic path plotting

3D model for users

A comprehensive set of static maps (PDFs, JPEGs) of Penn that can be viewed online, downloaded to any device or printed to paper.

Users plot their own custom A to B paths from from any Penn entry point (including subway entrances) to any goal in Penn. Results are formatted in an exact diagram of custom path.

3D digital models of Penn that users can rotate around or move through, enabling anyone to easily ‘look around’ the station for a better understanding of how the station is configured.

Functionally, the tool is now more like Google Maps and less like pre-set library of path diagrams in v1.0.

Different models show the actual spatial relationships as well as views in an 'exploded' style that separate and open component areas for full visibility.

Includes: Neighborhood Overviews, A to B Paths (as library of pre-set diagrams), You Are Here Perspectives, 3D Vistas, Floor Plans, Plan Spotlights. The user interface for v1.0 is comprised of simple search fields and pull-down menu lists.


4.0

physical space implementations

live data integration

in-station maps

installed signage

Train schedule status updates: delays, arrivals, departures.

Printed maps installed in key areas of Penn Station, implemented using ‘heads-up’ style.

A station-wide, clear, consistent solution for wayfinding help that integrates a re-designed signage program in the built environment with the full suite of digital maps and tools from The Penn Station Atlas.

Current status reports on accessibiity (working and non-working elevators, escalators) displayed via existing MTA feed. When/where feasible Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS) may enable live locating and route plotting inside Penn. GPS integration for seamless interior/exterior experience.

5.0

tech: high

Free printed map handouts available at station info desks. Digital maps integrated into existing information screens. Purpose-built digital map kiosks.

v

X



The New York Penn Station Atlas 1 approach / 2 overviews / 3 paths / 4 perspectives / 5 vistas / 6 plans 2.1 overview/ coordinates 2.2 overview/ neighborhood 2.3 overview/ street entrances 2.4 overview/ configuration and relationships 2.5 overview/ orientations of trains in the station 2.6 overview/ track layouts


ll/ 2.1 Overview/ coordinates


40° 45′ 2.3″ N, 73° 59′ 38.03″ W


 Port Authority Bus Terminal, 42nd St. and Eighth Avenue

ll/ 2.2 Overview/ neighborhood Clinton (Hell’s Kitchen)

W 36th Street

Midtown South

W 35th Street 7th Avenue

8th Avenue

9th Avenue

One Penn Plaza

W 34th Street

W 33rd Street

W 32nd Street

W 31th Street Madison Square Garden

Two Penn Plaza

W 30th Street

Chelsea W 29th Street


Grand Central Terminal  42nd St. and Park Ave.

Murray Hill

Madison Avenue

5th Avenue

6th Avenue

Herald Square

ay adw Bro


ll/ 2.3 Overview/ street entrances W. 35th

33rd, between 7th & 8th

W. 34th

33rd & 8th

Lower Level

W. 33rd

Long Island Rail Road

Serviceway

Amtrak

W. 32nd

Main Level New Jersey Transit

Serviceway

W. 31th 7th Avenue

8th Avenue

9th Avenue W. 30th

31st & 8th

W. 29th

31st, between 7th & 8th


accessibility: W. 35th

universal escalator

W. 34th

34th & 7th

stairs

W. 33rd

W. 32nd

32nd & 7th W. 31th

y

W. 29th

a adw

31st & 7th

Bro

6th Avenue

W. 30th


ll/ 2.4 Overview/ configuration and relationships Intersection: 34th/8th

35th 34th

Madison Square Garden, 1 and 2 Penn Plaza

33rd

9th Ave.

Intersection: 34th/8th

Penn Station, Main Level

Intersection: 34th/8th

Penn Station, Lower Level

Subways: A,C.E


OnePenn Plaza

Two Penn Plaza

Madison Square Garden 6th Ave. 7th Ave.

9th Ave.

Street Level Main Level

31st

Mezzanine

Lower Level

Train Platforms: Amtrak

Long Island railroad New Jersey Transit

Subways: 1,2,3


34th Street

ll/ 2.5 Overview/ orientations of trains in the station 33rd Street ďƒ‘ Westbound trains: Albany, New Jersey

Stairs/Esc. connect to 33rd & 8th

Amrak West Gates

West

Amtrak East Gates

Amtrak 8th Avenue

Stairs/Esc. connect to 31st & 8th

Train platforms

31st Street


Eastbound trains : Long Island, Boston ďƒ’

platform: 20/21 platform: 18/19 platform: 17

Stairs/Esc. connect to 33rd & 7th

platform: 15/16

platform: 13/14

platform: 11/12

East 7th Avenue

platform: 9/10 platform: 7/8 platform: 5/6 platform: 3/4

platform: 1/2

New Jersey Transit

Stairs/Esc. connect to 31st & 7th


ll/ 2.6 Overview/ track layouts




The New York Penn Station Atlas 1 approach / 2 overviews / 3 paths / 4 perspectives / 5 vistas / 6 plans 3.1 paths/ from A to B 3.2 paths/ three steps to your goal 3.3 paths/ a clear and direct route 3.4 paths/ instantly visible accessible routes


ll/ 3.1 Paths/ from A to B

A simple interface . . .

The New York Penn Station Atlas Go  7th Avenue & 32nd Street

a.

LIRR West End Concourse

b.

Or browse the index of The Penn Station Atlas and download any map.


. . . clearly maps your path from A to B.

A B


ll/ 3.2 Paths/ three steps to your goal

1. Choose your entrance. 2. Choose your destination. 3. Click Go


Easily chart your course, from entry point to station goal.

1.

From:

2.

To:

Go 

Select an entrance to Penn

Select a destination in Penn

7th Avenue & 31st Street

Amtrak Concourse

7th Avenue & 32nd Street

Amtrak Ticketing Counter

31st Street Serviceway, between 7th & 8th Aves.

Amtrak Waiting Area

33rd Street Serviceway, between 7th & 8th Aves.

New Jersey Transit Mezzanine

34th Street at 7th Avenue

New Jersey Transit Ticketing Counter

8th Avenue & 31st Street

New Jersey Transit Waiting Area

8th Avenue & 31st Street

Long Island Rail Road Main Departure Area Long Island Rail Road Main Ticketing Counter Long Island Rail Road Main Waiting Area LIRR 33rd Street Connecting Corridor LIRR Central Corridor LIRR Exit Concourse LIRR West End Concourse LIRR Hilton Corridor

3. Go


lll/ 3.2 Paths/ a clear and direct route

A 31st & 7th

A B


B LIRR West End concourse

6 minute walk in light traffic conditions


ll/ 3.4 Paths/ instantly visible accessible routes

S

31st & 7th


Serviceway on 31st & 32nd between 7th & 8th

34th & 7th


You


The New York Penn Station Atlas 1 approach / 2 overviews / 3 paths / 4 perspectives / 5 vistas / 6 plans 4.1 perspectives/ you are here: 8th & 31st 4.2 perspectives/ you are here: 7th & 32nd 4.3 perspectives/ you are here: West End Concourse


ll/ 4.1 Perspectives/ you are here: 8th & 31st Key

numbered pins: locations of train departure gates

East Gates

West Gates

8th Ave & 33rd St

Amtrak ticket counter

Amtrak New Jersey Transit ticket counter

8th Ave & 31st St

You are here

Entrance: 8th Avenue & 31st Street


7th Ave & 33rd St

New Jersey Transit Lower Level

New Jersey Transit ticket counter 7th Ave & 31st St


ll/ 4.2 Perspectives/ you are here: 7th & 32nd Key

numbered pins: locations of train departure gates

New Jersey Transit 7th Ave & 31st St

New Jersey Transit ticket counter

You are here

Lower Level

Entrance: 7th Avenue & 32nd Street


8th Ave & 31st St

New Jersey Transit ticket counter

Amtrak ticket counter

West Gates 8th Ave & 33rd St

Amtrak

East Gates


ll/ 4.3 Perspectives/ you are here: West End Concourse Key

numbered pins: locations of train departure gates

One Penn Plaza

Stairs to Main Level

ďƒ˜

You are here

West End Concourse


7th Ave & 34th St To Street Level

LIRR ticket counter

Long Island Rail Road

to Main Level

ďƒ˜

Stairs to Mezzanine To Main Level and Street Level

ďƒ˜



The New York Penn Station Atlas 1 approach / 2 overviews / 3 paths / 4 perspectives / 5 vistas / 6 plans 5.1 vistas/ main level/ Amtrak concourse 5.2 vistas/ lower level/ LIRR main ticketing area


ll/ 5.1 Vistas/ main level/ Amtrak concourse Key

numbered pins: locations of train departure gates

8th & 33rd

New Jersey Transi ticket counter

Amtrak East Gates


it United Airlines MileagePlus counter Amtrak ticket counter

Amtrak West Gates

Amtrak customer service/ information

8th & 33rd

Corridor to subway and LIRR


ll/ 5.2 Vistas/ lower level/ LIRR main ticketing area Key

numbered pins: locations of train departure gates Hilton Corridor

ďƒ™ To Mezzanine

ďƒ™T


Exit Concourse

Central Corridor

To Main Level LIRR ticket counter Directly beneath departure board

33rd Street Concourse (Eastern end)



The New York Penn Station Atlas 1 approach / 2 overviews / 3 paths / 4 perspectives / 5 vistas / 6 plans main level

lower level

6.1 index

6.10 index

6.2 relationship to street

6.11 relationship to street

6.3 floorplan

6.12 floorplan

6.4 detail: Amtrak Concourse

6.13 detail: Exit Concourse/ Hilton Corridor

6.5 detail: NJT Mezzanine

6.14 detail: LIRR main area

6.6 spotlight view explanation

6.15 spotlight view: LIRR ticketing

6.7 spotlight view: restrooms

6.16 spotlight view: restrooms

6.8 spotlight view: departure gates

6.17 spotlight view: departure gates

6.9 spotlight view: departure boards

6.18 spotlight view: exits



ll/ 6.1



ll/ 6.2



ll/ 6.3



ll/ 6.4



ll/ 6.5


plan views show all floor details


spotlight views filter out details to highlight select features:

Train tickets

ll/ 6.6


Key

train departure gate

Restrooms

women’s restroom

men’s restroom


ll/ 6.7


Key

train departure gate

Train departure gates


ll/ 6.8


Key

train departure gate

departure schedule board

Departure boards

Amtrak main departure board


ll/ 6.9

Amtrak rotunda departure board



ll/ 6.10



ll/ 6.11



ll/ 6.12



ll/ 6.13



ll/ 6.14


Key

ticket counter sales

Train tickets

ticket vending machine


ll/ 6.15


Key

train departure gate

Restrooms

women’s restroom

men’s restroom


ll/ 6.16


Key

train departure gate

Train departure gates


ll/ 6.17


Key

EXITS

train departure gate

universal access

stairs

escalator


ll/ 6.18


Part lll Penn Station

inside Penn

Documentation of the experience. News stories and presentations about Penn Station rarely show more than a handful of similar images of the station. The photographs here represent the variety and texture of experience in Penn - especially with regard to orientation and wayfinding. This is what it feels like in Penn Station.





































































































































































































































Footnotes/ 1. United States Census Bureau estimates as of July 1, 2014. 2. RPA-MAS, Penn 2023: Envisioning a New Penn Station, (New York, 2013). 3. LGA annual passengers, 2014: 26,954,588 Source: Port Authority NY & NJ, Traffic Report (December 2014). 4. JFK annual passengers, 2014: 53,254,362 Source: Port Authority NY & NJ, Traffic Report (December 2014). 5. ATL Annual passengers, 2014: 96,178,899 Source: Operating Statistics, Atlanta Department of Aviation, http://atlanta-airport.com/Airport/ATL/operation_statistics.aspx, (Retrieved March 23, 2011). 6. “Penn Station serves over 650,000 daily rail and subway passengers” Source: Office of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Joint Solicitation for the Development of the Empire Station Complex, p.5. 7. Illustration based on Atkinson–Shiffrin memory model from Atkinson, R.C.; Shiffrin, R.M. (1968). In Spence, K.W.; Spence, J.T. The psychology of learning and motivation (Volume 2), New York: Academic Press, Chapter: "Human memory: A proposed system and its control processes", pp. 89–195. 8. John Robinson Pierce, An Introduction to Information Theory: Symbols, Signals and Noise (New York, Dover Publicatios Inc., 1961). 9. David Heeger, Signal Detection Theory, http://www.cns.nyu.edu/~david/handouts/sdt/sdt.html, (retrieved 4/7/16). 10. "our basis for forming cognitive maps" is addressed by Laura A. Carlson, Christoph Hölscher, Thomas F. Shipley and Ruth Conroy Dalton in: "Getting Lost in Buildings", in Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19: 284 (2010). e.g.: "Why do people get lost in buildings? We concentrate on three contributing factors: the spatial structure of a building, the cognitive maps that users construct as they navigate it, and the strategies and spatial abilities of the building’s users."


11. Survey Knowledge “Knowledge of two-dimensional layouts that includes the simultaneous interrelations of locations.” International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, pp. 14,77114,775, (2001). Also see: Alexander Klippel, Stephen Hirtle, Clare Davies, "You-Are-Here Maps: Creating Spatial Awareness through Map-like Representations",in Spatial Cognition And Computation, (June 2010) e.g.: "survey knowledge provides sufficient spatial awareness such that it becomes possible to plan new routes, shortcuts, and detours. Once survey knowledge (or at least extended route knowledge) is established, wayfinding can occur independently of wayfinding support (e.g., maps)." See also Rui Li and Alexander Klippel, "Wayfinding Behaviors in Complex Buildings: The Impact of Environmental Legibility and Familiarity" e.g.: "Familiarity with an environment may facilitate the comprehension of configurational processes of an environment; however, disorientation can still occur if environments are not legible." – and, Siegel, A. W., & White, S. H., "The development of spatial representatives of large-scale environments". In H. W. Reese (Ed.), Advances in child development and behaviour (pp. 9– 55). San Diego, CA: Academic Press, (1975). e.g.: "Spatial knowledge is often categorized as three types: landmark knowledge, route knowledge, and survey knowledge." 12. Klippel et al, You-Are-Here Maps, Siegel & White, Advances In Child Development. 13. Edward T. Hall, The Hidden Dimension (Doubleday Anchor, 1969), 113-129. 14. NYC Department of City Planning, Transportation Division, New York City Pedestrian Level of Service Study Phase I, (April, 2006), pp 84-85. 15. Moynihan Station Development Project Environmental Assessment, (2010), 4.4: Station Circulation Analysis. LOS descriptions based on John J. Fruin, Pedestrian Planning and Design, Revised Edition, 1987. 16. Daniel P. Kennedy, et al, "Personal Space Regulation by the Human Amygdala", in Nature Neuroscience, 12(10): 1226–1227, (October, 2009). 17. Harrington DO, The Visual Fields: A Textbook and Atlas of Clinical Perimetry, (1981). 18. Tandy C.R.V., “The Isovist Method Of Landscape Survey”, in Methods of Landscape Analysis, (1967). 19. Benedikt M.L., “To take hold of space: isovists and isovist fields”, in Environment and Planning B, 6, 47-65, (1979).


20. Billl Hillier, Julienne Hanson, The Social Logic of Space, Cambridge University Press; Reprint (January 27, 1989). 21 Carlo Ratti, Eugenio Morello "A digital image of the city: 3D isovists in Lynch’s urban analysis.", Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 36:5 p.837-853, (2009). 22. James Gibson, The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception, Psychology Press, Taylor & Francis Group, (1986). 23: "a confusing maze for passengers": Mike Frassinelli, The Star-Ledger, (Nov. 14, 2013), (a) "claustrophobic maze": Robert W. Previdi New York Times, (Oct. 1, 2013), "the underground maze": Jason FaragoThe Guardian (US Edition) (July 25, 2013), "maze-like layout," Larry Higgs, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, (Jan. 25, 2016), etc. 24. Moynihan Station Development Project Environmental Assessment. 25. Moynihan Station Dev. 26. Billl Hillier, Space is the Machine, Cambridge University Press, t(1996) “The property of ‘intelligibility’... means the degree to which what we can see from the spaces that make up the system - that is how many other spaces are connected to - is a good guide to what we cannot see, that is the integration of each space into the system as a whole. An intelligible system is one in which well connected spaces also tend to be well-integrated spaces. An unintelligible system is one where wellconnected spaces are not well integrated, so that what we can see of their connections misleads us about the status of that space in the system as a whole.” 27. http://web.mta.info/lirr/AlternateRoute/PennStation.htm (retrieved April 2016). 28. http://www.njtransit.com/pdf/rail/NYPENN_Directory.pdf (retrieved April 2016). 29. Frameworks for defining place and sense of place range from philosophy to geography, logic and linguistics. "The notion of "place" is central to human understanding of space, and yet its status with respect to formalised representations of spatial information is elusive. The slipperiness of "place" arises partly due to vagueness in the descriptions used to identify places, partly from the lack of any consensus as to what formal syntax and semantics can adequately capture concepts of place, and


partly due to ambiguity in the very notion of "place"." – From Brandon Bennett & Pragya Agarwal, Exploring the Place of Vagueness in Spatial Information, COSIT, Conference on Spatial Information Theory, (2011). In their COSIT tutorial Agarwal and Bennett propose the basis of a semantics of place by beginning with classifications of terminology using similarity, continuity and integrity as primary factors involved in individuating basic kinds of place. Earlier. Agarwal also developed key parameters associated with ‘sense of place’ in Operationalising ‘Sense of Place’ as a Cognitive Operator for Semantics in Place-Based Ontologies from COSIT 2005. 30. Alexander Klippel, Stephen Hirtle, Clare Davies, "You-Are-Here Maps: Creating Spatial Awareness through Map-like Representations" in Spatial Cognition And Computation, p.5, (June, 2010). 31. Klippel et al, You-Are-Here Maps: Creating Spatial Awareness through Map-like Representations, "establishing correspondences among different entities can be argued to be a problem of creating spatial awareness within a trilateral framework that describes the relationship between wayfinder, world, and map (Liben & Downs, 1993)". Also see Alexander Klippel, Christian Freksa, Stephan Winter, "You-Are-Here Maps in Emergencies – The Danger of Getting Lost", Journal of Spatial Science, 51(1), pp. 117–131, illustration: p.4, Fig. 1, (2006). 32. Requirements adapted from: Klippel et al, You-Are-Here Maps in Emergencies. 33. Requirements adapted from: Klippel et al, You-Are-Here Maps in Emergencies. 34. Klippel et al, You-Are-Here Maps in Emergencies, P. 20. 35. NEC.Amtrak.com, U.S Census Bureau, 2010, Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2010, U.S. Dept. of Education, 2011, Fortune Magazine, 2022. 36. NEC.Amtrak.com. 37. Amtrak customer advisory committee report, (2012). 38. Amtrak customer advisory committee report.


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