Center City boosts safety efforts as office workers, visitors return

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Center City continues to bounce back from the pandemic. The numbers of visitors and office workers returning are increasing, and public safety programs are being expanded to help support the district's recovery efforts.

According to the Center City District, pre-pandemic visitor levels are at about 80%. Office workers are at approximately 50% and go to the office, on average, three days a week.

"We've got pedestrian sensors in the office district and the number of pedestrians on West Market [Street] and [John F. Kennedy Boulevard] has doubled since January," said district president Paul Levy, "so we clearly have a trend going in the right direction, but only about half of office workers are back."

Levy said public safety is one of the main concerns employees have about returning to offices.

"We know that we've got to provide reassurance and confidence to people coming back," he explained. "So we have increased our uniform community service representative foot patrol. We have gone from zero to 42 on the bike patrol and we are adding an additional team for our homeless outreach."

The district routinely meets with law enforcement, private security firms, employers and institutions to ensure continuous communication and effective on-street coordination of deployment.

Funds raised through the Center City District Foundation are helping to support some of the public safety efforts.

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