Pedestrian Wayfinding Initiative in Chinatown

Posted on: February 15th, 2013 at 6:09 am by

[Photo: DOT]

[Photo: DOT]

Some 52 million tourists arrived on the city shores in 2012, a record number up 2.1% from 2011. To accomodate the forever-lost hordes of map-wielding visitors, the city is aiming to unleash a new easy-to-read streetside navigation system.

While there are currently maps in the touristy spots, there’s a lack of standardization. DOT wants to change this. The goal is to streamline maps with the “Pedestrian Wayfinding Initiative.”

DOT officials briefed Community Board 3 the other night. Here are the nuts and bolts of the plan:

  • A new breed of signs will join the family of street furniture and carry the same aesthetic as the subway system. “Path Signs” to reinforce direction; “Local Area” signs to facilitate interaction and decision points; “Neighborhood Signs” to illustrate a large swath of area; and “Finger Posts” for simpler direction.
  • Icons, not words – image-based with icons to designate landmark spots. Language will be kept at a minimum.
  • Easier navigation using pedestrian orientation – maps are not drawn “north-up,” rather are oriented based on its position on the street.
  • Distances will be quantified in walking time rather than mileage.

Additional pilot neighborhoods were selected for this wayfinding infrastructure – Fashion District, Long Island City, and Prospect Park – but Chinatown is first on deck for phase one. The furniture will trickle out starting in March, with the other locations following shortly thereafter. Phase II will include downtown and the Financial District.

new york vs tourist

Perhaps the best bet, though, would be those “tourist lanes” chalked on the neighborhood sidewalks a few years ago.

Recent Stories

Con Artist entrance, May 2011
The Con Artist Collective Celebrates 5 Years on Ludlow Street

Con Artist is one of the few businesses on Ludlow Street in Hell Square that still caters to creativity. Something other than nightlife. What began as an ambitious basement workshop and thrift boutique in 2010 (formerly home to The Cast), is now a fully-fledged artist collective with storefront workspace and a membership counting in the […]

citizenm-water
CitizenM and the Curious Case of Water Waste on the Bowery

With Earth Day having just passed this week, the time seemed ripe to call attention to water waste down at the CitizenM project site on the Bowery. Ever since the towering permiter of plywood was erected at the corner of Delancey, the developers have been piping in water from the nearby fire hydrant for earth-moving efforts. […]

tenement-museum-2015
The Tenement Museum is Crowdfunding to Help Preserve 97 Orchard Street

Apparently the Lower East Side Tenement Museum is in desperate need of care. The institution is deteriorating from the inside out, and requires a boatload of cash to keep the facility in workable shape. So, the museum is currently in crowdfund mode, soliciting funding to help preserve its prized mid-block building at 97 Orchard Street. […]

Photo: Hester Street Fair
Hester Street Fair Kicks Off 6th Season Tomorrow

Now in its sixth iteration, the Hester Street Fair is welcoming the neighborhood back, with the promise of “New food! New vendors! New look! Same awesome vibe…” Once again, the corner of Hester and Essex Streets will corral local biz into a fancy farmer’s market, but it’s not setting up shop for the whole weekend. This […]

Photo: GVSHP
Report: CB3 Member Who Accused Gigi Li of ‘Racial Insensitivity’ is Booted

It appears Community Board 3 doesn’t want members to vocalize concerns about its controversial policies and actions. Ayo Harrington, whose whistleblowing crusade against Chair Gigi Li last year netted headlines, is no longer part of the advisory board. Appointments to Community Board 3 were announced earlier this week by Borough President Gale Brewer and her […]