Even for the most direction-savvy New Yorker, emerging from the dark pit of the subway can be a disorienting experience. New York City streets are bright, they’re loud, oftentimes they’re smelly, and worst of all, maps are virtually non-existent. Or at least that used to be the case.
Just this week, the Department of Transportation unveiled its WalkNYC initiative, a program that will bring comprehensive pedestrian maps to all five boroughs. In a city where an estimated 30 percent of all trips are made by foot and one out of every three locals can’t tell north from south, they’re probably going to come in handy.
Though NYC’s public transportation is top-notch and we are technically on a grid, it’s easy to get lost or overwhelmed when traveling by foot. That’s why the DOT enlisted the help of PentaCityGroup, a consortium of urban planners, engineers, designers, cartographers and geographical information specialists, to solve the problem.
Their goal? To create an information-packed map that would orient pedestrians and help them find the gems each NYC neighborhood has to offer. The first of these new information kiosks was installed earlier this week in Chinatown (they’re already located at every Citi Bike station), and it’s expected that others will be popping up in midtown Manhattan, Long Island City in Queens and Prospect Heights in Brooklyn this summer