Have you ever been to a big city and not been able to find your way around? Well, New York City residents and tourists alike will now benefit from the Department of Transportation’s new program WalkNYC.
This past Monday, June 24, the city made the announcement of their idea, which is costing around $6 million. There will be pedestrian maps of the city installed on sidewalks and inside subway stations that will be oriented in the direction that the viewer is facing. They will include locations of transit hubs and bike lanes in areas around the map, as well as estimated walking times for the pedestrians’ convenience.
I think this is a great idea that NYC came up with. They know people get confused while walking around the mazes of streets trying to navigate their way around to whatever destination they hope on getting to, and while stopping and asking directions isn’t a bad thing, you don’t necessarily know if that person knows where they are either.
A survey based on 500 pedestrians in the Big Apple found that one-third of the people could not say which direction was north, and 14 percent of residents and 27 percent of visitors could not name the neighborhood or borough in which they were being surveyed. Additionally, nearly 10 percent of locals admitted to getting lost at least once sometime in the past week, so it’s not just tourists who find themselves a bit disoriented at times. “There is a clear need for this system,” Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner, stated at the unveiling of one of the maps in Chinatown.
According to the Transportation Department, the plan is to have approximately 100 maps installed by the end of the summer with hopes of expanding citywide over the next year.
People hopefully will see the benefit of this system as it possibly could encourage more walking and biking to get from place to place. These maps remind me of the ones that you see in malls, and I always am stopping to look at those if I want to find a specific store rather than wander around until I happen to stumble upon it.
“We all know that feeling of being turned around,” said Janette Sadik-Khan. This is absolutely true, and this initiative is something that will help people in their day-to-day lives by giving them a tool besides their phone to know where, in fact, they are in the city.
This article can be viewed on The New York Times website.