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Transportation & Environment


At the monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, March 14, 2013, the Board passed the following resolution with a vote of 28 in favor, 2 opposed, 3 abstaining:

WHEREAS, DOT is proposing a comprehensive pedestrian information system for sidewalks in key New York neighborhoods. The initiative is intended to help make streets easier to navigate and more accessible for New Yorkers and visitors alike, and the first in a series of steps to improve mobility.  This work is being done in partnership with the Fashion Center BID and the 34th Street Partnership in Community Board Five; and  

WHEREAS, A coordinated pedestrian information network, known as "wayfinding," will help pedestrians navigate the City and transit facilities. By providing clear, readable signs, pedestrians will be able to better orient themselves to determine how long it takes to walk to key locations. The initial phase will be designed and implemented in four New York City districts: Long Island City, Queens; Prospect Heights/Crown Heights, Brooklyn; and Chinatown and parts of Midtown in Manhattan; and

WHEREAS, In addition to promoting walking as a healthy and easy activity, a pedestrian information system can relieve overcrowding on mass transit by encouraging walking as both a mode of choice and convenience; and

WHEREAS, Any program will be reviewed and approved by the Public Design Commission and the Landmarks Preservation Commission where relevant. The consultant will then install and monitor the sign system's effectiveness. From there, the system will be expanded to other neighborhoods that elect to install wayfinding signage; and

WHEREAS, To understand the potential impact of a wayfinding system, 500 intercept surveys were conducted citywide to determine pedestrians' familiarity with the city and confidence for getting around on foot. Among the findings, 9 percent of New Yorkers and 27 percent of visitors admitted being lost in the past week. Additionally, 13 percent of New Yorkers were not familiar with the area where they were surveyed, and 27 percent of visitors could not name the borough they were surveyed in!; and

WHEREAS, The proposed signage will replace existing BID signage creating a uniform approach for all new signage instead of the existing collage of maps that exist on streets; and

WHEREAS, The proposed signage designed by well-known graphic design firm Pentagram will also appear on bike share stations and the look and feel of the map is intended to relate to MTA neighborhood signage within subway stations; and

WHEREAS, The size of the sign will vary depending on the location in order to ensure that signs do not interfere with pedestrian circulation; and

WHEREAS, CB5's believes that clear information with respect to bus stops and bus lines be incorporated into the map and that privately owned public spaces be clearly labeled as well; therefore be it 

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the installation of the new wayfinding signage proposed by DOT.

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