2011-07-22 / Community

DOT Wants To Inform City’s Pedestrians

New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) to bring a comprehensive pedestrian information system to sidewalks in key New York neighborhoods. This is the first in a series of steps to improve mobility whether you’re on foot, on a bike, in a car or taking mass transit. A coordinated pedestrian information network, known as “wayfinding,” will help pedestrians crack the code for traveling to, from and around the city’s neighborhoods, business districts, transit stops and landmarks on foot. By providing clear, readable signs, pedestrians will be able to better orient themselves to determine how long it takes to walk to key locations. With 31 percent of all trips in New York City made by foot and 22 percent of all car trips under one mile, the city is an ideal location for launching a comprehensive pedestrian sign system to encourage walking.

The deadline to respond to the RFP is July 27. Proposals will highlight applicants’ approaches to and experiences in creating stylized, comprehensive wayfinding systems. DOT will work closely with the selected vendor and the four districts to design a standardized system based on extensive community input. Any program will be reviewed and approved by the Public Design Commission and the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The consultant will then install and monitor the sign system’s effectiveness. 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, while 13 percent were not familiar with the area where they were surveyed..

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