Jan. 15, 2013 By Christian Murray
The Department of Transportation is rolling out a program that will install neighborhood maps in 150 citywide locations– including several in Long Island City.
The program aims to provide New Yorkers and tourists with a better sense of direction. Each map will display surrounding streets, notable landmarks, and estimated walking times in minutes to a few nearby destinations.
According to a DOT survey, 10 percent of New Yorkers couldn’t say which direction was north when asked, and one third of those surveyed said they had gotten lost at least once during the past week. Meanwhile 23% of tourists surveyed said they were lost.
The 150 maps are expected to begin going up in March. Long Island City, mid-town Manhattan, Chinatown are among the first areas to get the signs.
Dana Frankel, District Services Manager for LIC Partnership, said “I think it’s important for a place like LIC [to get maps] because it is so spread out.” She added that the street grid and even the street names could be confusing to visitors. “Everything can seem farther away than they truly are,” she added.
The maps will feature circles that show distance as well as the time it will take to walk from one location to another. “If you get off a subway in Queens Plaza the map can show that it only takes 25 minutes to walk to the waterfront,” Frankel said.
The LIC Partnership will serve as a maintenance partner in the program. It will make sure the maps are clean and updated.
Jeanette Sadik-Khan, NYC’s Transportation Commissioner, said “New York is a perfect place to have a wayfinding system because nearly one third of all trips are made by foot.”