East Or West? Some NYC Street Signs Cause Confusion

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some bus signs on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan have New York natives and tourists alike wondering which side of Central Park they’re really on.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell: You Don’t Need A Compass To Figure It Out

“We’re on the East side of Manhattan.  I’m absolutely sure,” said tourist Pamela Meskin of San Francisco.

Looking at a street sign, she then changed her view: “West! Oh yeah, west.”

“Why would a sign in the city say Fifth Avenue and West 80th if you’re on the East Side? I got all confused,” wondered tourist Diana Edwards.

The confusion was understandable. All the signs on bus stops lining Fifth Avenue from 59th Street to 110th Street on the Upper East Side said the streets were west streets.

Even local vendors like Jacob Jugernaut were turned around. “This isn’t West 80th Street. It’s East,” he said.

“Fifth Avenue and West 80th Street? Whoa, they made a mistake,” said vendor Jonathan Hallgrey.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said the Department of Transportation needs to take the signs down and fix the problem.

“This is the East Side of Manhattan so we don’t need signs telling people that this is the West Side of Manhattan,” he said.

Stringer said his concern isn’t based just on making sure a tourist doesn’t get lost trying to find a local museum, but that incorrect signs can have dangerous consequences.

“Think about somebody having a heart attack or a police emergency and you get on your cellphone and you dial 911 and you tell people that you’re on the West Side on 83rd Street, only to find out that this is the East Side. This is East 83rd Street. We got to get his right,” he said.

“To come to a city that can kind of be overwhelming just in s general, it can cause a lot of problems for a lot of people,” said tourist Alexis Johnson.

Stringer hopes the signs will get lost before more people do.

The DOT said it will inspect the signs and make any changes with a sticker overlay.

More from Hazel Sanchez
  • Madam Potchki

    The city has been outsourcing some of its transportation signage. Who is to blame for the incorrect signs? Why didn’t the supervisor in charge of the sign change notice something was wrong?

    • Michael H.

      nobody is to blame for incorrect signs because the signs are CORRECT.

  • Sheesh

    I suppose that if WCBS gave its reporters and assignment editors the same pay and benefits as the New York State and City civil service reportersand assignment editors, they wouldn’t be stuck with the ignorant types that put this story together. I’d sure like to know what Scott Stringer’s excuse is–why DO we have Borough Presidents, anyway? The City is broke.

    • Auburn Dale

      The office of Borough President was created in 1898 so that the Mayor of Brooklyn would still have a job after Brooklyn became part of NYC.

      • Sheesh

        Big mistake! The current Brooklyn Borough President spent our tax dollars setting up a pothole hotline, duplicating the existing D.O.T. phoneline. And, of course, there is their wonderful discretionary budget. When Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger was considering running for mayor, she allocated funds to fix up a City park IN QUEENS.

  • Jerry_Leigh

    The Central Park side of Fifth Avenue IS “West”. Look at cross street signs on Fifth Avenue above and below the Park. Even the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is on the Central Park side, describes the cross street, at its location, as “West”.

  • eddie

    that’s the point they’re tourists..and people who dont know the grid system of NYC…a little lesson here…5th ave is the dividing line between east and west..when you cross the street on 5th ave going from east to west the signs automatically say for example w.59th..leave new york for new yorkers…

  • pugphan

    The DOT are a bunch of idiots. They put a bus stop sign almost in the middle of
    our drive way, right next to a newstand, which shouldn’t be there either. I blocks
    the view. So peeps are always milling around waiting for the freaking bus in the
    driveway, and it’s a miracle nobody’s been hurt. We’ve complained to just about everybody with no results. They’re either a bunch of idiots or careless, and insane practical jokers. smokersodysseycom

    • Michael H.

      Wouldn’t the MTA be responsible for bus stop signs?

      “We’ve complained to just about everybody”

      Have you called 311 to complain?

  • Lisa W.

    Those east side dweller do not want to be known westsiders.

  • Carlos Liriano

    only the NYC DOT overpay union lain brains can pull something like that, get somebody that knows what they are doing, what a waste of tax payers money

    • J_Leigh

      They’re correct. The west side of Fifth Avenue IS “West”–the Metropolitan Museum of Art describes its cross street location as “West”.

    • Michael H.

      ah there it is. blame the unions…putz

      you know these signs are correct. If you’re on the west side of 5th Ave, you’re in the “west” streets. The entire park is technically on the “west” side of Manhattan. Just because you’re on the east side of the park does not mean you’re on the east side of Manhattan.

  • nathan

    You are spamming this site and your comment will be removed and your IP address blocked.

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