Reporting Hazel Sanchez
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.
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“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.