Program To Start In Chinatown, Go Citywide In 2015

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The city has plenty of signs directing drivers, but now it’s also trying to help pedestrians get around.

In a recent survey conducted by the Department of Transportation, 10 percent of those polled admitted to being lost in the past week and one out of three didn’t know which way was north.

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On Monday, Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced a new pedestrian information system that will help New Yorkers and tourists navigate the city.

“You don’t need to be a tourist to feel turned-around on New York’s street,” Sadik-Khan said.

As part of WalkNYC, the city will be installing 100 eight-foot-tall maps showing area streets, points of interest, travel information and a radial marker system that will estimate walking times for pedestrians.

“Whether on the sidewalks or before emerging from the subway, these signs will bring a common language to our streets and help knit together our neighborhoods,” Sadik-Khan said.

Each map costs about $15,000, but Sadik-Khan said they’ll be worth it.

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“When people know where they’re headed, they’re much more likely to explore the city with their wallets,” she said.

“The launch of this new pedestrian navigation system will provide New Yorkers as well as millions of tourists who visit our city each year directly with the information they need to access some of the greatest attractions and essential venues we have to offer,” said City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

The maps will first be coming to Chinatown, the Fashion District, Long Island City, parts of Prospect Park, and Crown Heights, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.

“We look forward to WalkNYC signs guiding the misguided and lost in and around Chinatown to discover our wealth of shops and restaurants,” said Wellington Chen, Executive Director of the Chinatown BID and Partnership.

The plan is to go citywide in 2015.

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