Curb Your Enthusiasm

In retrospect this project was a failure for Citystreets. Looking back it seems obvious that what we we attempted to do with this project was too ambitious for our staffing levels and needed much more funding to support than we realized it would take. We think that says something about our spirit. That we are not afraid to think big and be naive enough to think that good ideas can change the world. We also understand that failure is often part of the process of making things, even when those things are cultural change. Please feel free to learn more about what we described at the time was a historic project to change the way our public officials think and talk about pedestrian infrastructure.

Read the OpEd that inspired the project.

Our initial exuberance:

We are about to establish a grading system for pedestrian infrastructure. Once employed at the government level this will be a tool for the public and elected officials to really understand the condition on the street develop more informed policy and allocate resources more intelligently.

For the first time there will be a measurable index that deals with other important considerations for people who use public space in New York. Specifically, Comfort, Safety, Ease of use and navigability. Instead of just Fatalities or Injuries.

Why is this important?

We have discovered that the DOT under the failed leadership of Iris Weinshall is currently cooking the books. Specifically the DOT claims that 80% of Manhattan is ADA compliant (legislation which gives the blind, people in wheelchairs and others with disabilities the right to move around our city). What we realized is that since the pedestrian environment is not graded, failures are measured in the same way that successes are. What this means is many intersections that are not useable are counted as if they are in compliance. We have done preliminary research and realize that the number is closer to 20% not the 80% as reported. What this means is that it is statistically impossible for a person in a wheelchair to easily travel 10 blocks anywhere in NYC.

We want to further document this and develop a database of as much of New York City as possible and then use this Data to write a report that sheds light on this in order to improve our pedestrian environment for city residents and visitors.

So if you love New York and want to help make it better, please take an hour or two and help us with our survey.

Enclosed below are PDF’s of the curb survey as well as instructions for filling out the survey.

Before filling out the survey please check with us to make sure that the streets you are surveying have not already been looked at by one of our eyes on the street. And of course if you have any questions about how to fill out the survey form please ask us.

Thank you so much for helping with this important project.

Download the curb survey form (PDF)
Download the survey instructions (1.5 mb PDF)

Observations

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  • Driver can not see kids standing in front of car.
    Driver can not see kids standing in front of car.
  • No accommodation for pedestrian during sidewalk construction
    No accommodation for pedestrian during sidewalk construction
  • Improperly placed and maintained signs sends the wrong message to drivers.
    Improperly placed and maintained signs sends the wrong message to drivers.